Monywa, a Wonderful Surprise

Sometimes you go to the cinema to see a film that has received many awards and rave reviews, you know you are in for something very special and it does not disappoint. Other times, you randomly go and watch a film you have never heard of and you love it. Your appreciation and delight is so much bigger because it was unexpected. Bagan was the grand film that fulfilled all my expectations and Monywa was the surprise. I only came across this town a couple of times on the internet and I only knew that it had a big Buddha statue. For some reason I felt compelled to go and take a look. Continue reading

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Bagan, Out of a Fairy Tale

There is only one word to define Bagan: extraordinary. I arrived after a 19 hour train ride and was obviously not thinking clearly as I decided that it would be quaint to visit the temples on a horse cart. Quaint it was, also dusty, slow and not very comfortable. In a way it was a sweet introduction to this amazing place. There are many temples and in four days I managed to see a fair number. Some so beautiful I saw twice. Either ornate with golden decorations, plain with carvings or with amazing murals. It was extraordinary. Continue reading

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Crossing the road is a hazard…not all cars  stop at red lights

Bell at Golden Mount, Bangkok

Bell at Golden Mount, Bangkok

I didn’t like Bangkok very much. Lots of traffic, chaos, pollution and someone trying to get you to part with your money at every corner. One morning I went to visit Wat Saket, the Golden Mount. At the ticket office I was served by two cute school girls who spoke some English. As you go up to the top, you come across bells of different sizes and you are supposed to ring them for good luck or to make a wish. I didn’t know and made my wish on my way down, let’s just hope this doesn’t turn my wish upside down!   Continue reading

Chiang Mai

Number of taxi drivers who today tried to charge me at least double: 5

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There are so many beautiful temples and they are so different to what I am used to. The buildings are white outside but have an amazing array of colourful decorations. Really stunning. They feel very accessible and are not imposing. It is easy to just walk about and maybe come across a line of robes drying in the sun. One of the best meals I have had was in a restaurant at Wat Suan Dok temple. Probably the best vegetarian meal I have ever had. It blew my mind.  Continue reading