Myanmar: Welcome to the Jungle - where human and nature merge into a divine union

I have been to the jungles of South Africa and to the Himalayan jungles in Bhutan, and there has always been something that mysteriously fascinates me and makes me feel truly alive. However, experiencing the jungle between Ngwe Saung and Chaung Tha in Myanmar will leave an eternal mark on me.

Driving through the fisherman villages and (literally) through the rivers is not within our capacity, so my German friend and I rent two motorbikes, accompanied by two local guys. The route starts from our Ngwe Saung village, crosses three rivers, two beaches, some other fisherman and jungle villages, and reaches to the neighboring Chaung Tha village. I am enchanted by the little bamboo houses erupting within the palm trees, the people chilling on the ground and just observing what is happening (which is not much). They live in complete unity with nature and whatever it has offered them to live with - to make their houses and boats, to eat, to play with.

My driver looks like he is constantly high on something, the guy simply can't stop laughing. He doesn't speak a word of English but by the end of the day we are best friends. As we are driving we see a cow jumping on the back of another - he loses his breath out of laughter. We bump on the road - he laughs so hard, he will almost start crying. Someone steps on my foot - the guy is in motion, he is dying laughing...this constant laughter of his is a remedy to any sorrow.

Crossing rivers by "magical" ferries

The "ferries" to cross those three rivers are most of the time some sort of a bamboo platform with a motor engine, and most importantly, they have a special function - they can transport an unlimited amount of motorbikes and people at the same time!! No limit, no measures needed - the more, the merrier!

At one of the rides I want to sit on a bench next to one monk, but then a whole crowd of worried men tries to move me (no talking of course, body language rules), from which I figure they definitely want to tell me politely that sitting next to the monk is apparently not appropriate. I am getting better with Burmese language by the day.

Divine deserted beaches & sublime moments of joy

In between crossing the rivers, we spend long hours just chilling on the beach, talking and eating bananas. Our two motorbike drivers are happily chilling under a palm tree and show no sign to be in a hurry, so we embrace it.

At some point two kids jump out of the jungle and start giggling at us and timidly observing what these two white girls in swimming suits are doing. They have some half-pumped broken football and make me a sign to come and play. I go and they carefully demonstrate what I am supposed to do pointing at me, then at my foot and then again demonstrating with a kick - I apparently do not seem like someone who knows how to kick a ball, so I carefully follow the instructions. We start playing in a circle and they are instructing me every time where I need to send the ball, then some more kids start coming to take part in the observation and instruction of this white woman. It turns into a real football party. These kids are so radiant, and so cute, and so small and innocent, I simply cannot leave them. When we are about to depart I touch my heart, and send them a kiss. It seems like it is the first time they see someone "sending a kiss" and on their side they start clumsily sending me kisses as we leave on the motor bikes. My heart is completely melted.

On our way home, the Sun is setting down and in the quietness of this endless deserted beach where we are the only four people around, we decide we will learn how to drive the motorbikes. I have never ridden a motorbike in my life and as I learn how to start, I miss to remember that I don't know how to stop. I start laughing and helplessly accelerating instead of stopping and my driver is frantically running behind me shouting "slooow sloooow" (so now he knows a word in English huh!) - I nearly kill the poor guy in my effort to jump off the bike and stop, and again...we cannot take our breaths out of laughter.

Suddenly, we witness the most spectacular and unplanned sunset. All possible colors of purple, red, orange, blue, just in front of the jungle, the Sun is awarding us with a priceless private show. I feel that the view is animating all my senses, I am not just seeing but experiencing with my whole body this sublime moment of ultimate bliss in Myanmar...

Sneak into the rest of my boxes of memories here. 

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