Another World

Category: Wendy's Wanderings 07 January 2013

Burma….why go?

Because it is opening up, it has not lost the innocence and cultural kick that Thailand has, and because if Aung San Suu Kyi choose to stay under house arrest for over 14 years rather than go back to her home in Oxford, there must have been a good reason to stay. 

We flew into Singapore and in 6 years were amazed to see how much the city had changed and modernised. Boat Quay has extended with more chic bars and restaurants and trendy shops which look more western than Asian.  A new triple skyscraper adorned with a mock cruise liner on the roof (yes it is true) so the ship seems to be floating on air, housing pools, bars and restaurants.  Opulent, unnecessary but with the affect of Disneyworld …for adults.  For 2 nights I love it.

At night the city throbs with music, bright lights streak across the sky, people chatter and laugh…. awakening all the jet lagged senses. A gaudy jewelled brooch that I bet can be seen from space. 

Singapore at Night

Whilst eating in a restaurant near the hotel I was intrigued by a large central thick glassed wine cellar.  I go in to take a look, the owner indulged me by giving me a tour.  A large bottle took my eye of Chateau Mouton Rothschild.  ‘Oh that’s one of our most expensive bottles, it cost over £10,000.'  I almost fell over but I had to touch it first, hoping to feel something… I was disappointed!  Apparently after a good night at the Casino a local thinks nothing of blowing their winnings on a bottle. How the other half live! I asked if I could try some…..he laughed! Needless to say the cellar was heavily padlocked and alarmed.  Just like a 007 set!!

As we flew into Myamar (Burma, Yangon) the contrast could not have been so apparent. The only thing with any lights on after dark was the 11th century Shwedagon Pagoda a huge gold stuppa the most revered of all in Myamar.  At sunset it burnt a rose gold, all the more beautiful without brash lights around it. It had the presence of a magnet gathering its subjects to prayer.  We had accidently arrived during the annual ‘Full Moon’ Festival.  We watched the ceremony of men offering money to the Buddha. Drums beating and men chanting. A full moon like a massive pearl glowing above.  Lines of monks waiting to pay homage.  We took pictures of them and they took pictures of us…one using an IPad!  How things are moving on here.


Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Mayamar (Burma)


Ang San Su Ki with a portrait of her father, Yangon

On our long flight out I had watched the film ‘The Lady’ with Michelle Yeoh portraying Aung San Suu Kyis life.  I had not understood till then how much her husband and sons’ support played in the grand scheme of things by maintaining awareness of her house arrest in the worlds media. As much of her achievements must be accredited to their support.

We also visited the graves of young WWII soldiers who died fighting the Japanese here.  All very young, British, Ghurkhas, Australians.  The gardener told us of a soldier buried there who was married for only 40-days before he died in combat.  Every year his wife sent a letter with her thoughts and love which the gardener placed on the grave.  She did this for over 45 years until no more letters came.  She probably died.....there is no love greater than this.


Four days into the trip and I realise I have a problem. I know I have because as a confirmed chocoholic I find myself doodling Lindt chocolate truffles in my diary.  Asia is not the place to find it, its hot, it melts.

My quest for the next leg, I MUST find some chocolate!!

Related Tags:  Wendys Wonderings |  Wendy Noton |  January13 |  Another World |  Aung San Suu Kyi |  Burma |  Singapore |  chocolate | 
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David Noton Photography
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