see this place for myself. Indonesia, and more specifically, Bali and Myanmar.
I first learned about Bali when watching a House Hunters International episode about a young doctor that wanted to move her practice to paradise on earth, Bali.
It truly looked and felt like a slice of paradise, and I made a promise to myself that I would make it there before I die. I plan to hold myself to this.
I understand that Bali is not the paradise that it had been prior to the Westernization of the islands, but it is still naturally beautiful even if mankind has tried to create their own beauty. There are so many animals and plants unique to the country like:
- Bali Starling: A beautiful white bird with blue eyes and a crest of feathers on its head. It is critically endangered and native to Bali and Lombok.
- Komodo Dragon: A giant lizard that can grow up to 3 meters long and weigh up to 70 kilograms. It has venomous saliva and powerful jaws that can crush bones. It is found only in the Komodo National Park and some nearby islands.
- Rafflesia: A parasitic plant that produces the largest and smelliest flower in the world. It can reach up to 1 meter in diameter and emit a foul odor of rotting flesh. It is found in the rainforests of Bali and other parts of Indonesia.
- Bali Python: A large snake that can grow up to 6 meters long and weigh up to 100 kilograms. It is non-venomous but can constrict and suffocate its prey. It is found in the forests and wetlands of Bali and other islands.
- Bali Spotted Deer: A small deer that has white spots on its brown fur. It is herbivorous and feeds on grasses, fruits, and leaves. It is found in the savannas and woodlands of Bali and other islands.
- Bali Reef Shark: A small shark that can grow up to 1.6 meters long and weigh up to 13 kilograms. It has a slender body and a pointed snout. It is found in the coral reefs and shallow waters of Bali and other parts of Indonesia.
- Orchids: A flowering plant that has over 25,000 species and many hybrids. It has colorful and fragrant blooms that vary in shape, size, and pattern. It is found in various habitats, from tropical forests to deserts, in Bali and other parts of the world.
- Dendrobium arcuatum: A small epiphytic orchid that has yellowish-green flowers with a purple lip. It grows on trees in montane forests
- Dendrobium connatum: A medium-sized epiphytic orchid that has white flowers with a yellow lip. It grows on trees in lowland and hill forests
- Habenaria reflexa: A terrestrial orchid that has greenish-white flowers with a long spur. It grows on the ground in open grasslands and savannas
- Taeniophyllum hirtum: A leafless epiphytic orchid that has tiny brown flowers. It grows on tree branches and trunks in humid forests
I discovered Myanmar during my junior year in high school. I was playing a quiz game where I had to learn all the countries of Asia and name them in a timed game. When remembering the countries, I’d often skip Myanmar and Timor Leste. No idea why, but as a result – I honed in on the two countries with extra focus on Myanmar.
Myanmar, also known as Burma, is a country of astonishing natural beauty and cultural wonders that captivate the hearts of visitors. The picturesque landscapes are diverse and offer a unique blend of untouched wilderness and ancient architectural marvels.
The serene Inle Lake, with its floating gardens and stilt-house villages, is a true gem where time seems to stand still. As you glide through the calm waters, you’ll witness the local fishermen skillfully balancing on one leg, casting their nets with grace.
The ancient city of Bagan is another awe-inspiring sight in Myanmar. With over 2,000 pagodas and temples spread across the vast plains, the scene is nothing short of a surreal painting. At sunrise and sunset, the soft hues of the sky gently embrace the structures, creating a magical and ethereal atmosphere that leaves travelers in utter amazement.
Myanmar’s diverse ethnic groups and their rich traditions further enrich the tapestry of this beautiful land. The vibrant markets and festivals showcase the colorful clothing, dances, and rituals that have been passed down through generations. Strolling through the bustling streets of Yangon, the former capital, one encounters the majestic Shwedagon Pagoda, a symbol of Myanmar’s spirituality and architectural grandeur, shimmering in gold and exuding a spiritual aura.
Myanmar’s allure lies not only in its scenic beauty but also in the warm hospitality of its people, who welcome travelers with open arms, sharing their stories and traditions.
For the nature-inclined, there are a number of animals and plants endemic to Myanmar as well. There is the Pyinma or Burmese Rosewood and the Ayeyarwady Dolphin that makes its home in the tributaries and rivers of Myanmar.
I can honestly say after writing this post and learning more about both Myanmar and Bali – I am even more inclined to travel there before my expiration date!