I love browsing the blogs on AirAsia.com. These are people that tell a lively tale about their holidays. Sometimes positive, sometimes negative but always a fun read. For me this provides a welcome change from the usual yarns that my family and friends seem to force upon me when they return from the “oh my god, only the most amazing place in the world”. Telling you how all the good things were good because “it’s not like England” and how all the bad things were bad because “it’s not like England”. Kill me!!
And so, happily pretending to do some work, I stumble upon ‘Blog Your Way to Yangon’. “Wow…Yangon…as in Myanmar..as in Burma?” I said to myself, remembering a certain history class at school that for some reason I paid more attention in than many of the other history classes (possibly because Karen ‘the cutest girl in the world’ was absent that day). I remember Mr history teacher explaining that during WWII the Japanese expelled the English from Burma after we decided to extend our little colonial tea party for…oh, just a half a century or so. A quick search on Wikipedia confirms my memory hasn’t given up on me completely. Yay! Yet, fortunately my limited knowledge of Myanmar stretches a little further. Whether people know it or not nearly everyone is bound to have seen a travel documentary on TV showing off some of Myanmar’s most amazing attractions. I specifically remember the living mummies! Dead Buddhist monks that continue to grow hair and nails…their corpses don’t decay and even survive cremation! Now this, I have to see!
So I start dreaming of Myanmar.
In my mind I’m getting lost in the temples surrounded by mountains of gold. Glowing pyramids, vast monuments, lofty thrones, giant statues. I’m dwarfed by all that I see. I start to wonder what sounds I might hear around me? What would the air smell like? How far could I see from atop of the monuments? How high are the trees? What stories would the local people tell? Inevitably, as with most potential holidays, I then start salivating over the thoughts of the local food. Wow, authentic Burmese food! That must be SO special. I imagine a flavourful combination of Thai, Indian & Chinese cuisines that deliver an amazing experience for every meal time. Just look at this –
I can already taste the explosion of flavours that this spoonful is going to provide.
And this –
In truth, there are so many exciting qualities of Myanmar to think about! For me, it would measure up to be one of those holidays where at times you just remain awestruck, dumbfounded and humbled by what you feel and see before you. Here’s a taste of what I’m referring to –
Now, I visited Japan in January and saw some of the biggest Buddha statues that the Tokyo area has to offer. Some very big Buddhas by anyone’s standards! I was certainly impressed. However, what you see in this photo is the largest reclining Buddha in the world! At an incredible 180 meters in length the recent construction near Mawlamyine is more like a castle-town in the form of Buddha than a statue per se.
An amazing feat of engineering nestled peacefully among the surrounding hills and lakes. For me, this is a definite ‘must see’ if I were ever to have the chance to visit Myanmar!
The fact is I’m already in love with this corner of Asia. You can’t help but be touched by the kindness and honesty of the people you meet there. Despite the hardship and sometimes disastrous tragedies they face in their lives (both natural and political) they remain so positive, friendly and hospitable to the people who visit their countries. There’s a lot to be said for that.
The chance for me and my girlfriend to visit Myanmar would be like a dream come true and who better to share that dream with than AirAsia!
Incidentally, my girlfriend is Japanese so at the very least we could apologise for all that noise our nations caused in WWII…hhmmm…or perhaps best left ignored that one!