In Ya Face

Yangon and Mingaladon, Myanmar

June 1 – 2, 2018

Yangon was an afterthought in my Myanmar itinerary. If not for the gloriously golden Shwedagon Pagoda, the former capital couldn’t rival the historical treasures of Bagan and Mandalay. As an urban center, it fell behind the popularity of other cities in Indochina. So what made me sit through an eight-hour overnight bus ride from Central Myanmar to Yangon? Simply because it had Shwedagon. In that quick visit, Yangon managed to charm my ignorant judgment away.

Continue reading “In Ya Face”

A Brother and a Thousand Monks

Mandalay and Yangon, Myanmar

May 29 and June 1, 2018

Jo and I stopped by Mahagandhayon Monastery in Amarapura, former royal capital, to watch monks line up for lunch. The experience was strangely calming. At 10:30 AM, the novices were being served what would be their last meal of the day. Hundreds, if not a thousand, of young monks, some still children, bearing black bowls formed snaking lines under tall tamarind trees in utter silence. They were mostly oblivious to the handful of tourists like me at the sidewalk taking their photos.

Continue reading “A Brother and a Thousand Monks”

Myanmar Digs

Mandalay / Bagan / Yangon, Myanmar

May 28 – June 2, 2018

A midnight arrival in a foreign city left no elbow room for screw-ups. Six hours after setting off from Mandalay, the bus conductor assured us of a hotel drop-off. We heaved a sigh of relief and gratitude as it was a dark and rainy night in Bagan. The short but muddy walk from the gate to the lobby was the end of our long journey. Or so we thought. The lone receptionist at Amata Garden Resort could not find our reservation. A mistake was soon made clear. We were supposed to be at Ananta Bagan. Ananta, not Amata.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Ananta Bagan @ Old Bagan

Continue reading “Myanmar Digs”

The Gold Standard

Yangon, Myanmar

June 1, 2018

My own sojourn in Rangoon was countable by hours, so I may be forgiven when I pranced with impatience at the bottom of the staircase….

Rudyard Kipling

The words of Rudyard Kipling could not ring any truer. Given less than 48 hours in the city, I only had this day to visit the spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda, and I could not find my Myanmar friend, Justin, at our appointed meeting place at the foot of the southern staircase. I did prance, scooting from the guarded gate to a few flights up the stairs.

Continue reading “The Gold Standard”

Wearing Tradition in Myanmar

Mandalay / Bagan / Yangon, Myanmar

May 28 – June 2, 2018

I was ready for my close-up. My friend Jo summoned me out to the courtyard at Ananta Bagan for my facial sesh with the hotel staff who came bearing a whetstone dish called kyauk pyin on which she proceeded to grind the bark off a chunk of wood. The resulting powder mixed with a bit of water produced a yellow paste – Myanmar make-up called thanaka – which she applied on my cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead with quick finger strokes.

Continue reading “Wearing Tradition in Myanmar”

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑