Cuaderno de Viajes

An open window to the World


Kakku is about three hours drive from Inle Lake in Shan State hills on the eastern shore of the lake. You do not get here by chance, since it is quite far from the tourist routes.  To be able to visit first you have to stop at the “traveler control center” office and to do some paperwork in Taunggyi, the capital of the state. Once it is done, we will be accompanied by a guide of ethnic Pa-o, the community that manages the foreigners...

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It is difficult to make a selection of the temples in Bagan as they all have special characteristics that make them unique, and therefore I shall not be very objective if I choose one instead of another, so I have decided to write about those who have some curious story behind or that have more special features or art forms of construction. This is the case of Mon’s King Manuha temple. This temple does not draw much attention...

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Before the fall of Bagan, the capital came to own about 5000 temples, of which there are currently around 2000 census, among the most popular to the less known temples. Many remain, and you only have to climb to the terrace of any of them to see the landscape sprinkled with buildings, mostly red brick and stone. Ananda Temple was the first one we visited, and we dedicated to it  more time because it is considered a masterpiece of the...

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We woke up at dawn to head to the Ayeyarwadi river where we would take a boat from Mandalay to the ancient capital of Bagan, an essential point in the visit of the country as Bagan, with its temples and pagodas dating back more than 1,500 years old is certainly perhaps the most fascinating site for the visitor and one of the most important archaeological sites in Asia, as notorious as the complex of temples of Angkor. The truth is...

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Marrakech is known as the “Pearl of the South”. Mythic city, cultural, inspiration for artists, Marrakech is a very dynamic city for which I think there is not a  middle ground, you either love and come back again and again, because the city is never the same, there are always new places to discover, or you hate it. As occurred with Fez, there are two well differentiated Marrakech, the modern Marrakech, with wide avenues,...

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The Kumbh Mela is one of the major religious celebrations of Hinduism, and also the busiest one of the existing around the world. It’s a gigantic meeting of crowd in the banks of the Ganges, whose waters are believed to become, at the time appointed by astrologers, in holy nectar that everyone wants to drink and is able to wash away sins; this common rite involves the whole India. Hindus believe that when immersed in the water...

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While I recognize that the first time I heard of them was in Istanbul, the fact is that the dervishes are Islamic Sufis. Sufism is a spiritual stream, which, like Zoroastrianism, also born in Persia before the Christian era, and which have resulted in a rich culture especially in Turkey and Pakistan.   Subsequently, this trend was integrated in Islam, and is a Sufi community of fifty million people worldwide. Dervish literally...

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Buddhism enjoys of a very good health in Burma, because as we know, around ninety percent of the population practices it with devotion. But this is not an impediment to coexistence in perfect harmony with other animist beliefs prior to arrival of Buddhism to this country; we talk about the cult of the nats or spirits. It was the devotee king Anawratha, main sponsor of Buddhism which integrated the cult of nats within the new official...

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950 kms from Cairo, following the course of the Nile for the south is the legendary city of Aswan. Aswan comes from the ancient Egyptian word “Soun” meaning souk or trade and is located on the southern border of Egypt, a strategic location on the trade route. In the past it was the last “civilized” point before the caravans in search of woods, incense, myrrh, exotic animals, and slaves entered in black Africa....

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The venerated Mahamuni image,  located in a temple  in Mandalay, is also known as “Rakhine Buddha”, as it is in this state of western Burma known before as the kingdom of Arakan where they brought the image from (now sadly in the news for ethnic conflicts between Muslims and Buddhists). It is the most venerated image of the country by its historic and religious significance and is a must-see for any “pilgrim” passing...

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