So, I’m about to head off on my own again for a one month trip to Myanmar. I’ve been to Myanmar once before but I only spent 9 days there, which just wasn’t enough time. Myanmar, or Burma as it used to be called, despite its troubled political climate, is the most stunningly beautiful country. The landscape is magnificent and untouched. The cities are full of British colonial architectural splendor, albeit a little crumbling and decrepit these days. Although I think this just adds to the charm. The temples are rivaled by none anywhere else in South east Asia. Visit the temples in Bagan and they make the Angkor Wat complex look like it was built by amateurs.
My Previous Itinerary:
Because I was only able to spend 9 days in Myanmar, I only got to visit Yangon (the capital city), Inle (home of the famous Inle Lake), and Bagan (which houses a million temples). Yangon has a rustic charm like I’ve never seen before. The British colonial buildings in the centre of the city and 4-5 stories high, with balconies and shutters. They are, quite literally, stunning. I’ve added one of my travel pics below. Bagan is quite literally overwhelming! Everyone has seen the iconic pictures of thousands and thousands of temple, some with gold golden minarets, but nothing really prepares you for how beautiful they really are until you see them in the flesh. Inle Lake is also spectacular and I chilled out in Inle for a good fews days, mostly due to a festival and Inle’s own vineyard. I was lucky enough to be in Inle during its Balloon Festival. During the festival local teams compete to build the best giant paper lantern. Each lantern is the size of a hot air balloon, is adorned with candles on the exterior and houses fireworks on its interior. Once the balloon floats up high into the night sky, the fireworks shoot out of it. It really is the most wonderful sight. I went to the festival on two occasion and on the second evening one of the ballons didn’t take into the air and the fireworks started shooting out into the crowd. I’m not sure how many people were hurt but I imagine the number was pretty high. There is definitely no health and safety in place at the Inle Balloon Festival. The Festival also has food stalls, bars and a couple of nightclubs. All temporary sructures, set up for the party goers. On the first evening, I got dragged into one of the nightclubs by some locals. They played Gangnam Style on repeat for the entire duration of my time in the club, approximately 45 minutes, so I imagine they played it all night. This was several years ago and Myanmar had not been exposed to western culture back then! There were also funfair rides at the festival but they were manpowered. I’ve never seen anything like it before, men jumping and pulling on a ferris wheel to make it spin!
This Time Around:
For my forthcoming trip to Myanmar I want to check out Mandalay and its surrounding countryside, as I’ve heard it’s meant to be stunningly beautiful. I also want to spend some time on the coast. The beaches in Myanmar are purported to be untouched and lined with white sand. I just did not have time to see them during my last trip. With a whole month in the country I am sure I will also pick up trips from fellow travellers who have been to amazing, less travelled places. I am so excited about going back to Myanmar!
I hate Backpacks:
Ok, granted, a backpack is hugely useful when you are jumping on and off trains and walking from a bus to a guesthouse but, let’s face it, most time travelling is spent on public transport or in a guesthouse. So having to carry the damn thing around the airport and on well-paved roads is just a nuisance. It’s also very difficult to find anything in a backpack because you have to pull everything out just to find something hiding away at the bottom! So, I am on the hunt for something that is in between a backpack and a suitcase that I can wheel or carry on my back. Something from here could work.
Finding good quality for a decent price:
What I really want is to find a secondhand backpack on wheels that is from a trusted brand and is high in quality. I’ve been having a look around on the internet and there is a brilliant site that links to other sites selling used items. It is called http://www.for-sale.co.uk/ and I have found some backpack suitcases that look to be in excellent condition.
I’m super excited about this trip. I’ll be back soon to update you on how it went. Bye for now my friends.