2019 Recap

Ten days into 2020
and the new year has not
been a happy wonderful start

all over the planet, there is chaos
and i am just crawling out of 2019

to be honest, last year was amazing
and before i begin 2020, i need to recap…

because last year was when i hopped continents,
climbed machu pichu -lost all my pictures and
cartwheeled in salar de uyuni, although
read less books than usual, but
managed to learn so much,
i am still hungover…

2020 is going to be slow -a little break from travels
but i shall blog more often, even late posts
perhaps read more, write more and
hope 2020 gets better as it rolls.
IMG_0942
photo by kalzangmarpo

so much to do in yangoon

located in the centre of the city
we headed to bogyoke aung san market
aungasnmarket

as usual they’ve got the fresh juice
interesting store names and good food

nearby, was the holy trinity church
apparently a popular tourist attraction

we then walked by movie theatres, mosques
and browsed through alleys and shops in yangon

one of the must visits (if you are an indian)
is the tomb of the last mughal emperor of india
bahadur shah zafar who was sent to exile in rangon
and never got to return to his country… (yep, thats the brits)

overall, a wonderful city with
so much history and character
it is a must for any offbeat traveler

ngwe saung beach, Myanmar

ngwe saung beach is about four-hours
from the bustling-capital city of yangoon

while it is still trying to make its mark as a beach town
its long silver beach and the many activities in the beach
is a sure indicator that it is becoming a popular destination

mornings by the beach was a happy place to be
where people enjoyed a stroll, a swim or some tube-fun
there were girlfriends on vacay and boys playing football

one attraction at the beach was a burmese mermaid
i loved how it looked so local and not hollywood at all
NgweSaungMermaid
another interesting thing I learned/ saw was something called ‘tambolo’
– the refraction and diffraction of waves apparently, technically speaking;
but for me it was that point where waves from two directions came
crashing and gave joy to the onlookers and visitors like me
tambola
but as always, the beach comes alive in the evenings
when the golden sun goes down the horizon
and leaves us speechless with its many
moods and emotions…
ngwesaungsunset

and then there is that ‘bounce’
when you wait a little longer
after the sun goes down
and magic happens!
tambola5NgweSaung0

nyaung shwe cultural museum

nyaung shwe cultural museum
is like an old rich man’s mansion

 

nyaung shwe museum5

indeed when you enter inside
you have to take off your shoes
and walk in the wooden teak planks
sadly photography was prohibited inside the museum
but there were clear signs of the glorious Burmese days

 

this canon looked impressive but their govt. needs to
take proactive measures to preserve and renovate the same

but in case one is waiting for the evening bus to another town
and has time to spare, nyaung shwe cultural museum is a must visit.

after the museum visit

 

we feasted on fish again
this time we got pumpkin
soup and watermelon too…

intha fishermen and other attractions in inle lake

inle lake is the absolute best thing in myanmar
and if you are skeptical about boat tours in that lake
you are wrong/ just get on one of them and enjoy your day
inthafisherman1inthafisherman0
our first stop in the tour was a visit to the intha fishermen
who were ready for the new day with traditional fishing nets
and traditional attires showing off their special leg rowing skills

these acrobatic fishermen have been criticised for posing for tourists
but what is it they say about if you got it flaunt it, and make some money

and one of the intha fishermen approached us for the tip for his ‘pose’
(which wasn’t that much), he smiled and shook hands and rowed away

these guys might seem like posers
but the leg rowing fishermen
is not a lie, we found a few
out and about the lake…

the next stop in the tour was at the silver workshop
i had no idea about silver stones from the hills of myanmar
and the processing that goes to make silver and its intricate designs

out in the lake
was a lady in a boat
selling pretty pink lotuses

we passed through floating pagodas
and saw its golden reflections on the lake
floatingpagoda

next stop was a visit to the Kayan women
who wear stacks of rings around their long necks


it was a little disturbing that they just sat there
as tourist attractions or show pieces for people
to come and take pictures of their ‘unique’ style
(i am guilty of that too…)

one important discovery was how they make fabric out of lotus
they cut the stems of the plant and pull the fibres and put it together
and weave them to make cloth which is often mixed with silk and cotton
it looked like a tedious process but the women were patiently working at it

their workstation was beautiful
and the natural dye to their fabric
looked sustainable and commendable

the boat ride is surreal as we move around the lake
because when the water is still, you can’t differentiate
between the sky and the lake…

there was one last stop before lunch
which was very fascinating and inspiring
they also make different flavoured cigarettes

of course these are locally made and for most of the time
it is the mother of the house working hard to prepare the same
local cigarette

lunch is always a treat in this country and
it didn’t disappoint the day at the lake either
lunch

on our way back, we visited the floating gardens
which felt somewhere between the heavens and the waters
floating garden2floating garden

buses in burma 🇲🇲

buses in burma
are the best means
of transport if you want
to travel across the countrybusbusmn1it is comfortable, colourful
and full of pop culture references

from latest action movies to
one’s favorite Disney character
it is actually a piece of art in itself

so if you are in myanmar
these buses are the way to go:)