My fears from my last post now seemed silly. They have Internet in Myanmar.
Myamar has been amazing. I’ve been to Mandalay, Bagan and now just killing time in Yangon before I leave for Kuala Lumpur. The people’s devotion to their faith is astounding — shiny, sparkling golden stupas everywhere. Don’t even get me started on Bagan; thousands of temples dot the horizon as far as the eye can see.
It’s not just the ancient temples that caught my attention. Yangon has a lot of colonial buildings. Gothic style cathedrals, brownstone buildings and Victorian houses are found throughout the city. Sadly, most are in a state of disrepair.
Traveling to other cities by bus isn’t as bad as was written in forums. The overnight buses were in good condition, with the air conditioning blasting out frigid air throughout the night. The 16-hour trip from Bagan to Yangon was cut to 11 hours thanks to the new highway. Exiting from the highway is a totally different story altogether. The road from Bagan was narrow and there aren’t any street lights. Driving was made even more interesting with right-hand side vehicles driving on the right side of the road.
Myanmar cuisine is not as exciting as Vietnamese or Thai, but it’s not so bad. Traditional Myanmar restaurant is something similar to a turo-turo (canteen). You go up to the counter and pick a dish that you want. They’ll serve you rice and a slew of side dishes and a bowl of broth. Last night’s dinner with the Pinoys I met at Shwedagon Paya was a lovely preview of what’s waiting for me back home: a soup reminiscent of sinigang (even comes with sliced radish!), a spicy dipping sauce made with bagoong isda, and a pork curry that can almost pass as adobo.
The Burmese are a friendly bunch, even when they’re not trying to sell you anything. They’re also very generous, even when they don’t have much.
I had a blast here. Yesterday, I was unusually friendly and ended up hanging out with a group of Filipinos who are just starting their Myanmar trip. It was great getting to converse in Filipino again and sharing stories from previous trips.
I haven’t even left and I’m already thinking of my trip back to the country. Bagan is just too beautiful of a place to easily forget. I can’t say if I’ll return next year or the year after next, but I’m definitely heading back.