my 2nd day in Burma! hi everyone, since many webpages are blocked here due to political reasons (and so is my blogwebsite, thanks!) I will be writing on facebook. The trip was quite adventerous already (long delay in Doha, almost missed the plane in Bangkok, and of course my luggage preferred a longer stay in Bangkok airport than I did:)) but in the end I got here and my luggade did 10hours later too. The first impression, driving from the airport to the guesthouse, was already amazing. No tourists on the way, all people buzzing around in the streets, colourful street stalls where people literally sell EVERYthing thre is (never saw people biking with 20 still living chickens being tied togetheron their feet and then upside down onto the handles of the bike..so when I got to the guesthouse Ialready got a warm and freindly welcome from 5 lively women who make sue that guest get everything they need. most guesthousesh here also act as “travel agents” and they organize everything backpackers need. So I made my way to 2 pagodas via taxi (in my warm shos, long pants and longsleeved shirt!). Amazing, agai maybe max 4 tourists during the afternoon. And people look at you, stare at you or giggle at you as if they just saw E.T.!:) I enjoyed seeing a 75 metre long reclining beautiful buddha in one of the pagodas and then walked to another one nearby, where a huge sitting golden buddha was housed, with amazing wooden carven artwork details. As I was out on my way I met a young local and a monk who instantly stopped and started chatting with me. They were very curious and soon asked me if I wanted to visit the monastery soon. Of course I said yes and ended up spending 2 hours with them, learning a lot about buddhism, the old monastery, about the lives of monks and nunns, I played badminton with a 7 year old nun, visited monks studying and living rooms and houses and had a few cupsof tee with monks and nuns (and tons of cats) in the nunnery. What more can you ask for? this is the great thing about BUrma (which I have heard from so many people who have been to this place before): people are open, friendly, and they like you to share stories with them – and you get to experience their culture in a very authentic and private way!With a big smile on my face I got back to the little guesthouse and sat down on the porch where the backpackers all shared tables and a lot of exciting travelling stories. THat is also the beauty of staying in cheap, little guesthouses: you meet interesting peopleand get to know each other right away. I even got my luggage in the evening and happily jumped into my flipflops after having had steaming hot feet all day, had veggies with noodles and then fell into a deep 12 hour sleep. Today I am off to a local marked which also functions as a black market for changing money into local currency and latre on I will be heading to Shwedagon Pagoda, THE highlight here in Yangon – an incredibly beatiful and big Pagoda. so Iam off now, will be back with more stories tonight maybe (if the internt is a bit faster than Olaf die Schnecke:))
hi everybody! so I just got back from another long day in Yangon – and yet I had another great day with soooo much to see and experience! first I started out with a walk towards downtown, which took me instead of the suppposed 20 minutes about 1 hour, because I didntknow where to look first! so much life going on in the streets, and once again I was the ONLY tourist on the street. everybody looks at you as if you are the first foreigner they have ever seen..a very unknown feeling! I aw food stalls offering interesting looking and smelling food, I saw puppies being sold in boxes, saw people reading and sleeping on the streets in the shade (1 minute after you go out of the guesthouse you are totally sweaty!) and tons of schoolkids smiling and giggling at you, screaming HEEELLO!
I walked to a 2000 year old pagoda which is in the middle of Yangons busiest roundabout and listened to the people singing prayers and meditating. A young student chatted me up (they are very keen to practice English and ask you many many quesions about your country and what you think about Burma) and taught me many things about Buddhism. we then walked to an area where very poor people gather to eat food (about 10 cent for street food, not recommended for the tummies of tourists though!)..
I got to change my money finally -very strange procedure indeed (and I have NEVER walked around with plastic bags full of cash!) and then I headed off to the highlight of Zangon. THe Shwedagon pagoda.
For the FIRST time of my life the saying “it took my breath away and made me cry” came true. As I walked up the stairs and first saw the big plateau with its countless golden pagodas I started crying and couldnt beliee the beauty of the place. I spent 4 hours there until it was dark, and it is undescribable how amazing this place is. cant wait to upload photos when I am back home (not going to happen here with the internet connection).
hotmail and many other websites are blocked by governmnt, but a smart guy showed me a way around, so now I got to access this website but I dont know if I will be able to access it again.. but facebook for sure!! so long, off to Bagan and its thousands of temples tomorrow.!! big hug from hot Burma!!xoxoxo brita