I’ve always wanted to visit Myanmar (the former Burma) and finally the time arrived.
Long considered as a pariah state, the oppressive military junta, from 1962 to 2011, almost suppressed all dissident parties, first of all the opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi – who received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 “for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights”.
The main reluctancy I had was about being able to travel in that country in a ‘responsible way’, without supporting indirectly the abuse upon the burmese population. It turned out that travelling independently from governmental structures was easier than I imagined.
(If you want to know more about responsible tourism in Myamar read here)
The first stop was Yangon, the former capital of Myanmar. Our first destination was the colossal Shwedagon Pagoda, the 99 mt p most sacred Buddhist pagoda in the country.
Situated on Singuttara Hill, it dominates the city skyline and it’s the spiritual centre of Yangon. Burmese people go there daily to pray Buddha with offers of real and gorgeous paper flowers, birds to set free and fruits.
Not only was the pagoda spectacular, but also so were the other little temples which surround the main one. The atmosphere was unlike any other on earth.
We continued to visit other famous pagodas of the city, in a crazy but unexpectedly hushed traffic of people, cars and monks.