I arrived in Mandalay so sad it was already my last stop in amazing Myanmar. At first, I wasn’t too sure I liked it, I couldn’t find Yangon’s warmth and joyful chaos, it was just too big, a little cold. We didn’t really know where to go apart from a restaurant we wanted to try out. The road to get there was so annoying, a large, long and dusty road with fast cars. Walking there was enough to make me want to go back to the hotel and nap all day… Not the best start! But Mandalay had so much more to offer to me. An awesome market with loads of sweets and beautiful fruit stalls, super cute tea shops, impressive pagodas (I don’t know how I still was impressed by religious temples by then, but that’s just how I am, easy to impress!) and such a lively atmosphere! When we biked to the famous Ubein bridge, we passed multiple neighborhood, all different from each other, all beautiful in their own way. People, again, are beautiful. Again, a lot of faces are painted yellow. Again, a lot of smiles happen for no reason, directly targeting you. Biking in that beautiful mess makes up a wonderful feeling. I am not negating the poverty that is obvious everywhere, I am only inspired by the joy that can be read in those eyes, the true kindness of every voice I hear. I’m not even trying to be cheesy, it’s just how it actually feels!
If you were in Myanmar, would you try to talk to the monks? Well in Mandalay, they might be the ones chasing you, because they want to improve their English skills and above all, to make sure you’re enjoying your time in their country. How cool is that?!
Myanmar is my absolute favorite country so far. It is inspiring in so many ways. I have to go back some day.