Monday, May 6, 2013

The Wow Factor

Two of Myanmar's most popular tourist destinations are Inle Lake, where locals live in houses on stilts over the water and earn their livelihood primarily by fishing...

...and Bagan, an ancient city where there are over 3,000 temples, pagodas and stupas.

I'd heard a lot about both and was really looking forward to seeing them. They both had their pleasant aspects but nevertheless, left me slightly underwhelmed.

It wasn't that these places weren't charming or interesting but I couldn't help comparing them to similar places I had already been to. The stilted houses at Inle Lake reminded me a lot of Tonle Sap Lake, while the many temples in Bagan made me think of Angkor Wat. At the risk of sounding a bit spoiled, they just didn’t impress me the way they might have had I not already seen such similar places in Cambodia. I guess that's a potential downfall of traveling: the more you see of something, be it churches, fountains, waterfalls or temples, the more elusive the 'wow factor' becomes.

Still, just because something doesn't wow you doesn't mean you can't enjoy yourself!

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