read if you want. I don't care.
Alright, you might be wondering "wow she's finally posting something." Yes. I'm sorry for my lack of articles because to be completely honest, I haven't done anything interesting that I thought was worth blogging about. Since high school has ended for me, i've been working at a summer program, then school started and my routine became, school, work, home, repeat. Yay me... But recently, as you can assume by the title, I went to Myanmar with my family. We stayed there for two weeks, touring around the southern part of Myanmar and visiting my dad's side of the family because they all live in Myanmar.
To be completely honest, there was a bit of a culture shock to me. I've gone to Myanmar before, but that was 13-14 years ago and I was 5, so I don't remember much. Now getting to see everything and being able to remember all of this is truly a blessing. I found out that I have 15 other cousins on my dad's side who are all older than me (i'm currently 18)!! That's over three times the amount of cousins I have on my mom's side. And the thing is, Burmese people are all really nice. I now understand why my great-grandparents went back to Myanmar instead of staying in the US. There are so many people (strangers included) who are willing to take care of them. It was really fun getting to go to see my relatives, but let's get into the places that I visited.
1. Yangon (Rangoon)
YOOOO Yangon is such an amazing and hectic city. Well Myanmar is all like this, but OMG!! Driving there is like a real-life Mario Kart race. They even have the little red and white striped curbs.
Anyways, our first stop on this trip was to Yangon because:
We had just gotten off the plane and were greeted at the airport by our relatives, and they came with bouquets of flowers. Everyone was just so excited all of a sudden and it was such a happy sight. (I still miss them so much.) Thought we were still a little jetlagged, we didn't go straight to the hotel because it was still too early to check in. We all went to visit the shwedagon Pagoda. I didn't know that we couldn't wear tight pants (nor did I know that we were going to a pagoda that day) when entering a pagoda, so my aunts had to buy a skirt (Longyi) for me to wear before entering because this pagoda is Myanmar's most sacred religious monument.
Our trip continues and spent the next couple days visiting relatives we haven't seen in a long time.
If you want to read more about the Shwedagon Pagoda (this dress code will apply for most, if not all pagodas in Myanmar): www.tripsavvy.com/shwedagon-pagoda-in-yangon-1458252
On the first day of our road trip, we went from Yangon to Mandalay. If you're going to drive from place to place, make sure you have a driver with the car because driving in Myanmar is crazy. It took a good 6-7 hours. (It's like driving from LA to San Francisco.) When we got to Mandalay, we visited the following places:
While in Mandalay, we stayed at a hotel called Sein Sein. This hotel wasn't bad; They had a nice view of the city and the restrooms were very clean. It was just a little difficult to find the light switch because it's just a button. They have one at the main door, outside the bathroom door, and in between the two beds.
Next stop: Bagan. I also say I visited Bagan around because in burmese, bagan also translate to plate.
Bagan is famous for their multitude of pagodas. And okay, to be completely honest here, I don't remember which pagodas I went to because we went to so many in Bagan. All of them are beautiful to look at and all have their own history behind it. Here's a few that I went to (based off my photos.)
While in Bagan, we stayed at Bagan Thande Hotel. It comes with a really beautiful riverside view where you can also eat your breakfast. That's where I twisted my ankle and got a bloody nose. Yay... There are a lot of stairs in between each room/Bungalow. So be careful. You have been warned.
4. Shan State
In Shan State, We mainly went to go see Inle Lake because I had been there before and my sister and I wanted to ride a boat. As we rode the boat, we got to see how people went fishing to sell at the market, how the traditional clothes were made, and the women of the Kayan Lahwi Tribe. while we were at the clothing store, I bought a bag (heehee.) But we did also visit other places in Shan State. Here is the following places we visited:
In Shan State, we stayed at Hotel Maine Li. It was close to Inle Lake and it wasn't too bad. My mom claims it was her favorite based on cleanliness. My sister said it feel more like an apartment. I think it was nice because it came with a nice balcony too.
To be honest, we didn't do anything here. We just stopped here for a night because the trip back to Yangon was going to be a long one. Since it was a little higher up north, people were wearing their puffers and beanies, while my family was walking around with pants and a light jacket with a T-shirt underneath LOL.
But yeah, that was all we did on our trip around Myanmar. I hope one day, you also get to visit this beautiful country. Make sure to bring some loose pants with you and beware of mosquitos. They also know if you're a foreigner. Also if you have any relatives in Myanmar, go to these pagodas with them because for some of the pagodas, you have to pay if you're a tourist. (There was one couple who knew they had to pay, so they ran past through the entrance with their heads down LOL.)
Recently, I had visited the beautiful state of Arizona for four days. Known for its glorious canyons and rich Native American history, my family and I traveled to and explore the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, and the city of Sedona. While they were beautiful to look at, let's go over what I would recommend taking on a trip that would require a lot of hiking and walking in general.
It must be strange seeing that I wanted to bring extra long pants and long sleeved shirts, despite the hot weather that comes with being in the desert. The thing I learned about hiking in the canyons is that it isn't smart wearing shorts and a tank top. When I went to Horseshoe Bend, there was a lot of sand (as expected) and wind. The wind was so strong that the little pebbles and sand were picked up and hit us so hard. It was actually painful. So definitely bring some extra clothing to act some kind of padding.
Anyways, that is it for things that you should bring to a desert climate. It really does help to bring more clothes and have more layers to prevent harm from flying pebbles and other potential danger. And also always, thank you for reading this week's article. I hope you all are having an amazing summer and peace out!!
Traveling has always been a big part of me. It all started when I was 6. I had gone on my first trip with my family to Burma to celebrate my sister's 2nd birthday. My mom thought it would be fun if we went over to Burma to show us the country that my parents had grown up in. It was my first international trip and I still remember it to this day. Ever since, I've wanted to go to so many other places in the world like France, Italy, and Greece. So far, I've gone to different states on the east coast, southern, and northwestern areas of the country. Since it is expensive to traveling with a four people for a long period of time, I've asked my parents if we can just go to places in SoCal. With there being so many places to visit in the future ahead of me, here is my travel bucket list.
Although there are so many more places I would love to visit, I only listed these three because then this post would be so long. With the new year beginning, I hope that you haven't broken your New Year's resolutions already. For seniors, I hope you are almost done with your college applications. You got this. Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Thanks for reading and happy Monday!
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