"I am the son of the journey, the caravan is my home and my life is the most amazing adventure."
- Amin Maaluf -

08 december Bangkok (THAILAND)

76° day

At last in the "City of Angels"!

We are in Bangkok!
India is over and we realize that at every moment.
Every small detail makes us understand that Thailand is a world apart from that experienced in the past two and a half months.

We are surprised to find the toilet paper in the bathroom, to see order and rules everywhere, even to drink a little milk into a clean bottle, to observe the traffic to follow a code.



"Travel! Losing countries! Be more consistently because the soul has no roots! ... Go ahead, chase the absence of anxiety and have an end of it ".
- Fernando Pessoa -

 

09 december Bangkok (THAILAND)

Early in the morning here we are in a line along the gray wall of the embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
A long wait punctuated by a series of boring paperwork ... but necessary ...

We reach by boat "Wat Phra Kaeo" along the Chao Phraya River, an enchanted place!
A series of buildings, temples, pagodas, statues flavored with an atmosphere so peaceful and serene.
The "Grand Palace", the former king's residence, is closed because it is the birthday of the sovereign, a king so loved and revered by his people ... I was struck when  Stefy, pointing to a bust, asked a guard : - 'Is this  the King? "and he, proudly: -" No, it's MY KING ".

From there we reach the Wat Po, a group of Buddhist monks is preparing for a religious festival to be held the next day. We stop to chat a bit with them. They are sweet and curious.

At sunset we reach Wat Tramit and a Chinatown in turmoil, roasting stalls everywhere around preparing soups or meat offal, those fruit salads, those noodles ... wherever people were cooking and eating ...

 

10 december Yangoon (MYANMAR) 78° day

Lie down comfortably on the huge sofa we expect our Airbus 320 by Air Asia, at Bangkok international airport ready to reach the former Burmese capital!

From a distance, like Ulysses with the Sirens, we are attracted by the golden  Shwedagon pagoda, we walk around this small religious village that consists only of temples, many places of prayer where the faithful pilgrims from all over the country prayed and entrusted their hopes and wish to  some of the thousand Buddhas everywhere.

Some  local kids advice us  to visit, in a temple not far, "the statue of the reclining Buddha" ...
Half an hour later, with our eyes turned upward, mouth open we admire this immense work of art. We have to  climb up on a pedestal to get a complete view of the sculpture.

We meet an old man who invites us to visit the area inhabited by Buddhist monks ... a place out of time ...

12 december Yangoon (MYANMAR)

We are ready to leave the old capital, let's relax a little bit on the shores of Inle Lake in the company of a nice  Malaysian-Chinese man called: Yee.

We cross small little villages with few houses, some pagodas, the rest is made ​​up of endless fields of rice that frame the surrounding landscape.

13 december Nyaung Shwe (MYANMAR)

81° day

Outside it is pitch dark when the driver shakes me warning that we arrived at the Junction for the Inle Lake. It's 5.10 am and we are a dozen miles from our destination. We get off  from the bus in seven (the three of us, a Sardinian guy who lives in London, two Germans and one French), we go up on the only available pick up and continue to Nyaung Shwe, a small village near the lake.

We stay at the "Gypsy Inn" and from the balcony of our room, I humble charm to observe the unfolding of their daily lives. It looks like a movie!

We  leave our backpacks in the room and we soon board on one of the fastest local boat along the canals that flow into the lake.

Today is Sunday! It is market day ...  Who lives in the mountains goes down to the lake to sell his wares.
We are impressed by each stand, we stop to chat with anyone who approaches us, we walk around  everywhere and often we see  "weird" things and we fall in love with the simplicity of these people!

On board our boat we finally reach the Inle Lake and from there we slip into a long series of channels, noting that even in a place so inaccessible the everyday life flowes quietly. Everything lives on stilts, even the pig sty!

We visit "small factories" of silk lotus, umbrellas, souvenirs of all kinds and forms.
We are again impressed by the meeting with the "long neck women", an ethnic minority; probably it will be for the tradition or local custom, or for any other reason but it's incredible that even in 2011 there are still some so cruel "costumes".

We continue visiting a large Buddhist pagoda, a monastery and then finally we get lost in the streets of one of many villages.
We have the nerve to go into various houses and in each of them the welcome is always warm! Your heart is hit when you see those humble people who have nothing material providing you a small orange, a cigarette or a cup of tea.

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