1. Travel

Burma (Day 6)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Started the new year with ပလာတာ (palatha – like Indian paratha) and နံပြား (nambia – like Indian naan) for breakfast – lalalalala so good.

ပလာတာ (paratha)!! The one on the left is with sugar, and the one on the right is with bean. Both amaze. Both also were for me.
ပလာတာ (paratha)!! The one on the left is with sugar, and the one on the right is with bean. Both amaze. Both also were for me.
Men making အီကြာ‌ကွေး (Chinese fried dough) muahahaha yum
Men making အီကြာ‌ကွေး (Chinese fried dough) muahahaha yum

In good spirits, we set off for Mount Popa, which is a volcano that’s full of monkeys. This place was cool. Also heartracing… lots of little monkeys jumping on everything and stealing flowers and food. It was a bit of a trek to the top (shoeless once again, sigh my dirty feet) but the view at the top was well worth it.

Mt. Popa is the weirdly shaped hill on the right. We're going all the way to the top to - yup you guessed it - the pagoda up there.
Mt. Popa is the weirdly shaped hill on the right. We’re going all the way to the top to – yup you guessed it – the pagoda up there.
Monkeys hanging out by our car. Completely normal behavior.
Monkeys hanging out by our car. Completely normal behavior.
This little dude just stole these flowers from a little girl on the side...
This little dude just stole these flowers from a little girl on the side…
View from the top! This isn't the pretty side
View from the top! This isn’t the pretty side
THIS is the pretty side
THIS is the pretty side
Desmond channeling his inner Rose... too bad he ain't got no Jack
Desmond channeling his inner Rose… too bad he ain’t got no Jack
The standard Burmese model pose
The standard Burmese model pose
Happy new year from the Chin cousins!
Happy new year from the Chin cousins!
Caught.
Caught.
Scratching that ass.
Scratching that ass.

After a bit of time at Mt. Popa, we set off for the part of the trip I’ve been looking forward to the most! Bagan has been on my list of places to visit for…ever. Every single picture I’ve seen of Bagan is BEAUTIFUL – ancient pagodas as far as the eye can see. Side note: it turns out Beyoncé was in Bagan yesterday hnnnggg how did we miss her -__-

On the hour-long drive to Bagan, we stopped for some fruits.

bouta get all fruit ninja up in here
bouta get all fruit ninja up in here
LOOK HOW TINY THIS BANANA IS
LOOK HOW TINY THIS BANANA IS
This is the real reason we stopped at this fruit stand. The parents all LOVE this stuff. We don't have this fruit in America! It's called a custard apple and it rocks. Too bad you can't bring fruits back to the US...
This is the real reason we stopped at this fruit stand. The parents all LOVE this stuff. We don’t have this fruit in America! It’s called a custard apple and it rocks. Too bad you can’t bring fruits back to the US…

We have arrived in Bagan!!! The first pagoda we visited was the Shwezigon Pagoda, which is so pretty. One of my favorites so far. It’s got a huge gold stupa in the center (unlike most of Bagan’s other pagodas, which are brick) and a bunch of smaller gold stupas. My favorite part is this cool little area where you can see the reflection of the entire pagoda from a puddle.

Shwezigon is BEAUTIFUL. Note: the little shrine in the front of this corner is the shrine for Tuesday. All 8 days are arranged around the pagoda like this.
Shwezigon is BEAUTIFUL. Note: the little shrine in the front of this corner is the shrine for Tuesday. All 8 days are arranged around the pagoda like this.
This is at the shrine for my day of the week, Friday. I definitely have the cutest animal in the Burmese zodiac. LOOK HOW LOVABLE THIS GUINEA PIG IS.
This is at the shrine for my day of the week, Friday. I definitely have the cutest animal in the Burmese zodiac. LOOK HOW LOVABLE THIS GUINEA PIG IS.
These gold leaf trees were surrounding the entire pagoda
These gold leaf trees were surrounding the entire pagoda
how. awesome. is this. reflection.
how. awesome. is this. reflection.
The puddle is actually really small! It's probably about 6 inches wide.
The puddle is actually really small! It’s probably about 6 inches wide.
I can't get over how beautiful this pagoda is. Here's another corner - check the guardian ခြင်္သေ့ in the corner.
I can’t get over how beautiful this pagoda is. Here’s another side – check the guardian ခြင်္သေ့ in the corner.
Lone monk praying in another part of the pagoda
Lone monk praying in another part of the pagoda

We visited a couple more: Htilominlo Pagoda and Gawdawpalin Pagoda. We didn’t stay too long at either of these, but they’re both huge attractions in Bagan.

Htilominlo Pagoda - classic Bagan brick pagoda
Htilominlo Pagoda – classic Bagan brick pagoda
Vendors at the entrance of Htilominlo
Vendors at the entrance of Htilominlo
Gawdawpalin Pagoda
Gawdawpalin Pagoda
So much symmetry at Gawdawpalin it's so beautiful
So much symmetry at Gawdawpalin it’s so beautiful

To close off our new year: watching the sun set over the Irrawaddy River from the top of another pagoda.

Bupaya Pagoda. It's so cute!
Bupaya Pagoda. It’s so cute!
Climbed down to the terrace below Bupaya for the sunset. Happy New Year from the Chins!
Climbed down to the terrace below Bupaya for the sunset. Happy New Year from the Chins!
wao
wao sunset at Bupaya over the Irrawaddy River

Grabbed a quick dinner and checked in to our hotel for the night – early rise tomorrow morning.

This is the extent of our New Years turn up
This is the extent of our New Years turn up

Today has been so different from my past few New Years – lots and lots of culture and history and beauty!

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