During my last day at Nyaung Shwe, I decided cycling whatever I feel like, so I ended up among the villages where I saw absolutely no tourists.
I’m sure there aren’t many tourists doing this path as it doen’t look any touristic at all. I cycle in the middle of small villages and I spot a group of small children playing. Well, they spotted me… I stopped my Ympek bicycle for a photo and this group of children approaches me. The only English word they know his Hello. Oh, and Bye! As they approached me, I ask to take pictures, so there we were 5 minutes just taking pictures and showing them. I’m sure they don’t see pictures very often, so they were super excited everytime I show them the photos on my phone. They are so sweet!!
Then I follow a “bigger road” where nothing is going on, beside few people working on the fields. So there I am, completely alone with the sound of nature in a desert of fields. I just came across a few people on the way, so I felt like I had the whole world for me. Then it starts a village again, where I see they don’t see tourists a lot. The villagers are all smiling at me with the biggest smile and saying “Mingalabar”. And this is the feeling I try to tell others about Myanmar. How good is having the street for you and your bicycle, and smiley faces that can’t take the smile of your face for hours? Coming to Myanmar again doesn’t change my way of view the country: The country where I can’t take the smile off my face besides how tired I am. And this is what I like the most here, being alone with the Burmese.
After 2 hours cycling on the dirt paths of Nyaung Shwe among villages, I get into the city center where I see a group of novices in pink. They are going from door to door with bowls, and people are giving them food. I guess this is some usual rythual here, but I haven’t seen it before yet. They are singing along the way and protected from the sun in red umbrellas that look so photogenic!
At the end of the day I return to Ostello Bello loving this day spent alone exploring the villages as it brings me the best of Myanmar: people’s smile. Ans actually, the sunset at the Hostel is quite good!!