bagan | myanmar
While each region of Myanmar reflects an incredibly unique blend of neighboring Indian, Chinese and Thai cultures, a handful of it's charms are universal: steamed peanuts, traditional thanaka face painting, golden everything, delicately beautiful script, and most distinguishing of all - their gentle spirit and heart-warming smiles. Under military dictatorship since 1962 and limited areas opened to the outside world for only the past 4 years (many regions of the country remain un-explored by expats), the original authenticity of this culture remains largely intact. Hands down, there is something very very special about this country. Bagan is an ancient city of 2,000+ 11th-13th century Buddhist temples & monuments, hot air balloons over a red sunrise, sand paintings, prayer bells, and horse drawn carriages.