From the colonial cities to the ancient temples passing by the beaches facing the Bay of Bengal: my journey in Myanmar will take me to discover Yangon, Bagan, and Ngapali Beach.
“The city of blood, dreams and gold”: so the poet Pablo Neruda described Yangon, then Rangoon, the seat of his first consular work post. Almost a century after the stay of the Chilean poet, Yangon city has left behind a bloody past to open itself to the world. Its streets, full of life, hide buildings from colonial architecture and the golden temples such as Shwedagon Paya, that every year attracts thousands of Buddhist believers. Yangon fascinates me with its colonial past: in 1841 the city was ripped to the ground by a fire and, after being rebuilt, suffered new terrible devastation during the Second Anglo-Burmese war in 1852. The British, in fact, settled in and renamed Rangoon. In 1920, the city had become a major stop point in Asian travel of characters such as Rudyard Kipling, H.G. Wells and Amelia Heart who stopped at Rangoon in 1937 while she was doing the second of her attempts to make the world globe in airplane.
The trip to Myanmar‘s history will also take me to Bagan, the heart of Bamar culture. The “Bagan archaeological zone” extends over an area of 67kmq and the most vibrant city in the area is Nyaung U. All foreigners wishing to visit the archaeological area must pay a $ 15 fee to the government. To visit the whole area, however, you can use bicycles, pick-ups, horse-drawn carriages, hot-air balloons or taxis. The area is also subdivided into Old Bagan, the area that encloses the main temples, city walls, archaeological museum and rises on a bend of the Irrawaddy River and New Bagan, which was built in 1990, which houses the best restaurants with a long river view.
If the first part of the trip is devoted to discovering the country’s history and culture, the second will focus on relaxation. To forget about the daily frenzy, in fact, I found Ngapali Beach. Set in the top ten of the world’s most beautiful beaches, this white sandy beach looks out over the crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Bengal and offers its visitors, fiery sunsets and unique emotions.