Something a whee bit different on the blog today!
It’s been exactly a year since I took myself off on a solo adventure travelling through Burma (AKA Myanmar), and I very recently discovered the photos on my computer and realised i’d never posted them anywhere, or actually even shown them to anyone!!
Whilst backpacking in the past, i’ve forced myself to keep a really detailed journal because I was so afraid of forgetting even the smallest detail. But to be honest, that pressure is actually pretty cumbersome. Maybe i’m just mellowing in my “old age”? Either way, I just kept a little notebook on hand and jotted down little things that I wanted to remember but that maybe don’t necessarily make a good story to anybody but me and the little people who live in my brain.
Anyway, I’m not really going to say too much because I think the photos tell a thousand stories about this incredible country. The history is rich, and the people are interested and friendly, yet there is an element of shyness and hesitation that I haven’t experienced anywhere else in South-East Asia.
If you’ve been, i’d love to know what you thought?..
Sunset from Mandalay Hill
Takes around an hour to climb the stairs to the top, but totally worth it for the panoramic view.
The Botanical Gardens of Pyin Oo Lwin – an old colonial hilltop town a couple of hours from Mandalay.
Here there was the most extraordinary butterfly museum!
2 days of adventures through Bagan – an ancient city with over 2000 temples still remaining.
Inle Lake – a community of tribes who live on and around the 2nd largest lake in Myanmar.
The women of the Kayan Tribe.
This was a particularly beautiful experience, as my guides had warned me that the Kayan women do not smile.
But when I met them, they were as fascinated by me as I was by them, and we spent 5 minutes or so just laughing and smiling at each other, and playing charades trying to communicate.
It was extraordinary.
The Strand Hotel in Yangon – built during the colonial period, it is a decadent step back in time.
Rudyard Kipling, George Orwell and Somerset Maugham used to stay here!!
My favourite meal in Burma – Mandalay Meeshay – noodle salad with coriander and fried onion.
The food in the south (closer to the Delta) is chocked full of fish paste and super intense, especially for breakfast!
I made friends with a Burmese guy who took me on a day trip, just an hour or two outside of Yangon.
We got off the train at the end of the line, and walked into a village that had never seen a white person in real life before.
I hope they don’t think all white people look like me! Ha!
Independence Monument, right in the center of Yangon.
Yangon at night is so peaceful, and it’s difficult to believe it’s a capital city.
Street lights are sporadic and streets right in the centre of the city have no cars or people during the evening.
A rare vehicle only has to slow down at a red lighted intersection before it drives right through.
Children and women wear “thanaka” on their face – it’s a natural sunscreen.
As with most Asian countries, white skin is seen as more beautiful.
Betel leaf with tobacco. Possibly one of the foulest things i’ve ever put in my mouth.
Shwedagon Pagoda – the most amount of tourists I saw in one place in all of Burma.
But a truly beautiful experience to just sit, reflect and listen to music as the sun goes down over the city.