yangon. that white noise. the humming of a crowded place is in the air, while we walk up the last steps to the plaza of the shwedagon pagoda. the sakral monument is cladded in gold from top to bottom, holding thousands of diamonds and rubies at its peak in almost 100 meters height. people from all over the country donate gold to maintain the pagodas appearance - an incredible fact, considering how little the people of myanmar got to make a living.
we are fascinated by the lifestyle of the people. all these different faces, featuring thanaka paste on their cheeks. men wearing longyis. old women smoking fat cigars while they sell their goods on the market. little boys who are being brought to the monastery for the first time in a festive ceremony.
the next destination on our trip is bagan, an ancient city in the mandalay region, former capital of the kingdom of pagan. from the once 10.000 temples, monasteries stupas and pagodas in this region, around 2200 are still intact as of today. the sunset is incredible.
we explore the area on little scooters and by horse cart until we are templed out, hang out with the horse cart drivers until the early morning. we play the guitar, sing songs and talk about differences of life in myanmar and singapore. most of them study in the bigger cities and are hard workers during their semester breaks. they dream of a better life for their families and themselves, just like young folks anywhere else in the world. it doesn’t take wealth to be golden.