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
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
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…

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


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
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

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

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:)

two days in bagan: day one

we had been told of bagan sunrises so we set off early morning
on our bikes except it was drizzling and a sunrise was nowhere in sight

despite an uneventful but beautiful morning
we got back for breakfast and got some journaling done

it was a rainy day but we biked to the mani-situ market
which was full of life and energy as we bargained for souvenirs
bought a pirated George Orwell book enjoyed a scrumptous Burmese lunch

and when you get out of the market and walk around a bit
you see the version of irrawaddy like the calm before the storm

after that we stepped into a trendy “friends cafe” for coffee
and saw a painting of aung san sui ki along with other paintings

a part of me have been wanting to find out how Burmese people
feel about her with recent rohngiya crisis and international criticism
it was nice to see her still revered and find room in a painter’s imagination

the remaining afternoon was spent temple hopping
and these archaeological structures tell so much of the
history, religion and environment of the people of Burma

they have also found humor in attracting tourists
as this particular sign read ‘leaning pagoda of pisa’
to tell of a tilted pagoda that was definitely in need of repair

Irrawady River Cruise

We got on our boat
before the break of dawn
as the orange sunrise welcomed us

across -the sun kissed pagodas
shone in its glory and glistened

we soon crossed the irrawaddy bridge
our next stop was at the pottery village of yandabo
the place where the first Anglo-Burmese treaty was signed

the village had some cool children
who lived life in their own terms felt like

we went back on our boat
supported by this thin plank…

the better part of the afternoon
went on watching the other boats
and the coals they were transporting

the final hour on the cruise was breathtaking
as little white clouds exploded in the crisp blue sky.

two days in mandalay: day 2

for the second day in mandalay
we booked a one day tour for $18
and that was probably a good plan coz
we got to see a lot of things in just one day

first, we went to the myanmar handicraft workshop
where artisans were busy working on intricate designs
apparently much of their handicraft is exported to China.

then we went to u bein bridge because our guide said
that it would be crowded later and the next monastery was nearby
but instead of crossing the bridge we hung out with the fisherman below

indeed the next stop was at mahagandayon monastery, amarapura
where tourists line up on two sides of the road to see Buddhist monks
get in line for their lunch. i didn’t quite enjoy this spectacle but the chinese
tourists at least brought some crackers, candies and eatables to give to them

then we went to see the weaving industry & shop
i like how they promote local artisans and weavers
it makes you want to buy their work just by seeing it

then we had to catch a boat to the ancient city of ava

at ava, they took us from one temple to another in these bullock carts
and this would be the beginning of our pagoda hopping exercise in myanmar

for sunset we went back to the u bein bridge
and there were lots of people but hardly a sunset
nonetheless, this teak bridge is iconic since it appeared
in the cover of Amitav Ghosh’s famous novel The Glass Palace

and the best street food discovery for Day 2 in mandalay
was this awesome combination of ice-cream and coconut flesh…