Surprisingly Sweet Treats Found at a Myanmar Farm

“Try it. It is better than it looks…”

I stared down at the brown round globule sitting on top of a small mound of sesame seeds. Do I really have to eat this? Usually I’m pretty open when it comes to mysterious food items, but this just seemed so… nondescript – like the taste could go in a million different directions.  Of course, it didn’t help that the owner of this particular Myanmar farm was hovering right next to me, patiently awaiting my inevitable reaction with a sly smile.

Oh well. Better not to drag this one out. I tossed my head back while dumping the contents over my tongue, hoping for the best but expecting the worst. Read More

Temples & Turnarounds: My Favorite Old Bagan Moments

“Whatever you do, when you get to the top of the staircase, do not turn left.”

Not exactly the kind of instruction I was expecting when we arrived at this deserted temple to see the sun set over Old Bagan. Also, not something I wanted to hear as I got ready to ascend a dark ancient staircase that looked to be right out of a movie set. Surely Aung was at least going to join me, just to ensure that I wouldn’t be heading up into the great and potentially dangerous unknown by myself… right?

“You go ahead. I will wait for you down in the car.” Read More

Double Vision in Bagan: Sparkling Shwezigon Pagoda

Between the rickety train travel and slowly drifting down the Ayeyarwady River, it had taken over 24 hours to finally get to Bagan.

24 hours where I had dodged both derailment and detainment. But I made it safely with most of my sanity intact. I even still had a few hours of daylight remaining, which was just enough time to fit in a quick visit to one of Bagan’s most important temples – Shwezigon Pagoda. Read More

How to Avoid Chaos With the Bagan Entrance Fee

“You must pay Bagan entrance fee now or I call police!”

This short surly woman clearly wasn’t messing around with me or the other boat passengers that were now all frantically fumbling around in their pockets. From the look of things, I clearly wasn’t the only one that had been caught off guard by the 25,000 kyat ($20 USD) per person fee. A quick wallet check revealed that I was around 15,000 kyat short, and the woman in charge had already made it clear that nobody was leaving until each group had payed up. Read More

Sleeping Peacefully on the Mandalay Ferry to Bagan

As the sun continues to rise over the Ayeyarwady River, it’s impossible not to notice the handful of oblong shapes slowly drifting through the frigid morning air.

Unsure of what I was seeing, or even if my sleep deprived eyes had finally reached the point of non-function, I sat up in my chair and peered out from the deck of the Mandalay Ferry I was on.

Squinting into the distance, it quickly became clear what I was seeing… Read More