The country of Myanmar, or Burma as the British called it, has been in the news for political reasons, but most people don’t know anything about its splendid cultural heritage. We went there when it was controversial to visit because some people viewed tourism as a support to the military dictatorship. In reality, tourism was and still is a way for ordinary people to make a living and their exposure to the “west” can only help.
Bagan is an ancient city (located in the center of the country) which is both changed and unchanged from its golden past. If you have a good imagination, Bagan is more interesting than a tour of palaces and temples that still have their golden domes. Take a walk with me through the fields and enjoy! I’m also including some sketches and a few etchings from the site. At the end of the blog, I’ll show you a few temples that don’t need your brain to finish the picture.
Please leave a comment. It gets lonely here!
Above is the overview of one area of Bagan.
There I am, before climbing to the top. Fortunately, I’m wearing shoes. This wasn’t to last. In Myanmar, you can’t go into any temple or even the courtyard wearing shoes OR socks. I was there in winter and the temperature was in the 50s. Because I’m a wimp, I cut out moleskin and stuck the pieces on the soles of my feet. It was still cold!!!
Now for a ride to Yangon. Here’s one that’s all shiny and bustling with people.
The woman is pouring holy water on the head of the statue. This will grant her wishes or give her good luck. It’s also good luck to rub your hand on one of the many designated statues around the country and it’s said to be even better to buy a piece of gold leaf (thinner than normal paper) and transfer this on to a shrine.
I have more photos to share, some of the more mundane aspects of life in Myanmar, but I will save those for another time.
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