Transiting to Thailand from Myanmar was both a happy and sad occasion for me. I'll tell you why.. It was happy because Thailand ...

Yangon to Chiangmai: Of heartbreak and happiness


Transiting to Thailand from Myanmar was both a happy and sad occasion for me. I'll tell you why..

It was happy because Thailand was sort of our rest stop for our souls as an R&R. I was looking forward to it because I had been deprived for so long. Of cleanliness, modernism and fooooood. I could finally eat stuff I longed for like unhealthy fast food - my favourite MacDonald's breakfast!!! Omg I was absolutely deprived. 

My first burger in months!!!!!!!!!!
Oh I felt the joy as I sank my teeth into this beautiful thing. 

That joy, however, soon turned to sadness and grief as tears started to roll down my cheeks as I continued eating my beloved burger... Sianpei and the other patrons of MacDonald's weren't the only ones surprised by my sudden outpour. It was I. I had surprised myself. What's this? Why? Why are you crying?

I spoke before about the realisation that the life I had in Myanmar was officially over. And it hit me when I saw modernism in contrast to what I had been living in for the past few months - girls in short skirts and shorts versus the traditional longyis. I had missed the innocence of the Burmese people... And I realised I hadn't had time to grief properly... I felt an ache. 

And that ache came from a place deeper down. I wasn't just grieving over the sudden difference in landscape. Or culture. Or familiarity. - I was aching for something else. Something else hidden in the rungs of my heart.

You see, in the months I had spent in Yangon, I had fallen... for someone. In the three months that I had spent after returning to Myanmar from graduation in Singapore, my Burmese friend knew I was suffering from a bout of loneliness and introduced so many of her friends to me. And it was then, when I met him. We met every week, talked every day and... My feelings gradually grew. I can't believe I'm saying this and writing this down, but yes, I realised that I had feelings for him. 

Whenever I saw him, my heart would do a little dance. I always felt comfortable around him. I could laugh and be myself. I could crack jokes, which he'd acutely rebut and even surprise me. We could laugh, walk aimlessly at night and stare at lakes with ice cream in our hands. Simple, and all good fun : )

And what was it about him? Well... He was gentle, generous and above all, kind to everyone around him. Not just to his friends but to everyone around him. And I was won over. Many times over.

But time wasn't on my side. It ran out. I was leaving. And I never knew that the last time I saw him in person would have been my last time seeing him. I never got to properly say goodbye to him. I never got to do that... And so, I grieved. I grieved for the sudden end of it all. I grieved not being able to tell him the things I longed to tell. And I grieved for us. If I could, all I'd wanted to do was hug him goodbye and wish him good luck. A proper closure. And it's a terrible feeling not to be able to do that. Even if he didn't feel the same for me, I for one, felt sad that I wasn't able to do so for him. 

And so, I grieved. 

In MacDonald's at Bangkok's International Airport on transit. With Sianpei's hand on mine. What would I have been without her haha. You must think: What a strange and odd scene! Yet, amidst all of that, it didn't feel strange. Or odd. The tears just flowed, naturally. 

And it helped. In a way, it helped me to reconcile with myself and try to move on. That that chapter of my life had closed. Sometimes I still think about it, and I know matters of the heart take a while to heal. And in time to come, I will. I might even look back and label it as trivial, which is quite unkind to myself hahaha.

I will miss him, my friends and my time in Myanmar. But move, I had to. 

So I moved on, with the therapeutic charms of Thailand : ) I must whisper a thank you to the land of smiles eh?

This post will be a short one because Chiangmai was mainly cafe-hopping and night markets, which I didn't take many photos of! Too many night markets btw coz we were there on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday (20-22 Nov) and each of those nights had a big ass night market.

Map to show the various border crossings.
And this was the first border crossing in our journey, Yangon-Chiangmai!

I know... still so many more stops to go!!! Eeeeks.

Anyway, this first stop was a flight instead of overland because the Myanmar/Thai border was heard to be strewn with conflicts and we didn't want any trouble at the start of our trip so we humji decided against it. On hindsight however, I think that would be the one thing I would like to do over. To cross that border without flying. That would make our trip truly and fully overland. The only thorn in the flesh. Then again, we made that decision to fly for a reason so let's not harp on it!

On our first day, we wanted to have a really good first meal and Sianpei's sister recommended her this place:

Glasshouse concept, which I adore.
So sososososo pretty on the inside
Happy girl, with food for the tummy
Happygirl 2 couldn't wait to tuck in.

The food was awesome and the ambience was awesome. I thought it was a great first cafe to kickstart our food hunt and rest+relaxation. The Thais have such good places to hangout at affordable prices, no wonder Singaporeans, not only us but the world over, love to come to Thailand.

I must say however, that Bangkok is overrated. Chiangmai should be the place to go to even though it's farther away from Singapore.

With our bellies happy, it was exploring time, and we happened to chance upon this flea market thrift-shop street, which sold nice vintage stuff. Hands-down, both Sianpei and I agreed this was the best flea market we discovered~

This thing that she bought makes a sound, "Ohaiyo!" everytime you click on it
And let me tell you how for the many weeks ahead... We wondered wtf is that sound?! Coz we'd always hear something in the hostel but not sure wtheck it is. Then we realised what it was.

Every time pressure was applied on her bag. Hahaha.

Looove these fruits if you guys know what they are!

Walked around the city by foot,

Saturday Night Market
I believe it was this market when we met a very friendly couple. The man was of Iranian-French descent and the lady was Thai and they were in their 50s. Told us about their love story and how they met when they studied in France. Told us about their daughter who is about the same age as we are... After they left, we were still sitting there. After maybe 30 mins or an hour, they came back with kebabs in their hands. Two. For us :')

The kindness of strangers, repeatedly showered over, and over.

The next day,
We decided to sleep in after spending a long day and night out at the markets. This day, more walking around and once again Night Market (just can never get sick of em eh?).

Yum beef noodles for brunch; Small portions though, I can eat two bowls.
Part of some old ruins~
Sunday Night Market.
Potong ice cream and sticky mango riceeee!!
(honestly can't remember which market day this was lol)
I would love to show you some of the stuff in our haul but I'll save you the time and agony hahaha. And yes, even though we're backpacking, we always.. ALWAYS try to make space for things to buy because they're really beautiful trinkets. Hard to resist!!!!! So yes, we carried them for our entire time spent travelling. We strong.

Anywhos, the next day, it was time to head over to Chiangrai!!!
But of course, we had to fill our bellies before that ya know~

Sign for porridge with pushcart lady
Gotta love these old school stalls
Porridgeeeee is one of our fav breakfast meals hehe
You'll see a lot of pictures of Sianpei throughout our travels with a different background as we eat at different places haha
And that's Chiangmai for you~ Thank you, Thailand.

Next up, Chiangrai with Loy Krathong Festival : ) Anddd my favourite cafe in the whole, wide world!

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