day 737 | March 17, 2016 | Magical Myanmar

A backpacking trip with my girls, soaking up Yangon and Bagan. I didn't check if a visa was required for Myanmar, and we ended up missing our initial flight because they refused to let us board. This also meant cutting the trip 2 days shorter than intended.

Despite the shortened trip and the mad rush schedule I rejigged, they held up pretty well. As a post-trip ritual, the kids and I talk about what we liked and disliked about the trip. They loved our stay at Ostello Bello in New Bagan, especially the cozy corners for chill-out and conversations. They loved the horse cart ride around Old Bagan, and being fanned by Uncle Min while their mom ran around to take photos. They enjoyed seeing the Pagodas at night through the bus journey. They were gleeful for pooltime, despite stick insects making them scream a few times, and crows stealing their food. And they enjoyed talking to their animal spirits in ShweDagon Pagoda and in Ananda Temple, pausing and praying in every stop where the day of their birth is written. They didn't enjoy walking under the dry dusty heat of Old Bagan. In all honesty, I didn't either, but I loved how they persevered and were willing to negotiate pauses.

It's clear it's not their most favorite trip with me, but I must say it is one of mine with them. They wow-ed me -- the way they responded to travel visa hijinks with reassuring pats and happy energies. The way they endured 10-hour night bus journeys to and from Bagan without complaint, waking up and independently gathering their things so we can find our way to hotels at 5am. The funny observations and the challenging questions we worked on answering together. Using Burmese phrases every chance they could get, and loving the pleasantly surprised energies from folks they met. The way they constantly remind me how magical it is to simply sit in stillness and soulfulness, telling stories and genuinely connecting.

We will come back for motorcycle adventures ("Mommy, how come they are on motorcycles and we are walking?"), for the Hot Air Balloon experience once Red meets minimum age of 8 years old, and for more zen time, discovering the world and each other.

Let the images tell the rest of the story. Had a hard time culling down -- so much goodness.
Excited energy
Filling in her own form! :)

Savoy Hotel
Sule Pagoda
Walking around Yangon
Art around The Strand Hotel
Overheated
Roo's snap :)
Tuckered out
Quick recovery
Shwedagon Pagoda
 
Expressing gratitude, hopes, intentions
 
Bus waiting area
Waking up from the bus ride, Bewildered
Snappy wake-ups and ready 
Old Bagan Hotel at Tharabar Gate
Exhausted!
Out and about for Sunrise!
They preferred animals to pagodas :)
 
Ananda Temple
Red's snap :)
In the Moon :)

Temple clean-up
Cleaning her own shoes
Sunrise walks
Sunrise walks
Morning chill-out and readings
Red's snap of sunrise from our room
"Everyday is a holiday with you..."
Myanmar version of Carbonara did NOT go down well :)
Burmese Daydreams
One moment super happy, another moment gone :) Sleeps anywhere
Chicken!
Red's snap! :)
Saying 'goodbye for now' to the Ayeyarwaddy River
Waiting for the bus back to Yangon
All tuckered out! It's been a mad 4 days!

1 comment:

Adora Tan said...

Oh Steph, "The way they constantly remind me how magical it is to simply sit in stillness and soulfulness, telling stories and genuinely connecting" was so beautiful!!!

We had our trip to Yangon all booked, and 2 weeks before we were scheduled to leave, the earthquake struck so we quickly made changes. I can't wait to visit beautiful Yangon and Bagan!! Although I might be more tempted to fly instead of take a 10-hour bus ride -_-!!!

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