“Asia, to me, doesn’t feel like a continent. It feels like a heartbeat whose reverberations change as you travel from country to country, city to city.” was my opening line in a small piece I recently did for a travel website. Since it was about the same country I am writing this about, I thought it befitting to start with the same.
If you have travelled anywhere in Asia, you have been accosted by either gaudy hand painted signs, flashing neon temple spires, noisy street vendors, hooting motorists and the ever present policemen (or women) or shopkeeper who only wants you to come in for ‘just a look.’ Or all of them at once. The scenes are a copy/paste from Bangkok to Mumbai and Coimbatore to Kuala Lumpur; just like the saying goes, everything is “same same, but different!”
Tucked away between India and China, Myanmar had never been a major blip on my travel radar. 2015 was a busy work year for both my wife and I, and a vacation was not on the charts. December came abruptly and I closed for Christmas on the 12th, whereas my wife was still at work. Sitting at home alone with nothing to do, the wanderlust bit me hard. I had been discussing Myanmar with Harpreet (one of the most well travelled bloggers out of Kenya) earlier in the year, and it came back to mind – but I only had 10 days of travel.
I got in touch with the travel agent in Yangon she had shared and booked a straight off-the-shelf tourist package but with a couple of tweaks. We set off on the 21st of December with the hope of celebrating my birthday on Christmas day in Bagan. Here are some of the glimpses from our journey.
In our ten day trip, we saw Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan and Inle. In the short time we spent exploring Myanmar, I can safely say I lost my heart on the noisy streets of Mandalay, but found my soul floating above the temples of Bagan.
Have you ever had a last-minute trip that turned out to be way more spectacular than you expected? Share your thoughts below.