WWW Myanmar 2015 ~ First days…

This is a great adventure with so many contrasts and new experiences.

The day after we arrived (Election Day) we were told to stay close to the hotel in case of any protests. It all went smoothly and was inspiring. The following day our guide took us to the headquarters of the NLD (National League for Democracy). We were watching Aung San Suu Kyi on the huge outdoor screen outside the building and did not realize she was right next to us! The locals were cheering; it really was a once in a lifetime experience and a ‘monsoon’ followed. They said it was her ‘tears of joy that she most likely won the election and will free the country from the military powers’!

We toured the city and then on to Bagan to view the 25 square miles of stupas and temples. It is simply stunning.

Balloon ride over the temples in Myanmar

A few of us took the morning balloon ride of the temples. We woke up very early but it was worth every minute. After a bumpy landing in a farmer’s field, we toasted with champagne and then were off for a bike tour to several temples. The weather has been great…cool for them at this time of year and hot for us!

From Bagan we took the Aura Cruise for a fantastic 10-hour trip up the Irrawaddy River to Mandalay. It was a full day of relaxing, watching the local farmers and fisherman on the riverbanks and being pampered by the crew and our guide.

U Bein, Amarapura

Our guide, Giovanni, is wonderful. We are very lucky to have him. He is knowledgeable, has a great sense of humor (he has threatened to leave us women behind if we keep shopping), and has a gentle and patient manner. What a find!

We arrived last night in Mandalay and this morning went to U Bein bridge in Amarapura, walking halfway across and then a boat ride back. Then to Sagaing Hill for lunch at a nunnery. They took us into their monastery, we watched the head nuns eat; they sang a prayer for us and then we were permitted to ask them questions and presented our donation. We then had a lunch they made for us (the best meal yet) and tonight will go to a Mandalay Puppet show after dinner.

The adventure goes on…more to come.

Colleen Wood

Women With Wings escort from Myanmar