The Novice Festival -Bagan, Myanmar 🇲🇲 February 2005

//Part 2 of 8//

A beautiful morning in the temple city of Bagan, the scheduled visit to the Nan Kaba Pagoda – VIII – near Myin Kaba village turned out to be much more than we bargained for. Once there, our curiosity was aroused by incongruously loud music 🎶. Nonplussed, our guide was quick to explain that it should be the Shin Pyu, the festival of the novices because it’s the season 😳🤔🤷🏻‍♀️Our confusion didn’t last, dispelled by the following flood of information…we were in a village celebrating the most important event in the life of a Burmese: his entry to a monastery. As not everyone can partake in the noble endeavor of the minority wishing to become a monk, there is a way to experience the latter lifestyle: every male should stay in a Buddhist monastery as a novice monk for a certain period of time whether for a week, a month, three months or more, and his noviciat brings blessings to his family. This important event is celebrated with a big party, the Shin Pyu. Our guide pointed out that we were lucky to be visiting during this month and witness the celebrations as February, March and April are the post- harvest, Shin Pyu season : the funds earned from the sale of the rice subsidize the costly ceremony. Sometimes, many parents- the case today – join efforts to finance their children’s pre-noviciat celebrations. With this acquired knowledge, we watched with great interest the adults clad in a kaleidoscope of colours and a plethora of textiles, mostly silk, parading in front of us in two parallel rows.They appeared to be the parents, carrying in front of them the noviciat’s belongings, 8 necessary objects : an alms bowl, a razor, a fan, an umbrella, a sewing needle, and the 3 items of clothing that make up the monk’s outfit.

The adults were followed by the novices dressed like young princes in rich colours, with a paper crown on their head.

After a rushed photoshoot, we came to terms with our program, and entered half heartedly the overlooked temple . However, as soon as we exited the pagoda, we were reunited with the stars du jour, now each one riding a beautifully decorated horse and accompanied by an umbrella-holding attendant to shield him from the sun. Some families followed on foot, others on decorated oxen carts.

A déjà vu situation: we left them reluctantly in order to resume our interrupted scheduled visits and trusted our guide to take us back later to watch the ceremony.

Eventually, much later, towards the end of the day, we made it to the party in full swing. Guided by the loud music, we reached the pandal, an erected shelter where dancing and singing were taking place. We were the only “party crashers “ i.e. non Burmese spectators, however people made place for us. We watched with great interest the novices being blessed by a holy man, observed him performing the rituals that followed; later on, we joined in the fun, enjoyed the party, and cheered the 2 entertainers who alternated their parts on the stage.

We left before the novices got their heads shaved, and wondering will it be here or in the monastery?

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#beautifuldestinations #awesometravels

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Let the Party Begin

// Part 1 of 8//

Traveling in itself is a rewarding experience, and the icing on the cake is when you witness a particular celebration during your stay. If you do your homework properly, you can time your trip according to annual happenings in your planned destination. We did it when we visited Laos 🇱🇦 for the Boum That Luang Festival, worked it out to be in a Guatemala 🇬🇹 celebrating All Saints Day and next day’s colourful Day of the Dead …and while in Bhutan 🇧🇹, we ended the Druk Path Trek with a big celebration:The Thimphu Tsechu Festival.

However, you might stumble upon such events unknowingly and that’s even better…forget the anticipatory hype and the build-ups, the surprise factor doubles the pleasure and is truly the cherry on top of the icing on the cake..Talking from experiences, twice in Myanmar 🇲🇲 and 5 times in Peru 🇵🇪 !!

1️⃣Shinbyu , noviciation ceremony- Pagan , Myanmar – February 2005

2️⃣ Nat Festival- Mt Popa, Myanmar February 2005

3️⃣ Boun That Luang Festival- Vientiane, Laos November 2007

4️⃣ The 20th anniversary of the School of Civil Engineering at Universidad Andina Nestor Cáceres Velásquez – Puno, Peru October 2011

5️⃣ All Saints Day – Todos Santos Cuchumatan, Guatemala, November 2015

6️⃣The Day of the Dead – Zunil, Guatemala November 2015

7️⃣The Thimphu Tsechu Festival – Thimphu, Bhutan October 2016

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#ladysindbad #wanderlust #lovetotravel #wonderfulplaces

#beautifuldestinations #awesometravels

#placesoftheworld #travelingsoul #traveltherenext #travelandexplore #roamtheworld #welivetotravel #livetoexplore

#seetheworld #worldexplorer #lovetotravel #travelislife #girlswhotravel #femmetraveler #bucketlistadventure #globetrotter #meettheworld #passportpassion #adventureenthusiasts #travelholic #travelislife #sheisnotlost #travelguide #girlslovetravel #wearetravelgirls

Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde sans the evil streak …a woman of many contradictions

My sister once said to me, you are like Lebanon 🇱🇧 the country of contradictions…

You are devout and a party animal… you endeavor to practice your 5 daily prayers and more, the beautiful voice of one specific muezzin makes you stop everything to listen to his beautiful call for prayer, but again certain songs can pull you to the dance floor with shameless abandon💃…

Your friends? social butterflies😎 and literati 🤓You are equally pleased in the company of the younger in their 30s as well as the older with experience in their 80s.

What else? I love a good 🏋️‍♀️ as much as I love farniente..I enjoy living in the fast lane, enjoy the adrenaline that helps me cope with a hectic lifestyle but equally enjoy a relaxing morning just catching up on the world or reading a catching book, staying home and not having any planned outings…

In the morning☀️ I look forward to the peace and quiet of the night 🌙 and the rituals preceding the “ machine switch off” 📖 while at night I look forward to the morning “waking up process” and its routine – a warm 🚿 and ☕️ in the garden listening to the chirping 🐦

These contradictions must be explained by the following: my yin and yang DNA is probably the “joint account “ of 2 extremely different ancestors 🤔

Knowing this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I enjoy the luxury of 5* hotels as much as I enjoyed the overnight homestay in Amantani Island, Lake Titicaca in Peru 🇵🇪, the shared sleeping accommodation – we were 12 – of a wooden boat during a Mekong cruise in Vietnam 🇻🇳, the rudimentary comfort of a traditional yurt in Uzbekistan 🇺🇿, and camping in Bhutan 🇧🇹 under torrential rain 🌧 i.e. muddy terrain 🤷🏻‍♀️

Anyone like me?

1️⃣Four Seasons Hotel – Anahita, Mauritius 🇲🇺 2014

2️⃣ Le Negresco Hotel – Nice, France 🇫🇷 2014

3️⃣ Lake Palace Hotel – Udaipur, India 🇮🇳 1998

4️⃣ Riads – Marrakech and Fès, Morocco 🇲🇦 2016

5️⃣ Shwe Inn Tha Floating Resort – Inlay Lake, Myanmar 🇲🇲 2005

6️⃣Beach bungalow Hotel Vanille – Manakara, Madagascar 🇲🇬 2009

7️⃣ Local’s casa- Amantani Island, Peru 🇵🇪 2011

8️⃣ Wooden boat – Mekong, Vietnam 🇻🇳 2001

9️⃣ Nurata Yurt Campsite, Uzbekistan 🇺🇿 2008

🔟 Campsites between Paro and Thimphu, Bhutan 🇧🇹 2016

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#ladysindbad #diariesofaladysindbad #confessionsofaladysindbad

#mauritius #nice #france #udaipur #india #Marrakech #Fès #Morocco #Myanmar #lakeinlay #madacascar #peru #vietnam #yurts #uzbekistan #bhutan #seetheworld #worldexplorer #travelawesome #adventureland #adventureanywhere #letsgoeverywhere #lovetotravel #travelislife #iamtraveler #girlswhotravel #femmetraveler

A Paradise Next Door

A paradise close to home…the closest it can ever be…No need for ✈️ , 🚢 or 🚂

Distance : 8.3 km from 🏡

Time :15 minutes by 🚙

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#ladysindbad #diariesofaladysindbad #confessionsofaladysindbad #wanderlust #travelbug #lovetotravel #wonderfulplaces

#beautifuldestinations

#awesometravel #placesoftheworld #travelingsoul #traveltherenext #travelandexplore #roamtheworld #welivetotravel #livetoexplore

#seetheworld #worldexplorer #lovetotravel #travelislife #girlswhotravel #femmetraveler

#uae #abudhabi #visituae #visitabudhabi #myabudhabi #blissfulllife #purebliss # emiratespalace

My favourite holiday

My favourite holiday is without doubt the UAE National Day…there is something about it, you can’t miss it, you feel it, it’s in the air everywhere.

It falls on the 2nd of December, but as early as November, we start to see flags everywhere, on almost every single government building, hotel or house as both UAE nationals and expatriates celebrate it with the same excitement. I’s really heartwarming to see all these people that have converged from more than 200 countries united in happiness and pride!

And it’s definitely not a case of “happiness is contagious”: the UAE represents for all the expats a home away from home, the land of opportunities where everyone can find his own bliss: political stability, amenities, facilities, wealth, sunshine ( forget the scorching summers), luxurious, affordable or just a comfortable lifestyle. I feel fortunate to be among those handful 10 million – out of almost 7 billion – living in the right place at the right time …in the Eldorado of the modern times as I like to call it☺️

Yes, I love the spirit, and look forward to it every year 🇦🇪🇦🇪🇦🇪

#ladysindbad #diariesofaladysindbad #confessionsofaladysindbad #wanderlust #travelbug #lovetotravel #wonderfulplaces

#beautifuldestinations

#awesometravel #placesoftheworld #travelingsoul #traveltherenext #travelandexplore #roamtheworld #welivetotravel #livetoexplore

#seetheworld #worldexplorer #lovetotravel #travelislife #girlswhotravel #femmetraveler

#uae #abudhabi #visituae #visitabudhabi #myabudhabi #blissfulllife #purebliss

Dressing up

Dressing like the locals gives you a feel of the place, whether for:
-a photoshoot: India, China, Peru and Japan
-modeling the outfit for your travel companions: Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan and Guatemala
-going out for dinner: Cambodia
-dressing up as an empress for dinner in a “palace turned restaurant”: Vietnam,
Or for the whole stay: Iran.

India 🇮🇳 98
China 🇨🇳 2011 & 2012
Peru 🇵🇪 2011
Japan 🇯🇵 2015
Sri Lanka 🇱🇰 2004
Uzbekistan 🇺🇿 2007
Guatemala 🇬🇹 2015
Cambodia 🇰🇭 2003
Vietnam 🇻🇳 2001
Iran 🇮🇷 2001 & 2003

 

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#ladysindbad #diariesofaladysindbad #confessionsofaladysindbad #wanderlust #travelbug #lovetotravel #travelholic #traveladdict #vacation #adventure #wonderfulplaces
#beautifuldestinations #bestvacation #travel #explorer #wonderful_places # nationaldress #india #indiansari #Vietnam #Cambodia #Iran #Srilanka #Uzbekistan #China #Peru #Japan #geisha #Guatemala #Guatemalahuipil