Johnny C.Y. Lam                                   


I spent 4 weeks in Myanmar (Burma) in 2011, just one year before President Obama landed in Yangon, making him the first U.S. president to ever visit the country. Known to some as the land of golden pagodas, Myanmar is a fascinating, mysterious, beautiful, and yet, controversial country. During my visit, I met some of the kindest, most generous people who shared their packed lunch with me on an overnight slow boat to Bagan from Mandalay. I had interesting conversations under an old banyan tree with monks about Buddhism, the nature of suffering and the essence of happiness. The entire journey was a feast to my eyes and a song to my soul. I felt humbled, inspired, uplifted and learned to appreciate simple pleasure with a whole new perspective.