So after 4 months of travelling throughout Southeast Asia i returned to Bangkok, the city of angels. Actually, i thought that i would return earlier, but somehow my travel plans developed differently. I have to admit that i sometimes missed the city on the way, or at least let’s say the nightlife. I don’t know, for gay guys it’s probably the best in all of Southeast Asia, if not all of Asia.
But there was another reason for my return to Bangkok, namely the preparation for my trip to Myanmar. Somewhere i had picked up that the best way to enter the country is via Bangkok, since there are not too many connections from Myanmar to other neighbouring countries. In addition, you have to apply for a tourist visa approval letter in advance. Fortunately, this can now be done online and worked without any problems. After 2 days i had my entry permit for Myanmar and could book my flights, which i did immediately for the upcoming week.
The rest of the time i spent basically between the hotel pool, streetfood places and DJ Station.
I then flew to Yangon as planned and everything worked surprisingly smoothly. It took a little longer at the immigration, because my german passport caused a bit of a stir. Usually the opposite is the case: with a german passport almost all doors are open to you. But now that the country has become one centre of the Covid19-pandemie, one is being monitored more closely. But since i could prove with all my stamps in the passport that i had not been to Germany for a longer time, it was not a big deal at all.
On the way to the hotel, the taxi driver proudly announced that there were no cases of Covid-19 in Myanmar. I dont know, at that moment it actually calmed me down a bit and i was very happy with the choice of my destination. The country has been on my imaginary travel-to-do-list for a long time. The temples of Bagan or the Golden Rock have somehow something mystical and always had a special attraction to me.
I spent the next 2 days in Yangon, visited the famous Shwedagon Pagoda and took the cirqular train to the suburbs. On the third day i went by bus to the Golden Rock in the mountains.
After the Shwedagon Pagoda, the Golden Rock is the second most important religious site for the burmese people. It’s an unusual geological formation, a rock that lies on top of another and appears to be on the verge of falling. In fact, there is only a small contact area between the two elements. The whole rock is covered with gold leaf and is crowned by a pagoda. In the tip there should be 2 hairs of Buddha himself, keeping the whole formation in balance. Yes of course!
In all these days reporting on the Corona-crisis had become more and more worrying. Many countries, also here in Asia, suddenly closed their borders and entry restrictions increased. And i have to admit that all these news made me nervous and insecure, too. Somehow i didnt want to get stuck in this situation in this rather poor country with doubtful medical care and infrastructure.
In addition, the majority of people in Myanmar (at least that was my impression) is chewing betel nuts. It is some kind of intoxicant, comparable to cigarettes, which turns peoples mouth and teeth to dark red or even black color. Not necessarily nice to look at, lol. In any case, after chewing them for some time, people are used to spit them out. So there was basically nothing but spitting and coughing walking along the streets. And against the background of the current situation, it is not really a comforting feeling to experience.
So when i was back in the hotel in the evening (where i was pretty much the only guest at that time…), i made the decision to fly back to Bangkok. I dont know, somehow i thought that i would feel safer there. It was more or less my gut feeling that made me decide. And it’s my believe that one should always trust the gut feeling. It’s simply signals from your body to yourself that you need to understand.
Of course, you also have to be careful not to see a sign or signal in everything and to indicate something in things that may be irrelevant. I recently spoke about this to a friend from Korea, whom i also met here in Bangkok. He told me there is a saying in his country that goes something like this:
Put the ring to the nose, it’s a nose ring. Put the ring to the ear, it’s an earring.
That means it’s always a matter of interpretation. But what was the most important thing in my case: in the end i felt good with my decision and that is what ultimately matters!
Two days after i was back in Bangkok, my original return flight from Myanmar was cancelled…
And since this week no foreigners are allowed to enter Thailand anymore.