So hot. SO hot. But worth it.
This trip was a bit of a “Hail Mary” if I’m being completely honest. When mom and I first talked about all the places we wanted to travel before I returned back to Canada, we included this country because it seemed mysterious & of course it was another one nearby us.
We kind of left our research too late because we were hung up on planning out our trip to Laos and Cambodia. We applied for our visa’s just before the weekend and I think about 5 minutes went by and we had our confirmation email from the government that our applications were accepted & we were allowed in the country.
So we skipped town that Sunday and jetted off to Yangon, the capital of Myanmar.
Like I said, this trip was a bit unplanned so we basically arrived to Yangon really early morning and realized this was going to be a friggen hot trip...
We spent the first day half asleep since we arrived so early in the morning. We had a quick little lay down in our hotel and after some research we decided to search for a vegetarian restaurant.
What we found about Yangon was that it was a bit tricky to get around… There wasn’t much in line of public transportation and it was too hot to walk so we had to take a taxi everywhere. With only a few minutes of being lost, we managed to finally find a vegan restaurant called Nourish Cafe. This place was a really cute little cafe that was connected to a yoga studio. Although we didn’t take any classes, we definitely tried the yummy food! We even went back a second time to get snacks.
After this, we found one of the new malls to enjoy some more air conditioning and to fill up some more time before we decided to go to one of the nicer hotels for a fancy buffet supper.
*Can you tell our trips revolve around eating?
We reserved our second day in Yangon for sight seeing. We headed off to the Shwedagon Pagoda. We saw online that there are tour guides on site that will ask if you’d like some information. So once we got there, a guy approached us and said it would only be $10 for an hour long tour.
Despite it being a very sunny and extremely hot day, we really enjoyed ourselves! Around the pagoda are statues of different animals corresponding to a day of the week and a buddha image behind the animal. Our guide let us look through a calendar he had so we could see what day of the week we were born on. I was born on a Tuesday. So as we rounded the pagoda, we got to the “Tuesday corner” which turned out to be a lion!
Our guide told us that people will come here, to their respective “corner” to pour water on their birthday animal and the buddha image with it. That is what I’m doing in the left photo. They do this so then they will be granted a wish. To finish this process, I struck a bell 3 times (not pictured). I guess it’s supposed to “lock in” your wish?
During our visit, I was stopped by a few strangers that asked to take a photo with me. This happened to me a lot in the Philippines and there would be some days where I just wasn’t in the mood. These people were just too sweet to turn down.
Later that day, mom and I hopped on our flight to Nyang U.
When we first got to our hotel in Nyang U, it was getting dark. After getting some directions to “Restaurant Street”, we found a place to get a BBQ supper! Luckily for us, our restaurant was one of few with a generator as there was a power outage for most of the day there! I wouldn’t have wanted to experience any lack of AC there… It was even hotter there than it was in Yangon!
We had reserved an eBike for sunrise the next morning!
We set off at about 5am to catch the 5:30am sunrise at one of the temples that I don’t know the name… You have to understand that Bagan is an archaeological site in which there are thousands of temples and pagoda scattered every which way. In the 11th and 13th century there was upwards of 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagoda’s and monasteries.
As you can see… There wasn’t really a sunrise because it was too cloudy. But it was still an amazing view of all the temples and pagodas scattered in the distance.
Afterwards, we drove around trying to find a restaurant… That we never did find. But we ended up at a different eatery and had some version of breakfast. In the same area, there were handicraft stores selling everything from paintings to tapestry. We went for a stroll to see if we could find anything unique.
We stumbled upon a really awesome store. This woman was so outgoing and kind. She had buddha images, animal figurines, paintings and I don’t even know what else. Her store was packed. Also, you know how when someone tries to speak a language that is not their first and they become shy once they realize you’re not entirely understanding them? This woman was not like that. My mom and I really regret not asking her name. She was showing us everything she thought we’d be interested in and trying to explain to us what it was or what it was made of. Her english was quite good, but it was pretty broken and I didn’t always understand what she said meant. But I had such an amazing time communicating with her. Mom found a beautiful painting that this woman’s husband had done and then I found myself an old Burmese tattoo needle… *heart eyes*
Don’t worry!! I’m not actually going to use it. Unless anyone wants a tetanus tattoo (hell no). But isn’t it beautiful?! Sorry for the subpar photos I just quickly took.
Our last evening, we found an amazing restaurant that is providing jobs for at risk youth. Here, the youth are able to learn english and develop job skills. One of the girls is working as a chef and hopes to open her own restaurant and help provide for her family… So inspiring. The food was delicious and we loved the fact that we were eating somewhere that is focused on creating a better life for the young local community.
Read more about it here: www.sanon-restaurant.org
So despite this trip which ended up to be a bit of gong show quite honestly… We made it to another country and back safely.
I got to share that gong show with my mama, which is all I could ever ask for.