So after Bangkok I went on to Myanmar where I spent the last two weeks doing everything but getting enough sleep hahaha. First off: It was an AWESOME, AMAZING, BREATHTAKING, EXCITING, WONDERFUL experience!! I couldn’t be happier right now, sitting on the floor of the airport in Mandalay waiting for my flight to Siem Reap and feeling my heart overflowing with love and joy whenever I think back on the time spent in this brilliant country.
I started off in Yangon which was a rather mediocre experience to be fair. The lack of a common area in the hostel made it rather difficult to meet people and the city was next level busy, noisy, dirty and hot. But whatever, I only planned to stay one day anyways and so I took the chance to go on the circular train that makes its way around the city in about three hours. The train ride was an interesting experience as it gave me an insight into the life of Burmese people, it was almost exclusively used by locals and passed through many different living areas of Yangon. It was also a sad experience at times when the train passed the trash-covered slums. Considering the low living standard of Myanmar and the very violent recent history of the country, I was and am even more stunned by the kindness, generosity and positive spirit of the locals and their resilience to hardships in life.
The following night I took the bus to Inle lake. After twelve hours of being exposed to Burmese music blasting out of the loudspeakers and a speeding driver that made us all fear for our lives I finally arrived in paradise! It was soooo nice to breathe in some fresh air again and escape the craziness of Asian cities. Even better, I was super lucky with the dates I chose for my travel as I arrived at Inle lake just in time for the annual pagoda festival where locals transport a pagoda across the river from one village to another, surrounded by colourfully decorated boats full of dancing and chanting monks. That really was a once in a lifetime experience for me, absolutely breathtaking. Also, the hostel I stayed at had its birthday which made for a great night full of dancing, laughing and playing silly games (that I won two times, yay!). Moreover, there was a yoga teacher staying at the hostel for a few days who offered free classes to the other guests and of course I took advantage of that whenever I could! So I enjoyed my stay to the fullest, going on boat trips, dancing through the night and blowing out birthday candles, trying to keep my balance during warrior 3 and making lots of awesome local and travelling friends along the way.
After Inle lake I travelled on to Bagan to see the countless pagodas and stupas scattered around the surrounding landscapes. I wasn’t disappointed (apart from there not being any hot air balloons due to a lack of wind, can’t have it all I guess…), the view during sunrise and sunset was breathtakingly beautiful and I was also super lucky with the weather as the sky was almost cloudlessly blue during all of my stay. Perfect to rent scooters and hop around on the dirt roads with the whole hostel gang looking at the pagodas and stupas up close. And after a day spent on dusty roads we all hopped into the pool, playing volleyball before we went out again for sunset. So again, not much sleep for me as I got up every day at 4AM to secure the best spot on one of the pagodas and hardly ever went to bed before 12PM, but hey, do it while you’re young, right? Also, who would want to miss out on the chance to be surrounded by so many cool people at once – gotta make the most of it! Needless to say, I spent very happy days in Bagan which will stay in my mind for a long time for sure!
From Bagan I went on to Mandalay. There was the possibility to see some ancient cities but I honestly was kinda over-templed by now hahaha so me and an Australian dude from the hostel decided to go on a daytrip to a nearby waterfall instead, which was a great decision! The waterfall itself was tiny but the water beneath it was wonderfully turquoise, clear and refreshing. We spent a few hours enjoying the peace and quiet as we were also the only people around (perks of travelling to a less discovered country, I bet a gem of a spot like this would be crowded in Thailand) and hiking up to different natural pools to swim in. After a few relaxing dips we took the tuktuk back into town where we got onto the 1.8km long wooden bridge crossing the Mandalay’s lake for sunset. It was a magical and fun day, the tuktuk driver had speaker boxes and we sang along to Britney Spears and Eminem all day while devouring sugar-glazed donuts in one bite. Then in the evening we joined the karaoke night on the hostel rooftop where I also met Alex and Philipp from the previous hostel again. They wanted to go on the bridge for sunrise the next day and who am I to pass on such an opportunity, so of course I joined. Yet another short night and yet another early morning, but let me tell you, that sunrise was out of this world! The whole sky was glowing in the brightest orange and red hues and we were all standing there smiling from ear to ear being happy as can be.
Wow, looking back on it and reflecting on everything that has been happening in these fourteen days I am even more grateful for having had such an incredible experience. Many travellers had the same route as me so we met again and again in different cities, they started to feel like family. The days were long, sunny and happy and the nights were short and sweet like honey, and I wouldn’t want to change a thing. The world holds so many wonders for me to explore and so many travelling companions to make memories with and I am beyond grateful to have the opportunity to live this life as it is right now. It couldn’t be any better ❤
And finally: Mandalay!
And just like that the time in Myanmar is over and so is this long ass blogpost haha sorry about that! There was just so much beauty and love I wanted to share with you I couldn’t help myself 😉 Now I’m sitting here, still at the airport and happy and excited to discover a new country, but also nostalgic and sad about leaving Myanmar and all of my new friends, but I’m positive that this hasn’t been the last time for me! Kisses xx hear from you soon ❤