Leaving Thailand was a tough. We were still buzzing from the whale-shark sighting during our previous underwater outing off Koh Phangan as we boarded our plane to Yangon, Myanmar. Yangon is neither an island paradise nor a bustling futuristic metropolis. Instead we found ourselves in a relatively relaxed, industrial, developing city. In the following days we rode the local train around the perimeter of the city, visited centuries-old pagodas, and found ourselves amongst locals in their daily routines.
Traveling in Myanmar takes time. Our bus rides between cities varied between 4-12 hours. Although the bus rides were relatively comfortable, Buddhist chants blared over the speakers throughout the duration of the trip.
The ruins of Bagan are probably the most iconic sights of Myanmar. Despite the persistent hawkers and peddlers who prey on us tourists, Bagan remained the highlight of our visit. We cycled through the ruins and surrounding villages with our guide and new friend Ye Ye before embarking on a sunset boat cruise down the river. Ye Ye took us out to breakfast and introduced us to his beautiful family. I will never forget their kindness and hospitality.