Bagan, Bagan and more Bagan

By campodegelo

Bagan. Myanmar. Burma.

Land of more than 3 thousand temples dating from the 9th century.
Land of tourists nowadays, and beautiful sunrises and sunsets.
Land of special people, awesome kids and expensive hostels.

The temples were being rebuilt due to an earthquake, and on their surroundings lots of vendors are appearing, some even speaking Spanish to catch the attention of the tourists.

Get up early and position yourself above one of the many temples. The sunrise is wonderful, and with it come the balloons, colouring the sky even more.

After some time around the complex of Bagan with electric motorbikes, it was time to enjoy some temples and a view of the river.

The kids were not in the plan but they joined us. In the beginning trying to sell their own drawings, but suddenly playing and have fun with 2 Brazilians and one Dutch. 

Most of them around their 7 or 8 years old and already trained to talk to foreigners. But they are still sweet and playful children, who lacked conditions and attention.

After 2 days discovering all the hidden treasures of this ancient site, it was time to get to the road again.
The idea was simple: get to the way out of the town leading North and ask people for rides.

Where to? No clue. I would basically accept any city further.

Remember when I said that hitchhiking was not easy in Myanmar?

Erase this information completely from your mind.
A local bus, or better saying a songthaew, or a pickup full of Burmese was chosen to be the transport out of the city.

I do not get tired of saying how amazing are the looks and smiles of the people over here.

Many stops and minutes later I was on my way to succeed.

I just needed to walk a bit more, wave and hope for the best.
And that’s exactly what happened.

Not more than 20 minutes later a small red car stopped and a sympathetic man, with his wife and dog, asked where I was heading to. Without hesitation I asked the same to him, and that’s how I knew where I was going to: Myingyan.

Located 70km away from Bagan, it seemed a good place to go.
The driver was quite nice, and spoke a good English, explaining some things about the country and locations to visit.
Unfortunately the woman could not understand me, but her dog could, after all pets speak an universal language, the affection. 

Close to the town, I have been told there was nothing much to do there, so I would continue further.
He was so comprehensive that dropped me at the highway where I should catch new rides.

I just had time to put my backpack on the floor and take a sip of water, when some cars started to come. If it was not the first, it was definitely the second vehicle that passed and ignored me, but suddenly came back on the wrong side of the road to check where I wanted to go. Same technique as before and there we go.

Mandalay!

It was supposed to be just my final destination but circumstances made me to anticipate it.

The ride itself was great. Not even 5 minutes in the car and we stopped for lunch. I have to say it was the best meal I ever had in this country so far. Rice, chicken, pork curry, different vegetables and spices, combined with a really cold Myanmar beer made my day.


More impressive was that Rakesh, a guy born in Yangon and the only one speaking English, paid everything.

How are those things even possible? A ride and a lunch !!!
I tried to say I would not accept it, but I was a guest and according to the tradition I had to take it.

Rakesh, 23 years old, just graduated in Information Technology, was really helpful and talkative.
Being ashamed of chewing the redish betel nuts (a psychoactive substance consumed with leafs, lime and sometimes tobacco) he told me he was Hindu, a minority in Myanmar, who according to him suffers a lot with discrimination.

It is sad to think how people still fight against each other just because the beliefs are different.

Few hours later of good conversation and famous songs covered in the local language, and we arrived in the second biggest city of Myanmar.

My new group just left me when they were sure I had a safe place to stay.
My new “brother” Rakesh summarised it in words: “Do good things and good things will come to you”.
A new motto to follow.

This entry was posted in Asia

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