We have been in Myanmar for 10 days now already, our first country in Southeast Asia ! The action we conducted alongside Green Lotus (see previous article) kept us busy for a week.
Aside from that, the full week in Yangon has allowed us to get used to the very hot temperatures, approaching 40 degrees every day around 11 am and until around 3:30 pm. The city is very polluted and the chaotic traffic seemed scary at first by bike, but after three days we already feel at ease, one just have to be very careful and know how to give a big pedal stroke when necessary. We have discovered here a very rich culture, its smiling and helpful inhabitants, discreet also sometimes, but always curious and ready to cheer the tourists. The traditions are very strong here. Men and women are still wear the traditional clothes (the Longyi for men for example, a sort of skirt closed by a node not so obvious to master for beginners, which can be risky in the public places). One can also see many Buddhist monks in the streets and visit a multitude of temples and monasteries in town. In short, coming here from Europe gives you a shock, but we have acclimatized very well.
We both encountered technical problems with our bikes from the first outings in the city, we had to deal with this quickly. This resulted in big mops in the city from store to store, with all the misunderstandings and related to language! The latter does not seem too complicated from a grammatical point of view but the pronunciation is really delicate. The writing is very beautiful but totally incomprehensible for a European. We quickly learned that beer is beer and how to ask where are the toilets (Eaing tah bar mae lae, among others). Regarding the visits, there was a weekend at Dalaa a village on the other side of the river. We realized by chance just before the departure of the boat that we had climbed into the bad one which was going to some unknown place and we just had time to get off with the bikes before it went! We then started cycling at 11 am to visit the place, what an idea, it was way too hot! The highlight of the week was, of course, a visit to the magnificent Yangon golden pagoda, a splendid Buddhist temple where you can stroll, meditate and admire the various statues and temples.
After this week of adaptation, we were rather impatient to finally take the road, so Tatar (goodbye) and see you soon for the beginning of the bike adventure 🙂