The country of Myanmar (Burma) has had its fair share of royal capitals, the last of which was Mandalay. After the fall of the Kingdom of Pagan, the capital jumped from place to place for several hundred years. Some cities would even get to be the royal capital more than once. Just a short drive
When most people from the West hear the word Mandalay, they picture casinos, neon lights or even an aquarium. Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, it turns out, was actually named after Myanmar’s former capital, despite its lack of a bay. But other than the name, the two places couldn’t be more different. Originally founded in
It was still dark when I got out of the taxi, somewhat groggy and disoriented after only managing a few hours of sleep. My luggage in hand, I walked down a sandy hill onto the beach of the Nyaung U jetty. From there I carefully made my way across a narrow wooden plank to the
The deep relationship between Burmese society and Theravada Buddhism is apparent just about everywhere you go in the country. Whether you’re in a big city or small town, you’re bound to come across a pagoda or Buddha statue on almost every block. A little beneath the surface, though, is the ancient tradition of ‘Nat worship’
The image of hot air balloons floating over the ancient, picturesque city of Bagan has become an icon of Myanmar and its tourism industry. Who wouldn’t want to view Bagan’s unique landscape, with its thousands of ancient temples, from way up in the sky? Many people are shocked, though, when they find out the price.
I bounce up and down in my seat as my yellow Chinese e-bike speeds over the bumpy and narrow dirt path. I try to keep my eyes on the large brown pagoda in the distance while also minding the thorny plants on either side of my bare legs. I soon encounter a dead end and
The site of an awful tragedy that struck a longstanding family business is now one of Yangon’s most fascinating sightseeing destinations. The Nagar Glass Factory was destroyed by Cyclone Nargis in 2008, the country’s worst ever recorded natural disaster. What remains in the jungle ruins around the former factory are countless pieces of colorful glass
Burma, now known as Myanmar, first became a British colony in the early 19th century and would remain so for over 100 years. Throughout this period, many magnificent buildings would be built in the country’s largest city of Yangon, resulting in an interesting hybrid of European and Buddhist architecture. Yangon, in fact, remains one of the