In the spring of 2014, Jaimie and I travelled to Myanmar (also known as Burma), and we left forever changed. There are almost no words to describe the magic of Myanmar, the absolute beauty of the lands, the modest but wonderful people, the rich cultural texture. Have you ever travelled somewhere that was, for the most part, untouched by the gross consumerism of North America? I hadn't until I went there. Can you imagine a place with no Starbucks? no McDonalds on every street corner, little to no wifi in most areas. I have travelled pretty extensively and can say that Myanmar, is one of those places that seems truly authentic. But it may not be for long. I really hope that in 10 years, it hasn't gone the same way as Thailand. I highly recommend going there now, if you are searching for somewhere a little off the beaten path.
We started in Yangon (which translates to "end of strife"), the largest city in Myanmar. There we explored, visited the famous Shwedagon pagoda and had a marriage blessing by buddhist monks, ate BBQ skewers on the streets in Chinatown and shopped for longyis (popular Burmese garment worn around the waist) in the local market. A day later we packed up and headed to Bagan, an important historical site in Myanmar which is home to over 2000 temples and stupas packed into a condensed area. Sunrise in Bagan was one of the most breathtaking scenes I have ever witnessed. Life there is quiet and peaceful. The people are welcoming and kind, always offering you food and tea even though they have little to spare. Jaimie and I were lucky enough to meet many locals and speak to them through the help of a guide.
One of the destinations that I have been lucky enough to experience, I will forever hold Myanmar in my heart.
I couldn't fit all of our Myanmar travels in only one post, and I will be posting the second half of our trip very soon! Click on the picture below to see the whole gallery.