Burma

Welcome to Burma, land of smiles and adventure

 
There are countries where you expect everything but what you get when you arrive: smiles, kindness and friendliness that is hard to quantify. Already. Then come temples by the thousands so bright in the setting sun suspended in the mist that they impose silence. Burma leaves you stunned, shaken, literally drunk with joy and energy.

So many adventures have happened to me there that the 28 days of the visa went by at a dizzying speed. No time to catch your breath, each day bringing its surprises, its discoveries and an enchantment that I have known little in other countries.

မင်္ဂလာပါ။ ကျွန်ုပ်၏အမည်မှာခရစ်စတင်းဖြစ်ပါသည်။ ကျွန်ုပ်သည်ပြင်သစ်လူမျိုး ဖြစ်၍ သင့်ကိုတွေ့ရတာဝမ်းသာပါသည်။ Hi Burma!

Ming-gah-lah-bahr ! kyawanoteeat aamaimhar hkarait hc tainn hpyitparsai . kyawanotesai pyinsaitluumyoe hpyit sang ko twaeratar wamsar parsai 

Burma often occupies a special place in the hearts of travellers

 
Today it has become more open to tourists, but returning explorers often speak of it with warmth and emotion. So it hasn’t changed too much and that’s good.
Was it because I was travelling alone? Was it because the country was beginning to open up to foreign visitors? Still today, when I think of that travel, I remember especially the encounters with the Burmese people. They offered me not only their good mood, but also their warmth and their smiles. 
 

This country is the real adventure, the one that enchants a trip for the long term, the one that changes us

 
From the chaotic Rangoon in turmoil to Myitkyina at war, in the middle are mountains and plains filled with golden statues. 
Burma offers silent temples, 1000 sitting and well-behaved Buddhas, golden rocks in balance and that’s when it’s not moving. 
One can also throw oneself into 30-hour journeys in dusty trains that the bravest try to catch on the move and where the light signals are still lantern-lit. It’s something to be shaken, tossed into this steel monster that sinks into the ink night and see the day rise over the fluorescent green of rice fields. 
And when it’s party time, Burma does not stand still. Thousands of Burmese, music everywhere, hundreds of ladyboys perched on party floats throwing handful of kyats (the local money) , candy and cookies at the Taungbyon Nat Festival. You sleep, dance, eat and it goes on for days.
One thing is sure, Burma cannot leave any traveller indifferent.

Burma is the land of monks, if you feel like it, it’s time to try a Vipassana retreat

 
In this very religious country, you can make a retreat and try Vipassana meditation. Difficult choice because there are so many things to see there that you will have to sacrifice the hours, the days of exploration of this fabulous country for silence and emptiness. But if the experience inspires you, Mawlamyine is one of the best places in the world to learn about inner peace.
 

Burma is green, pink, ruby, gold and blue

 
Perfect faces with high cheekbones made-up with Thanaka make-up and silky longyis in bright, shimmering colours, this country is multicoloured. One must imagine the rice fields in intense green, fluorescent, the naked changing between cobalt and turquoise, the golden pagodas, the coloured fruits, the monks’ robes in this gradation which goes from scarlet to orange and the blue, deep blue sky.
 

Burma can be sung, breathed and tasted. The idea that one makes of it can only be right if one visits it in person 

 
The never-ending walks to the top of the mountain, the sacred statues staring you in the eyes, the monks with shaved heads praying. That alone will take your breath away.
The haughty women carrying their trays of watermelons and delicate fruit on their heads. Squeaky bikes, jolting buses, squealing horses, jumping trains, carts and their sturdy donkeys, football matches…
You have to taste everything that falls under your fork in front of the famous Burmese buffet and also everything else. Saffron rice, mohinga fish soup, curry, kebabs and all those things with unpronounceable names but whose taste remains unforgettable.
 

Burma is stunning with flavours, colours, small and big pleasures that you can keep for a long time in your heart

 

I would need so many words to tell you about this country, but they would not be enough, strong enough or vivid enough. It would take songs, squeaks, roars, screams, breath, whispers and bursts of laughter that you cannot hear.
 

ပ်ကျေးဇူးတင်ပါတယ်၊ ကျေးဇူးပါ၊ မကြာမီပြန်လာပါ
kyaayyjuutainpartaal , kyaayyjuupar , makyaarme pyanlar par ! 

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Next travel: Let's enjoy China!

A few surprises await the traveller: the Chinese no longer pedal on their bikes, they don’t eat more rice there than elsewhere but one thing is sure: the Chinese are surprising!