Hello friends and family! Apologies for the radio silence. We have recently just returned to home base in Bangkok after two, wonderful weeks exploring Burma where we had virtually no internet connection. Despite having an allergic reaction to mosquito bites on my face (Mitch calls me either “Cyclops” or “Two-Face”), I am loving being back in Bangkok. More on Bangkok Round 2 later.
For now, I’d love to catch everyone up on our Burmese adventures.
Mitch and I debated whether or not to add Burma to our itinerary, and we are so glad we ended up going.
Despite its tumultuous political history, the people of Burma remain positive and wonderfully hospitable and friendly. So far, it is still generally new to tourism, and people still stop to check out the curious western dude walking with me and ask where we are from. Children love to wave and shout, “Hel-LO!” This is generally followed by a lot of giggling because anytime the kids speak English, they think it is just so funny. Everyone is so accommodating, welcoming, and kind. I cut my toe pretty badly walking through a temple (no shoes allowed), and one of our hotel staff sat down, gently cleaned the wound, and bandaged it despite my protests. Over and over, Mitch and I were greeted with nothing but kindness despite being tourists, and we were so grateful.
Even though Burma has recently opened up to tourism, there are a lot of areas where foreigners are not allowed. Therefore, most people stick to the two major sites: the breathtaking temples of Bagan and the serene waters of Inle Lake. It’s pretty easy to get caught up in the tourist trail, but if you give yourself time, you can get a peek behind the curtains. We only spent about two and a half weeks in Burma, but we definitely felt like we were able to get glimpse of life off the beaten path.
Instead of describing our trip day by day, I’ll consolidate our two weeks into four, big posts, one for each major area we visited: Yangon, Bagan, Inle Lake, and Mandalay. Additionally, since Burma is relatively new to tourism, I’ll try organize each post into more useful “to do” lists (as opposed to personal narrative) in case anyone plans a trip to this magical country soon. The Bagan post will probably consist of a giant post of photos because the only thing we did there was visit temples 🙂
Let’s get started with our day and a half in Yangon!