Travel Journal

Welcome to the golden country (Myanmar)

(Sunday 25 March 2012) by Lynda
Myanmar, the golden country, I visited the country in 1997, 15 years ago but time seems irrelevant here, it feels like the country is locked up in a time vacuum, following it's own pace, held hostage by a power that isn't really willing to change. For us tourists an amazing opportunity to visit a reallife timecapsule but for the burmese people a sad reality.
Yup, must be Burma
Yup, must be Burma
But still, Burma doesn't feel like a sad country, the curious looks of the people on the street when they see you and how their faces change and start to glow when they return your smile, their willingness to really help you and the compliments you get while wearing the national costume ......... the longii, It's hard not to fall in love again with this country and the burmese people.

Travelling in Burma is surprisingly easy and relaxed but that could also be the effect of travelling with Koen, my Belgium travelmate, who knows where to find the cherry-blossoms and even manages to make a stop on the overnightbus to Mandalay into a special event.
Mount Kyaiktiyo
Mount Kyaiktiyo


Yangon was great, walking the streets, seeing the little streetstalls selling stuff you didn't even know it excisted, the interaction with people who speak little english but still love to talk to you, the lazy salesman who uses a tapeplayer and a megafoon to promote his products, the smells, the noises and the oppressing heat, the mixture is intoxicating, a visit to the Shwedagonpagoda for sunset a surreal experience, religion and daily life melting effortless together.

We made an overnighttrip to Mount Kyaiktiyo, think it took us a week before we could pronounce the name properly....The golden rock is the country's most important religious site and the way to get there is part of the fun. A busride for 4 sweaty hours, 45 minutes of rollercoaster-fun in the back of a truck, following by 45 minutes of steep hiking to reach the temple. The atmosphere is charged with magic and devotion, especially when the glinting boulder is bathed in the orange light of the sunset.
Early morning at mt Kyaiktiyo
Early morning at mt Kyaiktiyo


Monks shooting pictures of each other in front of the rock, children playing with their new toys on the marble templefloors, people praying, chatting, chanting and laughing and I stop walking and start floating in a strange happy bubble and become part of this bizar but wonderfull world.

This is my reason for traveling, this happy, almost high feeling, this feeling of belonging and deep satisfaction, I'm in love with life!..

 


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