Myanmar, Thailand · 5 Days · 35 Moments · January 2018

Kerry's voyage in Myanmar

7 January 2018

And I’m finally home!
Don Mueang Airport does it again. In a taxi queue that’s at least 100 people long. Excellent.
Landed in Bangkok finally and now waiting 30 minutes in the line for immigration!
Lets end my journi with another 2 hour flight delay. Thank you Air Asia.
So here I am sipping my last morning green tea as I reflect on my journi. I feel so lucky that I can so easily spend 5 days in another country with such drastically different culture and lifestyle. I have learned so much and learned a great deal about these wonderful people that have not stopped smiling or trying to help me wherever I go. Here’s to the next adventure!

6 January 2018

Sunset at the U Bein Bridge.
Sunset beginning on the U Bein Bridge
Views walking along the U Bein Bridge.
Monastery number 5!
The Royal Watch Tower
Yes you guessed it, another Monastery. Number 4!
This was the third monastery I saw today. More info to come.
This was the second Monastery I visited. More info to follow.
Here is the first Monastery I visited. I will write more about it’s history when I get back from the sunset bridge.
I climbed the steps of the watch tower to get this view of the entire Palace complex. It was beautiful and so peaceful. You can see the surrounding mountains in the distance.
Here is the Royal Mandalay Palace. It housed the last Monarchy here in Myanmar before the British Invasion in 1885. The last two Kings of Myanmar were King Mindon and King Thibaw. The British military turned it into a base and looted many artefacts. Some are now on display in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The Palace complex was almost completely destroyed in WWII but was rebuilt in the 1990s with a combination of modern and traditional materials. There is still a museum on sight with some artefacts recovered from the time of the royals.
My morning walk took me along the Palace walls. It was a big, spacious road and Mandalay seems generally a lot more spread out. Loved the reflections in the moat.
Walked through a lovely food market on my way to the Palace.
My view from the rooftop breakfast at the hostel. I’m excited now to start my day.
A traditional Burmese breakfast today ready for a day of exploring. It’s positively chilly at 19 degrees!

5 January 2018

Due to a stressful day from travelling, I’ve decided to get an early night. Also a good idea as I know tomorrow will be filled with adventuring around Mandalay. I’m excited to see what this city has to offer.
After a lovely scenic bus ride, I have arrived at my hostel in Mandalay. The city seems to be surrounded by mountains and forest! Very beautiful. I’ve been given a mug of hot water and herbs as the hostel check me in.
We’re starting the day with a 2 hour flight delay. Luckily this airport has 2 shops and 1 cafe plus a KFC so there’s loads to do. Starting off with a latte and then going to spend some money on things I don’t need to pass the time.

4 January 2018

Had a nice evening. After the train journey (all 3 and a half hours of it) a Spanish girl named Raquel invited me for dinner. She had been traveling on the train too and had tried to save me from a group of giggling, local teenage boys who had surrounded me on the train. They were pretty harmless but it was nice of her to chat to me anyway. We found a nice restaurant called ‘The Promise’ and I had a pizza. We chatted about a lot of different things and had an interesting walk back to China Town. I stopped for a foot massage and now plan an early night ready to fly to Mandalay in the morning.
The circular railway is an amazing way to see the locals going about their every day lives. When you get out to the suburbs, you start to see more farms and villages.
I’m at the central train station about to ride the circular train to see local life. We needed to change platforms so everyone walks across the tracks! Not sure you’d see this at kings cross! Also, I love that they have ordinary class for economy!
Found this beautiful park called Bogyoke Park. Will try and come back here for sunset.
I have arrived at the Shwedagon Pagoda. The history and folklore surrounding it’s beginning is incredibly interesting. Here are some of my favourite facts: It was first created by two brothers who apparently had come to possess 8 of Buddha’s own hairs which they kept in a gold casket. When they returned to Burma, they opened the casket in the presence of the King at that time and miracles began to happen. They built the pagoda on the hill where the brothers were born and that it why iris here today. Many earthquakes have damaged the pagoda and many wars have seen it occupied and stolen by the Portuguese and British. It now stands at 99m high and the crown is made from 5448 diamonds and 2371 rubies. Two local girls from the university of Myanmar stopped to chat to me about my stay so far. Unfortunately I did not have much to tell them as I have only been here less than 24 hours! I look forward to what I will experience next.
I decided to walk to the pagoda today in order to do more people watching. The streets are crowded and full of life. I saw some roads closed off and locals having a game of football. I even got hit by the ball!
A simple but pleasant breakfast in the hostel this morning before my big day of adventure! I slept well last night in the top bunk and my cough seems a little bit better. My dorm seems full but I’ve almost seen no one else around! It’s so quiet. I heard a bell ring and a parade of monks just came walking past the front of the hostel ready to collect their offerings. That was a nice surprise and a good start to the day.

3 January 2018

Another interesting sight whilst walking back to the hostel. The neon lights along the main road caught my eye. This city is going to be wonderful for people watching! I’m back at the hostel ready to plan my day tomorrow as I have so much to try and fit in. Hopefully I will be rested enough and my cough will have lessened by tomorrow.
My first Burmese dish. Fried chicken with soup and rice from the recommended ‘Food Streat’ It was nice enough but too dry for my tastes! A good starting point for my food adventures though.
After settling into the hostel and a short nap, I went for a walk to find somewhere to eat. I was in for a shock! I was surprised by the lack of tourists and travellers there are here. The part of the city I am staying in, China Town, has the busy, crammed feeling of India and the same sort of smells, traffic and liveliness. There is lots of honking, women carrying things on their heads and men gathered in crowds chatting away. Lots of locals seem to sit in the pavements to socialise. The busy road junctions have pedestrians walk on a series of bridges to get to their desired side of the road. The streets are quite poorly lit so you have to be careful where you step!
Arrived at the Baobabed Hostel and it’s lovely so far. Staff are all very nice and welcoming. There’s Burmese food tasting at 6pm tonight which I will definitely be trying. My cough and sore throat still won’t shift so I’m about to have a little rest before I begin exploring the local area.
I have landed in Yangon in Myanmar and so far everything has gone very smoothly. Sat in a cafe ready to plan out my route to the hostel. I’m excited for my first day here!