You Took my Soul and Wiped it Clean – A Letter to Myanmar

You Took my Soul and Wiped it Clean – A Letter to Myanmar

myanmar visa guide

 

Related Post: Myanmar Visa Guide

 

I had been tripping back and forth if I should write something about Myanmar. It has been 3 long months since I left Myanmar after my more than 3 weeks of backpacking.

 

The thought of writing an article about this gorgeous country has been lingering in my mind from pillar to post for the whole 3 months. I was afraid that I might share the guilt when Myanmar will turn into another tourist base camp.

 

Nonetheless, the realisation that I can actually turn this fear to something optimistic kicked in. This is a letter to Myanmar who took my soul and wiped it badass clean and to the travellers to PLEASE DO NOT visit that country if you will bring nothing but a bucket of complaints, immature personality, disrespectful attitude and irresponsible tourism.

 

Related ArticleImportant Things to Know Before Travelling In Myanmar

 

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The flight I took from Bangkok to Yangon served like a time machine to me. I was more than speechless how old everything was. The pastel faded colours of the buildings, loud and rusty buses, outdated private cars and taxis brought no words to me to describe how I felt that day.

 

The first smile I received, was from a staff in the Yangon Airport bathroom. It strikes me right through my heart. It was very genuine; I never thought that a simple smile could actually give you that huge amount of emotions. The traffic enforcer who helped us find our way assisted us with a big smile under a raging heat of the sun. Burmese smiles like we were good old friends.

 

I did my long overdue first attempt of hitchhiking with a friend who also never hitchhiked before. We never waited more than 20 minutes for someone with a good heart. Though I think, he thought that my friend and I was crazy. We were dropped off in the middle of nowhere but we never felt we were in an unsafe town.

 

Related Post: Hitchhiking Guide To Myanmar

 

 

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Hitchhiking in Myanmar

 

The silly first conversation with a local who speak no English tried his best to communicate by pointing out on our phrase book. He managed to let us know that he is a smoker and a bachelor! What a nice thing to know!

 

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Ah, that smoker bachelor guy! 🙂

 

This is the only place I enjoyed getting stuck in a traffic jam. I was on my bicycle, with the other locals in the middle of the local market. My friend and I can’t help but adore and laugh about it.

 

A Letter to Myanmar

Third world traffic jam

 

We stand atop of a temple to overlook the magnificent Bagan. Despite that we missed the sunrise and didn’t get a great spot for sunset, cruising around Bagan was purely glorious.

 

Spending a few nights in a monastery hosted by a monk and eating a delicious food from the alms was a once in a lifetime experience. I can’t remember meeting any teenager who is eager to learn English as much as the Burmese boys who served as our tour guide.

 

A Letter to Myanmar

Our generous host in the monastery

 

For the first time since I embarked on my travelling, I have to hand wash my own laundry; it was one of the great ways to remember Myanmar. Tourism in Myanmar is not that huge yet, compare to Vietnam and Thailand. Laundry service is not cheaply accessible.

 

Our local trekking guide from Kalaw to Inle Lake could never be friendly and energised enough. She was genuinely enjoying her job. I have blown away when she took us to the small villages. She let us experience taking a shower with our clothes on, fetching an ice-cold water fresh from the well, whilst watching the beautiful landscape of the mountains right before our eyes.

 

I wouldn’t lie that I was hesitant at first when a Burmese grabbed my bag to help me get off from the back of a pickup. After travelling in Southeast Asia, it is inevitable that a local will help you then will ask for money right after. However, Burmese helped me because they simply want to help.

 

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When I sadly need to leave Myanmar and get back to Thailand, I realised how my experience changed me. I can clearly remember appreciating a clean bed, hot shower, and all small things I have.

 

We tend to take everything we have for granted. Until we crashed to the point that we have nothing but our dirty and smelly clothes or an ice-cold shower after a long day. Sometimes, we need places and people to remind us how lucky we are to have food on our table and a roof over our head.

 

Myanmar touched my heart, took my soul and wiped it clean. It restores my faith in humanity, it pushed me to my limits, and it lets me know myself better. It reminded me to appreciate small things I have and be thankful that I have them.

 

A Letter to Myanmar

Future monks

 

The title is actually a line from a song. Go visit Myanmar and let it charm you, just please please be extra open minded and responsible – enjoy!

 

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Mary Charie
She's the person behind this blog. Torn between her itchy feet and writing, Mary found herself soaking up in the world of travel blogging. She travels in her own terms and tries to build her own world whilst pushing herself into every corner of life, breaking limit beyond her capabilities.

Mary is now trying to turn her blog site into promoting responsible tourism. She is in the process in writing articles where her readers could learn about travelling responsibly.

25 Comments

  • Cai Dominguez 30/05/2016 at 8:36 am

    This is a very inspiring post. I can feel how you appreciate all the small things myanmar gave to you. For now, I can only wish to have a direct flight from Manila to Myanmar. I can’t wait to see this country 🙂

    Reply
  • Mar Pages 26/05/2016 at 3:06 am

    This was lovely to read, you truly sound in love with the country and their people! They’ve only been good to me and I haven’t heard bad things about Myanmar. What beautiful experiences, I hope they don’t get taken over by commercial tourism too.

    Reply
  • Sonal of Drifter Planet 24/05/2016 at 6:24 am

    I share the same feelings for Myanmar. I visited this country and left my heart back there mainly because of the people! Guess what, I’m wearing a Burmese skirt today (a longyi) as I’m writing this.

    Reply
  • backpackways 24/05/2016 at 12:56 am

    I am in love with this article, It’s so nice to read how amazing it feels to be in such wonderful countries. This refreshed my memories of Myanmar.

    Reply
  • Joanna 23/05/2016 at 3:46 pm

    It is so great when you go to visit a country and that country leaves deep marks in your heart. I have similar experiences from some of my trips and I am grateful that I was the lucky one to be part of such amazeness. The world is a wonderful place and most of its people are kind, we just need to open our minds and embrace the experiences.

    Reply
  • Jessica Ayun 23/05/2016 at 9:55 am

    I can feel in every word how Myanmar took away your soul. Amazing guide for those who are planning to travel in Myanmar. When do you think is the best time to visit it?

    Reply
  • Dreammerin 21/05/2016 at 3:08 pm

    Amazing pictures and we all need the experiences like that! Lovely journey!

    Reply
  • Vyjay Rao 21/05/2016 at 11:08 am

    Myanmar is a charming place and you are right we need to protect the lovely places on this earth through more efforts at sustainable and responsible tourism.

    Reply
  • Kage 21/05/2016 at 7:40 am

    Myanmar is never on the top of some people’s travel list, but due to your post, I think that might change very soon.

    Reply
  • karlapitzen 21/05/2016 at 2:57 am

    So lovely that you take advantage of the freedom you have in your life right now to go on such an amazing adventure!

    Reply
  • xoxobellablog 20/05/2016 at 2:54 pm

    What a great place to escape to. It is wonderful to find places that aren’t commercial and you get to see the real people.

    Reply
  • kristibzz 20/05/2016 at 2:36 pm

    So beautiful! Can relate to so much of it and more. Glad you also got in there before the tourists take over… when we were taking boat trips around you could just tell all the gorgeous beach fronts that will probably be taken over by resorts in such a few short years. The people were just beautiful. Such a country and experience to remember!

    Reply
  • Erika Agostino 20/05/2016 at 2:36 pm

    Awesome post… I love your photos and the things you’ve seen there!

    Reply
  • Laura Hartley (@WhatsHotBlog) 20/05/2016 at 9:50 am

    What a lovely journey you had! It’s interesting to hear that Myanmar is a lot less touristy than Thailand or Vietnam as I’m planning on heading to SE Asia this summer. I’ll look into going to Myanmar!

    Reply
  • Ana De Jesus 20/05/2016 at 7:19 am

    Aw how beautiful, I always find that places stuck in the past are the most beautiful because they retain their history in every fibre of their being and your right a simple smile can change your whole day.

    Reply
    • Mary of A Mary Road 20/05/2016 at 10:33 am

      So true! Next on the list for this kind of journey will be Cuba or N, Korea! 😀

      Reply
  • Liz Mays 19/05/2016 at 9:43 pm

    It’s amazing that Myanmar had such an impact on you. I hope to have a travel experience like yours some day.

    Reply
  • Tami 19/05/2016 at 7:30 pm

    We all need to have experiences like that. It restores our faith in mankind. Great post!

    Reply
    • Mary of A Mary Road 20/05/2016 at 4:47 am

      It does! We need to do these kind of trip once in while especially when things aren’t falling on our perspective.

      Reply
  • alison 19/05/2016 at 5:15 pm

    That was beautiful. I loved how you gained such an appreciation for Myanmar but also for your life now. It is a true experience when they can touch both places. Your pictures were beautiful!

    Reply
    • Mary of A Mary Road 20/05/2016 at 4:48 am

      Thanks Alison! Myanmar is amazing, I couldn’t describe how stunning that country its people enough!

      Reply
  • Wendy G. (@boxchickreviews) 19/05/2016 at 4:20 pm

    Breathtaking and soul touching photos. I don’t get to travel as often as much as I’d like to but going to places that are not so touristy are always on my list. I live in a resort beach town and get tired of the selfish, juvenile, rude behavior of tourists. Going to Myanmar looks to be like a place I would love as I’m such a down to earth person.

    Reply
    • Mary of A Mary Road 20/05/2016 at 4:49 am

      It’s a good escape especially when we get tired of people. My trip reminded me that there are still heaps of nice people in the world!x

      Reply

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