Hsinbyume Pagoda - Mandalay, Myanmar

The Hsinbyume Pagoda is a uniquely shaped, white washed pagoda just outside of Mandalay. The Pagoda is topped with a gold spire, that enshrines an image of Buddha. The seven tiers of the pagoda feature niches, that contain small statues of mythological figures.

It is possible to climb to the top of the structure, where you will be treated to a great view of the Irrawaddy river, and nearby Mingun Pagoda. 

Chin State- Myanmar

Chin State, in north-western Myanmar, is an incredibly mountainous region, with an average elevation of 5000 - 8000 feet. Its highest peak is Mt Victoria, which rises to 10,017 feet. The Chin people do not have first, middle, or last names, but one name which may reflect the achievements of their grandparents, or the grandparents wishes for the childs future. The naming of children in this region is of great importance. 

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January 4th 1948: Burmese independence

On this day in 1948, Burma declared independence from the United Kingdom, having been colonised in the nineteenth century after a series of Anglo-Burmese wars. The country’s first Prime Minister, Ba Maw, came to power in 1937 and advocated for greater self-rule for the colony, thus fueling an independence movement. In 1940, the Burma Independence Army was formed by revolutionary Aung San. During World War Two, the Japanese occupied the country, leading to a violent struggle with the Allies to reclaim Burma, with Burmese fighters on either side of the conflict. At the end of the war, Aung San emerged as the leader of a transitional government to oversee the nation’s independence, securing an agreement with British Prime Minister Clement Attlee in January 1947 guaranteeing Burma’s independence within a year. Despite Aung San’s assassination by a group of political rivals in July 1947, which was allegedly backed by the British, his dream was fulfilled on January 4th 1948, when Burma became an independent nation. Aung San is still remembered as the father of the nation, and his daughter Aung San Suu Kyi is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning politician. Upon independence, Sao Shwe Thaik became Burma’s first President, and U Nu its Prime Minister. This day is celebrated every year in Burma to commemorate the day the nation achieved independence from colonial rule.