The climate here in Myanmar is mostly twofold. It goes from the rainy season from May to October and then to hot and dry from March to May. November through February are delightfully pleasant . The rain and winter mild have given way to a punishing heat that is a definite adjustment to daily activity . It opiates locals laggard as they seek the nearest spot of shade or raise a parasol to stave off the sun’s darting rays. Others have to manage a spring perspiration that more than dampens the collar.
Everyone loves a beautiful and tropical beach. Who doesn’t? I speak of the beaches with endless white sand, palm trees, warm water to swim in and every excuse to never leave. I have had pleasure to visit in Hawaii, Florida, Nice, Southern California and have experienced this sand and water, along with the tourist congregation. Often these travelers mark territory with their towels and chairs in a patchwork pattern of daily ownership. Discovering these paradises sans people would certainly be the goal of many and is a delight when it happens. Look no further for Ngwe Saung beach in Myanmar is just that place.
Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s left me with a western bias toward Vietnam. The 10-year war against the North Vietnamese was a failure but my generation was told that even though those godless communists may have won the day they still took a giant step backward in the progress of mankind. A Soviet-style communist rule is what Vietnam was supposed to be. In brief visit to Hanoi, however, I found a modern city abuzz with activity, shops and motorbikes. Could not find that hammer and sickle anywhere, and never had a sense of being watched other than the local Viet gawking at tall Americans.
I remember once being at the Grand Canyon with a good friend who described the view as “a painting that you could reach out and touch”. An apt description, I thought, since words and pictures fail to capture its majesty. Ha Long Bay in Northern Vietnam holds this power as words and photos fail to accurately convey this marvel.
While in Thailand a few weeks back we spent some time with some animals. I already spoke of the tigers. Later we went to a place where you could ride an elephant along a trail or into the water for frolicking about.
Two weeks back family arrived for a south east Asian experience. Two sister in laws and Johanna and Taylor made for a wonderful week. A few days in Yangon seasoned them to local culture and then we ventured to middle Myanmar and an amazing array of temples in Bagan. Everywhere we traveled there was some type of Buddhist tribute on the horizon that was nothing short of spectacular. There are 3,122 temples in all and I think we visited 10.
The following are images of visiting temples and a balloon ride that is now famous in Mandalay.
A note about my following post. It has come to my attention through a National Geographic news story that this particular “Tiger Temple” has been profiting from illegal tiger trade, breeding and mistreatment of animals. I now would not recommend anyone see or participate in this and I regret this Temple received any of our attention or money.
Last July an American was on an African safari and was tragically mauled to death when a lion jumped through an open window and attacked them. The unfortunate had disregarded the “keep your windows up” instructions given and posted reminders. Details given in events like this often lead a reader to assume a Darwinian mindset of “survival of the fittest”and chalk it up to natural selection. How else are “lesser of the species” weeded out of the gene pool now that eugenics has fallen out of favor? This is not limited to the African Savannah, either, as every year Bison in Yellowstone Park trample, gore and occasionally kill tourists that cannot read or did not head warnings to stay away from unpredictably wild creatures of massive stature with really sharp horns that can poke you. So who are these idiots that get out of the Range Rover for a better picture? Who ar those nuts that charm cobra snakes from a wicker basket with a flute?
Those idiots were us.