The Unusual Kingdom: Mingalaba Burma (Myanmar)

5 MN

The Unusual Kingdom: Mingalaba Burma (Myanmar)

Bangkok, connecting flights and long hours spent waiting slumped on airport seats. Before our hypnotized eyes, a constant flow of Chinese tourists. An insanely priced snack and off we are again for an hour-long flight. Even though we left Riem Reap (Cambodia) around 8:30am, our flying machine only landed on Yangon airport’s burning tarmac at 4pm. We change the time on our watches.

The heat is nearly as stifling here as in Angkor. But have we well and truly arrived in Burma? The neighbourhood in which we are staying feels a lot like New Delhi… The streets are tiny and there are Indians everywhere, tricycles from another era, colourful albeit slightly faded colonial buildings, street tailors, shoes shiners…

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The call for prayer emanating from the mosques, each one more radiant than the other, gives rhythm to our steps. And then, bit by bit, people’s faces diversify… The features, the colours, the expressions, the origins are all different… It’s hard to precisely determine the Burmese typology in this town… Probably a mix of all these people, as they all have something that links them together.

They nearly all wear a loincloth, the women have Thanakha on their cheeks, the men’s lips are reddened by Betel and their bodies feature strange protection tattoos… Everything is so new to us.

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We relax in a park, and burn our feet at the Shwedagon Pagoda, considered the biggest and most beautiful pagoda in the world! A truly mind-blowing sight. The place is huge and we begin to feel the immense spirituality that pervades this country.

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It’s the water festival. There’s a friendly atmosphere. There are water cannons spraying the crowd, swimming pools, concerts… People are having fun, having a pic-nic, eating quail eggs and grasshoppers.

We decide to head to Mandalay, where apparently the festival is even more impressive! In the local mini bus taking us to our night bus, the inebriated driver dangerously accelerates without looking where he’s going. We shout “Ahhhhh” and see our life flash before our eyes at every turn… Later on in the brand new bus, a hostess serves us food and drinks! Just like on a plane. It’s funny. We arrive at our destination, a bus station that looks like it’s been taken straight out of Africa; gas cans decided to spill all over our bags during the trip. In the streets, we see never-ending lines of young monks doing their morning collection, left hand drive cars and right hand drive ones.

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Let the festivities continue! Speakers are blasting out music. Youngsters go by on trucks, sometimes tied to the hood! Everyone is gradually getting more and more drunk and taking more and more drugs…Teenagers with dyed blond hair, nail varnish and torn jeans shout, do wheelies on their motorbikes… For two days, cycling on our bikes, we receive an inconceivable amount of water buckets, some lukewarm, some icy… All in a noisy and aggressive atmosphere. We are no longer amused and feel on edge.

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In Bagan, a woman takes a scorpion out of her house. We rent a small electric bike and head out for a couple of days on sandy roads. The setting is worthy of a fairy-tale and can hardly be described with words. Thousands of temples from another era, of all shapes and sizes, laid down here as if by magic in this deserted place… And in the middle of what should be classed as a wonder of the world, villages, bamboo houses, youngsters playing football, families doing lacquer work.

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A few memorable sunsets later, and we’re in a jam-packed bus again. An interminable journey in sweltering heat, driving down twisting roads, and we arrive in Kalaw.

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The weather is quite chilly; it feels weird. With Renaud, a Frenchman from Clermont, Seba and Angel, two Chilean brothers and sisters, and Yorg, an atypical German, we decide to go on a three-day trek. Early in the morning, before we hit the road, we roam around the market. There are minorities everywhere, it’s so crazy being here and seeing this still today… Those surreal headdresses, those colours.

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We embark on our 40-mile walk through pine forests, onion, cabbage and ginger fields, enormous cacti, terraced rice fields, mountain paths… One night in a village, Seba takes out his small guitar in front of dozens of amazed monks… We walk by all the houses. The women sitting out on their doorsteps have stars in their eyes, older ones are clapping their hands and laughing, children dance like crazy and try their hand at playing guitar, the men’s smiles brimming with kindness… That night, we sleep on the ground in one of the family’s living room; we wash in a bucket and stare out at the stars…

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And finally, the enormous Inle Lake, our final stop… There’s a magical feeling floating through the air. Villages on stilts, fishermen with the grace of dancers, absolute calm… Time to say goodbye; we leave our four new friends with tears in our eyes.

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We spend our last days pedalling on our bicycles around the surrounding area in order to gift a few more souvenirs to our already humbled eyes. Women are washing in the river, children are bathing with the buffalo, using their backs as diving boards, dozens of dogs are sleeping next to each other, two free horses are kicking up the dust in the streets, hundreds of women are praying in the monastery in front of our place, offerings for the spirits are placed here and there…

And still those unconcealed smiles, those happy “hellos”, “where are you from?”, “where do you go?”.

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Three weeks later, and another chapter closes, marking the beginning of a new, imminent, one in Indonesia. Our experience that started out so badly eventually turned out to be incredibly calm, fascinating and out of this world. We leave with a lingering hunger for more. There are still so many more sights to discover in this country so full of mystery, where the locals are so welcoming. We promise ourselves we’ll be back, quickly. To go into harder to reach regions (due to ethnic conflicts, but also opium and gemstone trafficking…) North and East of the country, go out and meet the Karen people in the south or those women with their entire faces tattooed with cobwebs, and of course, come back to spend one more night dining at that little table at Unique restaurant to enjoy those delicious little dishes…

Valentin Porcher and Cécile Chétif

 

Interview réalisée par Valentin Porcher
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The return costs are at the customer's expense (cost of shipping by the transporter chosen by the customer and any other related costs: customs duties, taxes, etc.).

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To return your parcel, it is very simple :

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  3. If your order is eligible for return, please tick each product you wish to return. If a product has been ordered in several copies, you can indicate the quantity to be returned.

  4. Indicate the reason for the return at the bottom of the order details and click on “Request a return”. You can track your return request in the “Returns” section of the “My purchases” section.

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Want to make a return request with a guest account?

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How long does it take to get my money back once my package has been sent?

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Is it possible to return my item in the shop?

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What can I do if my item has a defect?

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How to order?

Please follow the following instructions in order to submit an Order:

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  3. Fulfil the Ordering form. After extended inactivity you may encounter an automatic cancellation of the Goods you submitted. You shall start a new Order of any Good and Service you wished to order;

  4. You shall check the Goods and Services you Order, and if necessary, please identify and correct the error;

  5. Confirm the Order, the Total Price as well as the All-Inclusive Price (the “Order Confirmation”);

  6. Follow the payment Website instructions in order to pay the All-Inclusive Price.

After you have submitted an order, the Customer receives by email and without delay a confirmation of his approval of the Order.

The Customer also receives by email and without delay, a receipt of the order sent electronically, regarding as a confirmation of the order (“Order Confirmation”).

The Customer receives electronically, the confirmation that the Goods have been dispatched.

The delivery shall take place at the location indicated by the Customer at the time of the Order.

Additionally, by undertaking these different steps to Order, the Customer accepts to strictly comply with this Agreement, in accordance with section 1316-1 of the French Civil Code.

The Vendor undertakes to deliver the Goods and Services subject of the Order Confirmation. In the event that a Good ordered is unavailable, the Vendor will promptly inform the Customer about this.

However, under section L.122-1 of the French Consumer Code, the Vendor reserves the right to cancel your Order if the Order is abnormal, involves bad faith or for any other reason that is under the sole discretion of the Vendor. The Vendor also reserves the right to reject orders from any customer with whom the Vendor have an ongoing legal dispute regarding a prior order.

Place of Delivery

The place of Delivery shall be determined by the Customer within the Territory, under sanction to refuse the Order.

The Customer is exclusively responsible for any error in the Delivery due to a lack of indication contained in the Order.

Amount of Delivery Charges

The amount of Delivery Charges depends upon the amount of the Order and upon the Method of Delivery the Customer chooses. In any case, the amount of Delivery Charges shall be indicated to you before the Order Confirmation.

The Delivery Charges are free if the amount exceeds EUR 200,00.

Delivery Term

Delivery Terms are available for review on the Website. They may change depending on the availability of the Goods subject of the Order.

Delivery Terms are expressed in working days and correspond to an average time for preparing and shipping the Order to the Customer.

Delivery Terms shall begin to run at the Order Confirmation date.

Delays

In the event of delays in the Delivery, the Order is not cancelled. The Vendor shall inform the Customer by electronic mail that the delivery will take place later than what was contemplated by the Parties. You will be then entitled to decide whether to confirm or cancel your order and shall send to the Vendor a cancellation notice of the Order at service-client@olow.fr.

If the Order has not been shipped yet at the time the Vendor receives the cancellation notice, the Delivery is effectively cancelled and the Customer is reimbursed of the payment he/she made, within fifteen (15) days from the receipt of the cancellation notice.

If the Order has been shipped at the time the Vendor receives cancellation notice, the Customer is still entitled to cancel the order by refusing the Delivery. The Vendor shall then reimburse the Customer of the payment he/she made, within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the returned products in the same condition as they were sent and must have their original label. The return expenses remain at the cost of the Customer.

Tracking

The Customer can follow the track progress of his/her Order on his/her account on the Website. Regarding the delivery progress, the Customer shall contact the Company to obtain a tracker number, to follow the progress.

Prix et délais de livraison précis

Shipping cost

> 1 kg1 > 2 kg2 > 4kg
5.56.57

Delivery time

3-5 working days

Allemagne, Autriche, Belgique, Bulgarie, Chypre, Danemark, Espagne, Finlande, Grèce, Hongrie, Italie, Malte, Pays-Bas, Pologne, Portugal, République Tchèque, Suède, Ukraine

Shipping cost

> 2 kg2 > 4kg
9.511.5

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Andorre, Biélorussie, Croatie, Islande, Monaco, Norvège, Royaume-Uni, Russie, Suisse, Turquie

Shipping cost

> 2 kg2 > 4kg
9.511.5

Delivery time

5-8 working days

Bahamas, Canada, États-Unis, Mexique

Shipping cost

> 1.5 kg1.5 > 4kg
1519.5

Delivery time

5-9 working days

Argentine, Brésil, Chili

Shipping cost

€27

Delivery time

6-9 working days

Arabie Saoudite, Bahreïn, Chine, Corée du Sud, Émirats Arabes Unis, Hong-Kong, Indonésie, Israël, Japon, Malaisie, Qatar, Singapour, Taiwan

Shipping cost

€24

Delivery time

4-7 working days

Australie, Nouvelle-Zélande

Shipping cost

€27

Delivery time

6-10 working days

Returns

You have received your order but the product does not suit you?

You can return your products within 15 days of receiving your package, for any order.

For the festive season, the deadlines are extended to 30 days.

The items must not have been worn, washed or damaged and must be returned in their original packaging, in perfect condition for resale.

The return costs are at the customer's expense (cost of shipping by the transporter chosen by the customer and any other related costs: customs duties, taxes, etc.).

How do I return my package from France?

To return your parcel, it is very simple :

  1. Go to “My account”, in the “My purchases” section,

  2. In the list of your orders, select your order,

  3. If your order is eligible for return, please tick each product you wish to return. If a product has been ordered in several copies, you can indicate the quantity to be returned.

  4. Indicate the reason for the return at the bottom of the order details and click on “Request a return”. You can track your return request in the “Returns” section of the “My purchases” section.

  5. Once your return request has been validated by our team, simply download the return form and place it in your package.

  6. Send your package to the address indicated on the return form.

Want to make a return request with a guest account?

It's very easy : contact us by email at service-client@olow.fr indicating your order number, the items you wish to return and whether you wish to request a refund, a credit note or an exchange.

The return costs are at the customer's expense (cost of shipping by the transporter chosen by the customer and any other related costs: customs duties, taxes, etc.).

How long does it take to get my money back once my package has been sent?

Refunds will be made within 10 days of receipt of your items and automatically to the account associated with the credit card used for payment or to the Paypal account used for payment.

Is it possible to return my item in the shop?

No, for all internet orders, returns can only be made to the address mentioned above.

What can I do if my item has a defect?

We take great care in the manufacture and finishing of our products. However, if you wish to report a manufacturing defect on a product, we invite you to contact our customer service by e-mail: service-client@olow.fr.

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