Thursday, April 10, 2014


Today we hopped off the night bus bright and early in Bagan. At the crack of dawn we were searching for a guesthouse in a horse-pulled buggy… am I still dreaming??? During the search we met a couple heading to Mount Popa for the morning so we tagged along. First stop was a sugarplum whiskey distillery (hut) on the side of the road. It was surprisingly tasty! Next, we were off to the Nat (spirit) temple on top of Mount Popa. Shoes were forbidden for the 777 stair trek to the top. The temple was covered with monkeys! Some big, some small, and some mothers with a child attached to their stomach. At the top, there was a beautiful view of the plains and surrounding temples. So, to sum it up, the view was greenish brown speckled with gold temples.

The craziest and most memorable part of this journey was the Burmese people. Of course I was constantly catching people staring, but I also caught a few people secretly taking photos. The brave ones would ask to take photos with us. This turned from one photo with the whole family to individual shots with every family member. As I approached the last stair to the top of the temple, I saw a family picnicking. When their eyes met mine, they lit up. Then, when they saw Suzie walking behind me, their faces got even brighter. With no time to spare, they dropped everything and were asking for a photo. It was funny how the first photo was of Suzie and I standing close, but not touching the Burmese women, but ny the last photo the women were holding on to our arm with both hands.

Around noon, we headed back for lunch and nap time. Later, Suzie and I caught sunset at Htilominlo Temple. We were let by a little girl, her brother, and sister to a small monetary just outside the main temple. We were the only ones present for the sunset. The locals were quite talkative and very curious about us. By the end of the sunset we were all good friends. They showed us a good place to eat, but we had to follow at a distance because of the police. If you don’t have a tourist guide license, then you’re not allowed to show people around. I think it’s because tourist guides pay a percentage to the government, and so they don’t want people making money under the table. You must remember it wasn’t long ago when the military ruled the country. At the restaurant, our new friends ordered for us in Burmese. We tried to convince them to sit with us, but they continued to make excuses. I think it was because of the police. After dinner, the girl found us and asked us to come back to their place. At their house there was two plates set. Suzie and I sat down and shortly after they brought us ginger salad and fried broad beans with a Coke and a Fanta. They whole family was so nice, friendly and welcoming. They loved asking us questions about our life. Tomorrow we have dinner plans at their house. I’ll post on how it goes : )

Ta Ta for now!

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