All posts filed under: Myanmar

The Chinese Connection

Chapter 5, Part 2 Known as the “Middle Kingdom” in Mandarin, China has always projected its image as the center of the world even long before the modern People’s Republic of China was formed. Prior to the creation of the Communist state as well as […]


Yangon, Three Years Later

Chapter 4, Part 21 Everything seems so familiar as I step out of the plane that takes me from Bangkok to Yangon. The clean and airy modern airport terminal looks just how I remember it, and the squiggly Burmese script is as mysterious as it […]


Mandalay and the Last Burmese Kingdom

Chapter 4, Part 20 Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is a land that gave birth to great kings who ruled some of the mightiest empires in the history of Southeast Asia. Anawrahta established the first Burmese empire in the 11th century, a regional power that […]


Indein: Abandoned and Forgotten

Chapter 1, Part 17 Far from the crowds and bustle of tourists and locals at the center of Inle Lake, our small boat headed to the southwestern side of the lake. Our boatman skillfully navigated the calm waters to Indein (Inn Thein) creek, past Phaung […]


Bagan: An Empire in Decline

Chapter 1, Part 16 Almost two centuries of endless temple construction which began during the reign of Anawrahta, the founder of the kingdom of Bagan, resulted in nearly two-thirds of arable land in the kingdom reserved for religious purposes. The construction of colossal temples and […]


Bagan: Into Turbulent Time

Chapter 1, Part 14 In the early 12th century AD, the prosperous and powerful kingdom of Bagan was on the verge of years of political instability. Narathu, who by now ruled the kingdom, ascended the throne by assassinating his own father, Alaungsithu, and his older […]


Bagan Rising

Chapter 1, Part 13 At the turn of the second millennium, Hinduism became the dominant power in Southeast Asia where powerful Hindu kingdoms controlled vast swathes of land between the Pacific and the Indian Oceans. Following the return of Shaivism into the royal court of […]


Out of the Archipelago

After three months exploring Indonesia, from Sabang (Indonesia’s westernmost city) to the Banda Islands (where nutmeg originates) in the eastern part of the country, James and I traveled across Southeast and South Asia to continue retracing the ancient Spice Route. The journey took us to three […]


Shwedagon: More Than Just Another Pagoda

You cannot say you have visited Yangon if you haven’t gone to Shwedagon Pagoda. I mean it. For most people, Southeast Asia is a wonderful place with so many beautiful temples scattered throughout the region. But after traveling around for a while, some might frown […]


Yangon: A City-Sized Time Capsule

Dark-colored mountains covered in mist emerge from afar. Green rice paddies stretch as far as my eyes can see. Tiny glimmering golden pagodas mark some spots amidst the green tapestry. No skyscrapers, only houses and other low-rise structures. When the plane landed on the runway […]