Today was my last day in Burma and its the day of the water festival. Water festival is a day when people run around shooting each other with water guns. Companies and the government join the fun using fire hoses to suck water out of the rivers and lakes to blast the crowd. Water represents purification in most asian cultures. Today represent the day when everyone rinsed so that tomorrow they can start fresh. The symbolism is not lost on […]
Lush forests of old growth teak once covered the Burmese Hills. However, demand for this rich colored hard wood in west, coupled with no environmental protections laws has left the hills of Burma bald. Deforestation has lead to structureless soil and increased the occurrence of lethal land side. An abundance of silt has choked the coral reefs and clouded Burma’s waters. Buildings such as this recall a history of wealth. This building is rumored to be 500 years old, preservation of the […]
Bagan will be Ankor Wat in five years, but, today it is uncharted. Lost in anonymity undiscovered by tourism. Having spent much of the last year in Indian and more recently Thailand with its full moon parties, Bagan feel like it is a world away. This is Burma’s treasure. What Burma will be known for once the world find it. Bagan is a desert city pimpled with Stupas and Temples. Each building was build by a different family. Each is full of gold and opulently […]
Burma is a land of magic and gold. Magic infuses everything in this culture. Literally magic unquestioned belief in the unprovable. I have life long affliction of curiosity, but here my questions of ‘why or how’ people respond ‘it is magic’ as if this is a totally valid answere. Magic is real in Burma like gravity is real in the west. Who am I to question this genuine belief. Compared with the other mysteries I’ve encountered in Asia the purity and factuality of the Burmese […]
Buddha in Burma is addicted to gold. Devout people apply gold leaf to buddha statues across the country. Over centuries of worship the buddha has taken on a lumpy appearance. Hense his title the Lumpy Buddha. Only men are allowed into the inner sanctum of the lumpy Buddha.
Caged in Mandalay. Restrictions on tourists makes me feel rebellious. What are we not allowed to see? Bored we decided to drive 6 hours north into the mountains towards China to a surreal animal preserve. Built as a playground for wealthy military families the park housed some of the most diverse animals I have ever seen. The dichotomy between, poverty of Mandalay and the parks these perfectly manicured lawns made me feel like I had stepped into the land of Dr. Seuss. […]
Aung San Suu Kyi We arrived in Yangoon, Burma, the day Ang San Suu Kyi was elected to the government. This will be remembered as one of the most important days in Burmese history. After 21 years as a political prisoner, 15 of which she was sentenced to house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi and her political party NDL (national defense league for democracy) have finally gotten a place in the government. Political life was thrust on her as the daughter […]
Mandalay was the most difficult and antagonizing place I have visited, however the internal turmoil it created lives in me. Here is where one feels the infamous repression of Myanmar. Spending time in the Picturesque Villa hotels of Bagan, the thriving industrialism of Yangoon or the utopic beaches of the south the repression can be overlooked. However here in the Nations capital, in a city made mythic by Vegas casino’s, repression it is palpable. The city if off-limits to tourist, rumors of salve labor on the […]