Ever since the authorities in Myanmar opened the boundaries of this nation I’d wanted to visit this amazing country. This year I finally got my chance. I flew from London to Bangkok, then on to Yangon. Emerging in the Yangon International Airport was a Fantastic feeling. Here I was, in the beginning, at the most exciting and fascinating country on the planet, about to bear witness to a lot of things that had stayed impossible for Westerners to love for so long. He described a gorgeous land of lush greenery and warm hearted peaceful men and women. I was going to find out for myself.
The airport is only about ten kilometers to the north of the former capital community. A brief cab journey soon had me ensconced in my hotel, unpacked, checked-in and prepared to go exploring. Yangon itself is a city of fantastic sophistication and several surprises. The broad paths are a throw back out of its former French colonial days. There are few high rise buildings, many temples and everything is very green. You can find water parks and much to admire. The older style Asian buildings are beautiful, sitting perfectly together with the French architecture, much of which can be well faded out of the former glory, but all the more charming due to it.
The famous Shwedagon Pagoda is magnificent. I loved this place, with its golden leaf facade and fabulous gardens. This is the most famous and admired in all of the nation, and it’s not hard to see why. Lately It’s Been visited by Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, American President Barack Obama and US Secretary of state Hilary Clinton. It is a magnificent illustration of Buddhist Temple layout, standing almost three hundred and fifty feet .
I spent a couple of days in the city before flying to Bagan, where there are an incredible two thousand two hundred and twenty eight temples. This sounds impressive but when you realise that all these are what are left, of over ten million that were initially built here, it puts things into a completely different perspective. Bagan is so green, it is one of the most gorgeous places I have ever seen. On religious importance it rivals Angkor Wat and is thought by many professors to be the middle of religion for the whole area. A town of types has stood here for over eleven hundred years.