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7 Reasons why Myanmar/Burma is your next country to visit

1. All the pagodas that will definitely blow your mind

Pagodas in Myanmar are very fascinating but sometimes can be the weirdest designs. A pagoda can be on the hill, in the middle of a lake, or on a golden rock. Some of them allow you to climb to the top for the panoramic view, especially in Bagan, the walled city.
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Golden Rock, Kyaiktiyo

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Water Pagoda (pagoda surrounded by water on an island) in Thanlyin

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Panoramic view from the top of a pagoda in Bagan

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Sandamuni Pagoda, Mandalay

2. The food may look aweful but they taste like heaven

They usually have noodles of different types, sticky, flat, or with soup. Or another traditional meal would be plain rice with a main dish (pork, beef or chicken), plus several side dishes.

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The famous and delicious Shan noodle

 

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Beef curry with vegetable side dishes
3. Go out to meet the local people

Burmese people smile a lot and know how to relax. Learning basic local language and trying it on them will get a big smile back.

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4. Nature

Myanmar, aside from all the religious spots, has tons of natural places for you to explore. From Inle Lake in the north east, to the caves of Pyin Oo Lwin, till the hiking trail up to Golden Rock in the south near Rangoon. Even during the raining season, the view is still breathtaking.

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Inle lake

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Maing Thauk village

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Exactly what you will see on the way from Nyaungshwe to Maing Thauk village by bike


5. Bizarre traditions

Most of the males wear longyi, a traditional wearing as their pants. Women usually put on the natural sunblock on their face, which is a kind of powders made from truck juice mixed with water (some men also use it). And once you get to the streets, lots of women put a huge bucket of merchants on their head, on the top of a wrapped towel.

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Thanaka is a natural sunscreen females would put on their faces

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Long neck women in Nyaungshwe

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Mandalay


6.
 The way they live their lives is unique and chilled

Burmese people have a special way of living. It’s very relaxed that at one point you almost forget about how the big city life is like. You just discover life from a new perspective every single day from their novelty in this country.

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How fishing looks like in most lakes of Burma

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University students in Yangon

 

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Red mountain, Nyaungshwe

7. The amazing sunset

Sunsets in Myanmar are one of the highlights. It may be cloudy, but it will never go wrong. Pick a good spot, set up your tripod, and just sit and chill until the sunset comes.

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U Bein Bridge, Mandalay

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Bagan

 


New facebook page

Hello guys I’ve created a FB page (facebook.com/DeInpiraciones)
This is mainly for my trips next week in Southeast Asia – Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia
I’ve got my GoPro recently so you can expect some great pictures coming :)
I update both FB page and WordPress. I also write it in Spanish to force myself to keep learning it.

I hope you find my stories, thoughts and pictures interesting! Life is beautiful!

 


So you’ve been to Thailand, but…

I’m sure you’ve experienced how crazy good the food and nightlife are in Thailand, probably in Bangkok or Chiangmai. But here is the second capital of Thailand, with everything you expected of Thailand, elephants, golden temples or even headless buddhas, all packed in a city. Not that big, but big enough for a one-day biking trip. You can get the ticket at Bangkok Central Railway Station. After the 3 hour train ride, make sure you get a map from Ayutthaya station. Now rent a bike and you’re ready to go! :)

A few things to note:

  • Ayutthaya is not so touristy and the train ride is an absolutely local experience
  • You may not meet many tourists there but elephants you will see a lot (but the ride is for around 100USD)
  • Greet the cute local dogs!
  • You can read the history of why most buddhas were beheaded outside the ruins (the reason was the Burma-Thai religious war)
  • Always take the stairs to the top when you enter the temple. It gives you amazing views!
  • The floating market was hard to find and I ended up in the elephant garden
  • On the way back you can go to the pier, put your bike on the boat, and have the way back across the river :)

 

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Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it!

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This pretty much sums up my source of happiness. Always question what makes you happy and what doesn’t. It is easy to get caught in a paranoid net. Every decision comes with problems. But you can’t let them stop you. Knowing the difficulties but still sticking to what you’ve been dreaming of is where your soul and spirit lie.
Always swim against. Only the dead fish go with the flow.


Life’s too short to even care at all

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What is your motivation? Whatever it is, hold on to it.
You won’t get there tomorrow. Not the day after tomorrow. But eventually, you will.

Don’t lose faith. What is worth will at the end worth the whole while. 

Insecurity is never anyone’s friend.

Para buscar tu motivacion es mas importante del todo.

(Backpacking trip to 100 Islands coming up soon. Stay tuned!)


Sueños son mis motivaciónes

Buscas lo que tu quieres, no que el gente te dicen.
Las dificutades son nada cuando piensas en la vida con no sueños.

“Si lo puedes soñar, lo puedes lograr.”

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en Manila, Filipinas

Why Hong Kong people are getting rotten

This is a 70s story that tells you how Hong Kong people’s value has drastically changed.

 

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Taken from Tsim Sha Tsui (2013)

Hong Kong stepped up its game for the past decades. 10 fingers couldn’t count all the city establishments here that stand at the top of the world. Economy, education, traffic, social facility…. I live in HK and I have everything, everything at hand.

HK was ranked the best city by The Economist. It’s among the top 10 of the most touristy cities in the world. Most subjects from our universities hit the top 10 worldwide.

But this is absolutely not the end of the story.

Hong Kong is also known as “the city of protest”, for the over 1,000 protests/assemblies that took place here last year, a data from Amnesty International. You ask anyone in HK, he will tell you how much the government sucks. He tells you how lame and useless our policies are. Conspiracy runs wild.

Demonstrations can mean two things. One. The city’s really fucked up. That’s why people go to the street to make sure their complaints are well heard. Or. The city’s fine and actually satisfactory compared to other parts of the world. But the people in it are still not satisfied. The problem now is different. They will never get satisfied.

I’ve been noticing in this big city, Hong Kong people’s value has constantly changed throughout the recent years. It’s not about how worse the government has become, but because everyone has been recognised the citizen from the best city. They become greedy and hungry. They’re hungry for more. Look at the news. Even a very little mistake happened, they got crazy and filed complaints, with a lot of conspiracy accusations.

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Taken from The University of Hong Kong (2013)

I’d end here with a 70s story, a story I found in Metropolis Daily. I translated it to English in the following. As much as I’d love to tell the change in the HK people’s value, and how they abused their claimed rights and made a whole big drama out of a small incident. This story speaks for itself.

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上世紀70年代,香港人很熱衷赴菲律賓旅遊,持C.I.即身份證明書的旅行團團友,在抵達機場時,雖然每人都必須兌換兩百美元的披索,但菲律賓旅行團仍深受歡迎。

In the past century(1970s), HK people were passionate about traveling to the Philippines. Whoever was holding a identity document(C.I.) had to exchange Pesos equivalent to 200USD at the arrival. But, the filipino tours were still greatly welcomed.

記得當時每個旅行團,差不多超過九成人都是持C.I.的。那時在香港出生的人士,港府都會發出英國屬土公民,遊菲島可免簽證。回歸後已改為今天的英國海外公民護照,即BNO。至於在大陸出生的,就只可申領C.I.作為旅遊證件和要辦理簽證。另一方面,由於菲律賓乃人稱千島之國,距離香港只有個半小時航程,該地風光明媚,氣候怡人,加上菲律賓在80年代旅遊業興旺,增建了逾十多家五星級豪華酒店,當年往菲島,遊覽碧瑤看梯田,到百勝灘坐木筏,買芋頭雪糕和芒果乾做手信,更成為港人的至愛,每逢旅遊旺季,機位和酒店皆供不應求。

Recall the time when every tour contained over 90% of C.I. holders, people born at that time would receive a civil document from the UK government, which exempt them from the visa requirement by the Philippines. After the handover in 1997, such document became british passport(BNO). For mainlanders, they still had to apply for visa and C.I. to travel. Also, because The Philippines was named “The Country of Thousand Islands” and is only half an hour flight from HK, the nice weather and amazing scenery had led to a prosperous tourism in the 80s. 5-star hotels, Banaue’s Rice Terrices, Boracay’s boat trips, Taro ice cream and mangos for souvenirs. Hotels and Flights were always fully booked.

日前,與一位當年從香港到菲律賓留學、每逢香港長假期都會幫我客串帶團的老友閒談。他憶述在1976年的春節假期,獲安排為我公司一個四十多人的旅行團做導遊,當時旅行團原安排入住全馬尼拉最豪華的Manila Hotel,豈料在他與團友抵埗check in時,才知道酒店超賣,只能提供兩間雙人房,其他人則要在宴會廳睡塔塔米。

Few days ago, I chatted with an old friend from HK who studied in the Philippines. He recalled that in the chinese new year of 1976, he worked as a tourist guide for around 40 HK people, who was supposed to stay at Manila Hotel. Unfortunately when they arrived the check in counter, they were informed that the hotel was almost fully booked and could only offer 2 double rooms. Others had to sleep on the floor.

面對如此突發事件,最後他竟然能成功游說所有團友,讓當時一對新婚夫婦和一對年長夫婦入住兩個房間,其他人則與他去食宵夜,然後在宴會廳打地鋪,最終全團人皆滿意享受整個旅程並盡興而歸。他告訴我,當時不但沒有人投訴,在明白酒店承認當時旺季不小心超賣了房間後,大家都能齊心解決問題,並鼓掌歡迎他的提議。我稱讚他機警能幹,他竟然謙遜地說,當年的港人心態與現在不能同日而語,現在的人遇到問題大多數缺乏,怕蝕底,死要面,只會互相指摘和刁難,將小事化大事。我衷心希望大家能借鑑這個故事,緊記面對近年香港發生的種種問題時,要互諒互讓,齊心合力去建設我們理想的家-香港!

Facing such unexpected event, he successfully talked all the tourists to let a newly-wed  and another elderly couples to take that 2 rooms. Others were sleeping on the floor after having a meal outside. Every single person was back to HK at the end being so happy and satisfied. My old friend told me, there was no person complaining, but understanding that the hotel accidentally rented the rooms out, the rooms that were supposed to be their rooms. Everyone was content with his solution. I praised my friend being so smart and competent. He humbly said, today HK people’s attitude and value are totally different from those in the past days. Today, most people when faced with difficulties lack tolerance, feel scared of having the best or losing their faces. They only know how to blame and pick on each other. They turn something little into a big drama. I truly hope that after reading this story, if any problem ever happens in this city again, everyone will know how to forgive and give way to each other. And hopefully this will build up an ideal home for us – Hong Kong!

葉慶寧 (逢周一見報)經濟發展委員會小組成員/香港旅行社東主協會會長


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