We all travel for different reasons, but deep down I suspect each of us is seeking something that we feel we don’t possess. Maybe our lives aren’t exciting enough. Maybe we’re looking for validation or admiration. Or maybe it’s the sense of adventure. Chasing the romantic image of faraway places. But no matter where we go or what our motivation, there’s something satisfying about an authentic experience in a new and unfamiliar land.
Darkness blankets the city as I make my way toward Mandalay station in the pre-dawn hours. I’m alone, but there’s nothing to be afraid of. Myanmar is one of the safest tourist destinations in Asia. The locals I’ve encountered have been all smiles. Besides, I know where I’m going. I walked to the train station just yesterday to buy my ticket to the Shan State town of Hsipaw. $4 for a 1st class ticket on one of the great train routes of the world. Read More
It’s a metropolis unlike any other in Southeast Asia, a city frozen in time. Yangon at once dismays and delights with its contrast of extreme poverty set among a backdrop of charming British colonial architecture. You wouldn’t recognize it as a city of 5 million. It has a decidedly small town feel. There are no skyscrapers. And shockingly, no motorbikes! That’s thanks to a citywide restriction. So as you might expect, traffic is horrendous. Yet most drivers are pretty patient. I even found some to be downright courteous. Pedestrians weren’t in much of a rush. Many took time to greet each other along the busy streets. Read More