Hello... it's me.

Welcome to my wild and weird world. This blog, website, whatever you want to call it started off as a way to share things with friends and family while a travel. Now I'm opening it up to all you beautiful people, I hope you enjoy x

Mingalaba Myanmar (That's Burmese for "Hello"... obviously)

Mingalaba Myanmar (That's Burmese for "Hello"... obviously)

Where do I begin? Well I guess we can start about a 130 years ago, when Myanmar (then called Burma, the name was changed to Myanmar in 1989, it is pronounced “Me-Yan-Mar”) was first made one of many British colonies. It was not until 1948 that Burma became independent from the British. In 1962 the military staged a coup and Burma lived under military rule until 2011.

So that brings us to today, Myanmar is an incredibly beautiful and diverse country that still is extremely authentic, mainly because of little western influence. Since 2011 the country has become slightly more developed; larger buildings line streets, there is Wi-Fi in the airport (Wi-Fi is super rare, internet for that matter is not very good, it exists, but isn’t strong).

Fun fact: Yangon (The former Burmese capital) just got it’s first western fast food chain a month ago, it’s no surprise to anyone who lives or has ever traveled in Asia, that it was a KFC (seriously, people love fried chicken here)

Anyways, I ended up in Yangon for a few days because there was a Buddhist holiday, so school was canceled. I stayed with my amazing, badass, and semi-famous (in Myanmar) friend, Karen (It’s her birthday today… HAPPY BIRTHDAY KAREN!) We met in Thailand during our TESOL training and she has been teaching in Yangon since October of 2014. While there we spent time in Yangon and in a more rural town called Bago, about two hours outside of the city.

In Bago, we legitimately saw 15… F I F T E E Npagoda’s, but that was only the start of our adventure. In Myanmar recently there has been devastating flooding, when we arrived in Bago we were met with flooded roads that were covered in brown mucky water about four feet high, that’s a little over a meter for you metric peepz. We were lucky that the flooding was minimal and no one had been injured. When we arrived we were told to hop off our bus in the middle of the road and walk because the bus wasn’t going any further. It ended up working out great because these two Burmese guys stopped us and offered to show us around, so Karen and I accepted, normally I wouldn’t just hop on the back of some random guys bike, but everyone in Myanmar is super nice and welcoming…. he also had candy.

Yangon is like slightly, and I use the word lightly, like organised chaos. If I had to describe the city in one word is would be colorful, from clothing to food. We explored the city quite a bit. We went to one of the oldest pagoda’s in the world, The Schwedagon, incredibly beautiful, now don’t get me wrong pagoda’s are great, but like churches and temples, once you’ve seen like three, you’ve seen them all. One place that I have never seen anything like was this abandoned glass factory, it was originally owned and operated by a family that hand-blew the glass, it was absolutely stunning. It is just outside the city and is set back from the road, the factory is now in uncomplete ruin after the 2008 cyclone. Tree’s and green cover the remaining fragments of the building like an oceans tide. You can wander through and find some pretty beautiful pieces, and tons TONS of mosquito’s. If you’re ever in Yangon you have to go.

I could go into more detail about everything, but basically Myanmar is beautiful, in it’s own way. It is still growing and developing and I look forward to coming back and visiting again.

If you would like more information about Myanmar, google it.

But seriously though, if you would like more information about the devastating floods all over the country and how to help the victims, here are a few links.
United Nations Refugee Agency
BBC
CNN

Below are some of my favourite pictures from my trip, if you have any further questions or want to know more about what I did feel free to email me, chandlergelb@gmail.com



ONE YEAR in ONE MINUTE

ONE YEAR in ONE MINUTE

#tbt to Phi Phi

#tbt to Phi Phi