Templed out on the way to Bagan
#irrawaddy #sagaing #mandalay #bagan #myanmar #burma
Day 102 Mandalay to Bagan
The longest boat ride in life, 180km in just under 9 hours. It was rather comfortable journey contrary to my belief that I'd be crammed with the locals, but rather it was luxurious one, fully catered for 40 foreigners. After embarking at 7am, breakfast and lunch were served. As onboard were mostly Europeans, most occupied themselves with books, I also decided to pick an ePub file suitable for the environment. The title "Burmese Days" sounded familiar, but I was surprised to find out that George Orwell spent his formative years in Burma, which was a part of British Raj back then. Feeling like captain Marlow while reading a book of similar nature, the ferry slowly made its way down Irrawaddy River. Being his first complete novel, I recounted about what his time may have been like through the protagonist's internal struggles, applying the recurring themes of imperialism, racism and identity conflict to myself, all of which I ought to find answers to through this journey. Too soon for a conclusion, but the 9 hours of silence, as if I was locked in a library with a bunch of bookworms, was a truly unique experience.
Taking back what I said about Myanmar, turns out it was Mandalay cheap and hospitable. Everything is about double the price in Bagan, the locals seem a bit spoiled, still very nice people, but slightly frustrating to find myself going from wondering if I will ever run out of cash(~$150) to penniless, luxurious hotel in downtown to a motel in the outskirts despite paying 2x price, in a day. I have yet to see the greatest monuments Burmese civilization has to offer, all within 5km radius; all that comes to my mind now are the hedonistic alternatives available in Bangkok or KL. Why am I here? All these palace/temple sightseeings only give me more headache as much as I resent religious & political legacy attained thru manipulation. I have already come too deep inside the country, it's gonna be a long way turning back to modern civilizations where soapy pleasures await. Perhaps this holy site is ironically the heart of darkness for my mind