In the summer of 2007, I experienced an exciting journey to Myanmar, in South east Asia, where its rich culture, traditions and religion keep the people of this country proud, strong, and very much happy. I found the highlights of Myanmar to be its countless beautiful pagodas, its breath taking monuments and ancient cities as well as the amazing stories behind it. Some of it are even as old as over two-thousand years old! In addition, the civilians of Myanmar are friendly and warmly welcomes any foreigner, helping them with anything and nothing in return. I happily enjoyed the states of Myanmar and its culture. These states include: Yangon, Shan, Mandalay, and Bagan.
After about nineteen hours, my family and I arrived at Yangon , the capital city of Myanmar. In Yangon, the Shwe Dagon pagoda dominates the city skyline and is magnificently beautiful at night. This famous pagoda could be seen through the windows of one of the top rooms of the Summit Parkview Hotel . The majestic Shwe Dagon Pagoda is over 2,000 years old. In this city, you could go into a shopping frenzy. The Yuzana Plaza is one popular mall where I could buy almost anything. The service there is great and exceeded my expectations. Not far from there, we found many shops that sells great crafty and cultural souvenirs and items at affordable prices. These items included attractive lacquer ware, tapestry, antiques, woodcraft, and colorful fabrics. The popular Bog yoke Aung San Market was my favorite market because it had different, unique and rare items. At night , Chinatown comes alive with it’s pungent aromas and luscious street food.
After being in Yangon for a while, we headed to the remarkable natural beauty of the Inle lake in the state of Shan. The scenery was breath taking. Temples, markets, and villages sit on a floating island. At one of our stops at the Inle Lake, we saw the lake’s specialty of hand woven silks being made. We headed back to Yangon and planned our next destination to the city Maymyo, in Mandalay. Two attractions in this city was the Botanical Garden and the ancient Pindaya cave. At the Botanical Garden, not only did I get to see unique plants from a blend of Asian countries, but I also got to ride an elephant around the garden! The Pindaya cave was also a thrill because knowing it to be 200,000 million years old, it was spooky but interesting. Mandalay is one of the places revealing Burmese monarchy. The evidence would be the Mandalay Palace. When it comes to sightseeing, Mandalay and Bagan are the places to be. In Bagan, many pagodas are ancient and peculiar. For example, the Shwezigon Pagoda was built in 421 ME by a King, and has nine wonders undiscovered. The Ananda Temple is also one of the finest and largest best preserved temple in Bagan. It features statues representing Buddha’s life.
During this trip, I realized that I was missing out on various parts of the world and many of its wonders. Many of Pagodas in Myanmar stunned me of its history and beauty. If there are countless exotic places and monuments in Myanmar, there could be other numerous places! During this journey, there were some things that didn’t really go as I imagined. I fell ill of stomach virus in Maymyo making me unable to travel for a short time, and during the month of our arrival, it was raining season, so we couldn’t be as comfortable. Nevertheless, I definitely enjoyed a meaningful vacation.
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