EVERYONE has unforgettable experiences in life. I also have also had many unforgettable events in my life. But, most of them are travelling experiences. There is one trip I cannot forget.
I was selected as the Grade-9 Lu Yee Chun Student for 2016. ‘Lu Yee Chun’ means all-round outstanding person. Every year, the government chooses Lu Yee Chun students from all over the country, and they send the chosen Grade 9, 10 and 11 students to three famous camps in the country. As I am a Grade-9 student, my camp was in Bagan. Mandalay is the camp for all Lu Yee Chun students from Upper Myanmar. As I am a student from Upper Myanmar, I had to go to Mandalay first before I went to Bagan.
In Mandalay, we visited the Mya Nan San Kyaw Palace, which is the palace of the last Myanmar kings. The traditional palace design and wonderful architecture of the Konbaung Dynasty amazed us. We also looked around the Palace Museum. The Mya Nan San Kyaw Palace is not only a landmark for Myanmar but also the heart of Myanmar culture.
Next, we went to the Maha Muni Pagoda, which is a very famous Myanmar pagoda. After visiting these two places, we left Mandalay for Bagan. There were altogether 176 Lu Yee Chun students in the Bagan camp. We stayed at the Royal Emerald Riverview Resort. We went to many historic places in and around Bagan. There were over 4,000 Buddhist temples and pagodas in Bagan between the 11th and 13th centuries, but only over 3,000 pagodas remain today. We went to famous pagodas such as Shwe Zi Khone, Ananda, Dhammayangyi and Kandawtpallin. The magnificent architecture, splendid temple designs and brilliant artistry of the temples left us surprised by the wonderful culture of ancient Myanmar.
We also visited Popa Mother Mountain and Flat Topped Hill, which is the best place for soul, mind and body in Asia. We felt very tired when we climbed 777 steps to reach the top of the hill. But the reward for our tiredness was the spectacular view. Many rare animal species can be found on Mount Popa. There are over 2,000 monkeys on Mount Popa.
In Salay, we visited the Salay wood carvings temple. The intricate wood carvings showed us the expertise of traditional Myanmar wood carvers. Most of the carvings depict stories from Dhammapada and are made of teak. These arts and crafts are a source of pride for us, and for Myanmar.
We also went to Pakkoku. We visited the Bagan Archaeological Museum and the Palace of King Kyansitthar and Anawrahtar on the last day. The trip was really enjoyable. We went to many places and learned about the history of the places and studied the rich traditions and culture of Myanmar.
During the trip, I learned many important things that I will remember for the rest of my life. Everything was new for me. I had never travelled without my family. During this trip, I met so many friends with different characters. I came to know how to make friends with different people. I met very outstanding students.
By good fortune, I met my best friends there. I learned how to stay alone without my family. I realised the value of family. During this trip, I was faced with so many challenges. I learned that I need to be circumspect in every situation in which I find myself. I think this trip changed me into a strong girl. Not only did I gain a lot of regional knowledge; I felt proud of my country. I learned that my country had a very advanced civilisation in the ancient times.
I feel so lucky to visit these amazing places without any cost.
I am very proud to be a Lu Yee Chun student. This trip is a trip I will never forget for the rest of my life. I will try my best to be a Grade 10 Lu Yee Chun student so I can have another unforgettable trip.
Pann Phyu Phyu Win (BEHS-1, Loikaw)