december 2013 – january 2014: myanmar & istanbul

Istanbul’s Turkish delights

In my five days in Istanbul, I have seen the best and the worst of this city. This is a beautiful city offering thousands of years of history and architecture. As a blond haired, blue eyed single girl roaming the streets alone I was also a beacon for unwanted...

Istanbul…a beautiful city with turkeys everywhere

During my first few days in Burma, Lili, Aki and I met a Turkish guy that hung out with us for a few days until he had to leave the country to meet his friends. He was direct, could sometimes be rude, and made us roll our eyes on more than a couple of occasions....

Yangon: Last days in Myanmar

I arrived back in Yangon in the early evening of December 29th. Two more nights in Yangon before leaving Myanmar. Since most of the cheapest flights are on December 31st, a few of the people I had met and kept in touch with during my travels around the country were...

Golden Rock: the Disney World of Myanmar

Our time to leave the beach had finally come. Not only is five days kind of my limit for doing nothing (I know, I really need to get better at it, especially on vacation!) but our guest house was fully booked on the 27th onward, so it was our cue to leave. Lili and I...

Merry Christmas from Ngwe Saung Beach

Merry Chrstmas! After two days in Mandalay Lili and I were both ready to move on. Aki left to go back to Finland at the end of day one – after 10 days traveling together we were sad to see him go. Also, after a night bus and a full day sightseeing with Aki on...

Mandalay in a day

Lili and I arrived in Mandalay at 2:30am after a bumpy night bus from Inle Lake. Aki had left the night before and had booked us a room at a guest house so we were lucky enough to know exactly where we were going when we arrived (thank you Aki!). After a short night,...

Inle Lake day 3: hosted by a local

My third and final day in Inle Lake area was very special. I had met Sandee at the Oasis Lounge in Bangkok where she works as a server and after talking for a bit she told me that she is from Myanmar. When I told her I was headed here and would be visiting Inle Lake...

Inle Lake day 2: Sightseeing on the lake

Such a busy and full day on the lake it’s hard to fit it into one post (plus I was tired last night after such a long day), so here is the second. After seeing many of the long boat fisherman paddling with their legs (which was really the main reason I wanted to...

Inle Lake day 2: A day on the lake

Another amazing day! We woke up early (6am!) to meet a long boat driver at 7:30am this morning at the market. Aki and I had met him last night before dinner and he agreed to take the three of us on a tour of the lake all day for the well-negotiated price of 18,000...

Inle Lake day 1

Another overnight bus, this one from Bagan to Inle Lake, deposited us at our destination at 2:30am exhausted and cold from the night air and high altitude. We found a taxi driver who would take us to find a guest house and quickly found one after only two stops. I...

Bagan day 3: tourista strikes:(

Despite taking a Dukoral booster and being fairly cautious with the food I’ve been eating, the lack of sleep from the overnight bus from Yangon left my immune system weak and I came down with a mild-moderate case of tourista. Aki was sick too so we all laid low...

Bagan: day 2

So taking the night bus from Yangon to Bagan left me with little sleep, and subsequently a cold:( No matter, biking and fresh air was the perfect medicine. Day two of Bagan was pretty much temples, temples, temples. But a day of bike riding and temples always starts...

Bagan: Land of a thousand temples

Roughly 2600 temples, to be more precise. And that’s down from an original 4000 before the earthquake in 1975 (and an even more original 10,000 that once existed in the area). Lili, Aki and I took the night bus from Yangon to Bagan and arrived early the next...

Yangon Village

After a morning of visiting the port of Yangon followed by a couple hours walking around Inye Lake we were eager to make our way to the village Sener had told us about across the river from Yangon. We took the 45 minute cab ride back down to the port and managed to...

And just when Yangon couldn’t get any better…it got better

Day two in Yangon was even better than day one. Aki, Lili and our new friend Sener (from Turkey) walked around most of the day, first to the port, then to Inye Lake, a large lake in the northern part of the city, and then back to the port where we boarded a long boat...

Yangon, part 2….day 1 continued

We wandered around most of the afternoon, and by 5pm headed to the major landmark of the city, Shwedagon Paya, a massive pagoda drenched in gold. dsc_0102 dsc_0099 dsc_0100 dsc_0105 dsc_0108 dsc_0109 dsc_0114 dsc_0116 dsc_0122 dsc_0123 dsc_0126 dsc_0138 dsc_0145_2...

Yangon, Yangon, I could go on and on…

I love this city. There, I said it. Maybe because I wasn’t expecting much, and maybe my tepid feelings for Bangkok had me thinking that all ‘major’ Asian cities are the same. How wrong (and admittedly naive) I was! There is so much to say, but...

A blind date, ping pongs & a schlong

Not many pictures from yesterday, but an interesting day nonetheless. Yesterday was supposed to be ‘get a Burmese visa’ day. My flight out of Thailand to Yangon was booked for 7am this morning (Dec 11) so it was imperative that I get the one day visa,...

TIpsy in Bangkok

I had no intention of drinking today. And yet it’s 12:30am and I’m kinda tipsy. Oops:) I arrived in Bangkok mid-afternoon and exhausted despite sleeping rather well on the plane. By the time I got to my guest house – one train, two skytrains, and 30...

Christmas Market Layover in Frankfurt

I had a 12 hour layover in Frankfurt on the way to Bangkok. And needless to say I was not looking forward to it. Until, that is, I checked tripadvisor before arriving and found out that in December Frankfurt holds a huge outdoor Christmas Market. It’s pretty...