Category: Myanmar (Burma)
|April 18, 2015||Filed under Hpa-An, Myanmar (Burma)||
Dusk was approaching; mosquitoes were coming out; we were tired. It had been a long, hot day of bumpy tuk-tuk rides and visual overload. We sat staring at a ragged gash in the mountainside.
Twenty minutes passed, then thirty. “And what are we waiting for?” someone quipped. A few black hawks appeared over the river nearby, circling as they rode the gentle breezes. They too were waiting. Then it started. (more…)
|March 29, 2015||Filed under Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)||
“I’m stupa’d out!” bemoaned a fellow tourist weary from temple-hopping since dawn. “They all look alike now.” Although I did not feel the same, I smiled as we drank our Myanmar beer — served with ice — and commiserated about the heat and dust.
Ever since my earliest trips, I have avoided sightseeing burnout each day by: (1) choosing just one or two “must see” sights or activities; (2) getting off busy roads; (3) enjoying a good meal; (4) taking a siesta; (5) getting some exercise; and last but not least, (6) embracing serendipity. In Bagan, this formula served me well during my extended 5-day stay. (more…)
|March 15, 2015||Filed under Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)||
If there were ever a place to wake up at dawn, it is in Bagan. Words really can’t describe the sublime atmosphere of the sun rising over the landscape dotted with thousands of temples, stupas and monastic structures.
Located in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar (Burma), Bagan dates back to the 9th century when it was the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan. The rulers erected over 10,000 Buddhist buildings and monuments, about 2,200 of which survive and many are still places of worship. Today, the primary tourist area is flanked by the towns of Nyaung-U, Old Bagan and New Bagan. (more…)
|March 1, 2015||Filed under Myanmar (Burma), Yangon|
With the gradual introduction of political reforms, the release from house arrest of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in 2010, and the lifting of Western sanctions starting in 2012, foreign investment and tourists are returning again to Yangon, even though the city is no longer the capital of Myanmar.
New cars, mobile phones, Internet access, etc. are all now available in Yangon. However, local infrastructure can barely meet the capacity demands: hotel prices are high; traffic is gridlocked; Internet is slow. Even as new condominiums, offices and hotels rise, many historic buildings remain neglected. New Asian and Western eateries are gaining traction but luckily traditional street vendors, restaurants and teahouses remain. (more…)