Myanmar… it’s quite impossible to capture the breadth of this mystical place, or the aura that the landscapes leaves you with. But here are just a few of my fondest memories.
Yangon – First stop – old name Rangoon.. City that is crumbling, and chocked with traffic, but has a beacon that glimmers proudly for all to see. The huge Shwedagon Paya – some say more wealth lies within this Pagoda than at Fort Knox! My joy though was f0inding such comfortable, sparkly thong sandals to fit my Western sized feet at Scott Market in Yangon for just $3.00. And then there’s the handbags I came home with. Each one treasured and will be enjoyed on many more trips in the future. There’s the Yangoods one, with her exotically beautiful face and background, of the temples of Bagan. Then there’s the woven fabric one, found in which helped me bear all the extra goods found on my journey – this bag will now remain in my suitcase as an extra helper. It helped me bring home the market basket I bought, and the bamboo helmet – reminiscent of days gone by in old Burma. Then there’s an “over the body bag’ with the sequinned sparkly motive of the Elephant, that found me at the Bagan airport. We saw so many of these very beautiful beaded, diamante sequined designs – on handbags sold at Monasteries, on fabrics sold at Palaces and markets.
My next highlight was drifting slowly down the Irrawaddy River on our River Cruise, from Bagan to Mandalay. Two nights of peace and comfort. Most pressing engagement..? Noting life as it has happened, and still happy to report it continues to happen the same today, as it did 200 years ago – washing clothes, washing children, carrying water, yoked oxen, teak logs being transported, fishermen in long boats and pottery being made and transported.
Inle Lake – Shan State – closer to the China boarder. The sound of the longboat engine purr, as the ‘Captain’ manoeuvres your longboat and you through the smoothest of water ways in Inle Lake Shan State.
All the while, your camera doesn’t stop snapping! We visited the Five Day floating markets brimmed full of excited buyers and shoppers. Shoppers, who have also travelled from far to buy or sell their still live fish, freshest of organic eggs, bananas, tea leaves, sharpen knives, or just sit and enjoy a cheroot and a catch up with a good friend again.
My visit to the Golden Palace Teak Monastery in Mandalay – known for its teak carvings – amazing photography was captured here, but then, the Temple we climbed up at sunset in Bagan, delivered an unbelievable memory!
The dry dusty heat, with the flood of Acacia trees and the thousands of temples in Bagan, lives on in my heart and my mind, as will the early morning swimming in the pristine swimming pools, no crowds of tourists, feeling very spoilt and treated very specially by each of our fabulous English speaking guides, who instilled in me, their love for their new First Lady. She’s a treasure – long live Aung San Suui Kyi and long remain unchanged, untouched, and uncluttered by tourist minds Myanmar.
I treasured my time I spent here, and look forward to visiting again in April, 2017. This time with a small group to share my joy and my treasures and hear my songs which I heard. Want to join me?.. firstname.lastname@example.org to put your name on the waiting list!