Just a few more escapades to finish off before the two of us become fully submerged into serious work and the depressing reality that we now live with our parents. You join us as we walk over the border crossing from Thailand to Myanmar, alongside three new reprobates to introduce to our story. Welcome Gemma, Moo and Rosie. Now I’m sure you’re hoping that we fully appreciated the opportunity to explore a country that has only been open to the rest of the world for under four years. And you’d be right but also so, so wrong. I will sum up Myanmar as being beautiful and extremely remote, particularly Inle Lake and Bagan. But the key issues arise from zero wifi throughout the entire country, 6 early closing bars and an alarming amount of gammy legged dogs. But if you love a temple, market or pagoda (whatever the fuck that is) then this is the place for you.
Narrator: Seriously are you not even going to try and seem a tiny bit cultured?
On the first day we went to visit a local village to learn about life living in the jungle. If you remember correctly, we have some light experience after spending a night in a Laos tribal homestay and I can confirm I was slightly triggered. Libby ate a grasshopper which was also extremely triggering. In fact, the only thing we really learnt was that we will buy LITERALLY ANYTHING a five year old with sad eyes offers us.
“Handmade bracelet that will fall apart tomorrow?”
“Sounds great, pretty sure I saw something similar in Gucci’s Spring/Summer 18.”
“Thanks that’ll be $30”.
*Three long bus journeys, ten markets and 1 million Pagodas later*
Arrived in Bagan. It is absolutely stunning with over 1000 pagodas and temples. On the first evening everyone else went to visit a temple (Buddha himself could’ve been giving a Ted talk and I wouldn’t have been interested at this point) and for the first time, maybe ever, we made a very good decision. Accompanied by our new found group of likeminded people we went to watch the sunset, surrounded by temples and accompanied by various cocktails. Blissful. But does the night ever end after one cocktail?
Narrator: Not with you two.
At ten o’clock, the hotel manager informs us that they have closed the bar so six of us carry out a covert raid of the mini-fridges. Having scraped together a whole 12 beers, we continued the night sat around the hotel pool. When we finally decided to head to bed, Big Libs discovered, to her horror, that her phone has disappeared. By morning it still hadn’t materialised so the two of us sat down with the hotel staff to look through the CCTV from the previous night to try and locate it. We fidgeted nervously, serious hangxious about rewatching the previous night’s antics. We spent the next half an hour watching ourselves in fast forward, swigging from our beers in double time and watching ourselves get progressively drunker like your weird uncle on Christmas Day. Big Libs grabbed the mouse to try and skip over the moment when, at around midnight, I barrel rolled into the pool doing my best impression of the Shamu show at Sea World, only to land at the point, when another girl climbed out of a window holding more beers above her head like a trophy. BUT just before we slump completely onto the floor from shame, we discover the culprit DC Claire (a police woman funnily enough) pick up Lib’s phone and slide it into her pocket. Quote of the day said whilst sipping unknown Myanmar tea was Big Libs “Do we really know these people? Everyone is a suspect.” *sips tea
Arrived at Inle Lake. This was probably the highlight of our trip as we took five small boats out to visit the villages, markets and monasteries that float on its surface. What was not quite such a highlight was the hangover we were sporting after going wine tasting (can confirm Burmese wine is similar to drinking cat urine) and drinking 2 4 1 cocktails until the early hours of the morning. We even managed to dodge yet more people trying to sell us shit we didn’t need- having already acquired a wooden long necked lady, various earrings and ten miniature paintings that Libby said she would hang in the bathroom of the house she does not have or will ever be able to afford. After visiting the Inle Lake silversmith we became convinced of the need to own a silver fish pendant (costing a mere $60) when the owner assured us that his great grandfather designed it himself. No he didn’t and you can buy the same one in Monsoon for a quid. We also visited the ‘jumping cat monastery’. Spoiler alert- there are no monks and the cats don’t jump. Inle Lake was also the site where I had the worst iced coffee of my entire life, the major component missing that it was boiling hot.
Our final stop was Yangon, where the main attraction was, you guessed it, a temple and a market. Yangon was not the most picturesque of places, in fact I didn’t take any pictures. The market was excellent, 5* on Trip advisor. I would recommend if you haven’t spent all your Kyats on beers, curry and T shirts. We decided to suck it up and go to one last temple, which we referred to as the Big Golden Tiddy of Yangon due to its size and shape. As soon as we got out of the taxi at the entrance to see the Tiddy, we were jumped. 15-20 small children surrounded us, slapping us with plastic bags (to put our shoes in) for the small price of $1. You know when I said earlier that I’d buy anything a five-year-old asked me to, turns out I even have my limits, no puppy eyes no purchase. By the time we got inside the temple, we had not only lost interest, but lost interest in even pretending to be interested. We actually paid someone to go into the temple to take photos and sat on the steps, like the uncultured swines we are. I sent my mother this google image of the temple that I claimed to have taken myself and she believed me.
Narrator: Can someone please just take these two to the beach and pass them a cocktail, for all our sakes.
If I learnt one thing whilst in Myanmar, it is that my followers on Instagram are just as uncultured as me. 29 likes for a temple and 200 for me in a R rated bikini top? You should all be ashamed.
Next stop Bali: land of the free and the home of all Australian men.