Day 32: Last day in Myanmar

by Oliver Smith

Today was the last full day of our short trip to Myanmar. More than anywhere on this trip so far, this was the country where we desperately wanted to stick around; the sort of place where you seem to feel an invisible elastic band yoinking you back, making each step to the airport harder.

This afternoon we took a short farewell bike ride to the shores of Inle Lake. A spine of green hills stretched along the shore – receding from pea-greens to rinsed blues with the distance – and mists rolled off the hills on to the lake. We pedalled over humpbacked bridges and through stilt-house villages stirring with lazy afternoon life: clucking chickens and swinging hammocks, darting butterflies and toddlers trying to pull the tails of cats.

Finally we rounded a corner and came across a small golden temple where a dozen smiling novice monks were riding bicycles in and out of the stupas in a long procession. It made for a strange scene; a bit like a Pink Floyd album cover, or maybe an out-take from a David Lynch movie. They invited us to join in and we did: pedalling aimlessly around the temple as the wind played wandering melodies in the temple bells above us. 

We felt very blessed to have visited Myanmar at a time when it was opening up to tourism.

The day in statistics: 

  • Bike rides: 1

  • Boat rides: 1

  • Plane rides: 1



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