Burma (Myanmar)

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma (which is the name I preferred along with most of its people), is one place lost in time. Seemingly protected, it stands on it’s own in its own time and place, moving along in it’s own parallel timeline. It was like traveling back in time, almost like Malaysia 50 years ago. My friend and I were saying we are going back to even before we were born, where else can we find such an experience?

The place for many pagodas and temples, you may find them in most obscure places like at the peak of a steeply high mountain or balancing precariously on piled up gigantic rocks or even deep inside the caves.

You’ll meet people that are not jaded with travelers, friendly, always smiling and ever so helpful. It is also one of the safest places I have ever traveled in, almost everyone is gentle in their own ways. Even the bustling market here is somewhat more subdue, there are a lot of talking and haggling but it is all done elegantly, there is no shouting or loud noises.

You will still see many people clad in their traditional clothing, longyi (cloth wrapped around the waists), be it young or old, man or woman. But there is one traditional habit that I am not particularly fond of is the men chewing betel nut rendering them to bare their red teeth at you when they grin. On the other hand, I find myself starting to appreciate the beauty of thanaka (powder from wood) painted on many of the women’s faces.

Ah Burma, the place to rough it out as they use to back in the ways, to meet people that are not molded by international media, to see grand temples and pagodas of bygone eras, and most of all, just to get lost again in somewhere sometime out of our current space and time. Yes, definitely a place we can call out of this world.

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