Myanmar was one of my last stops among my 7 months traveling throughout India and southeast Asia. I crossed over the border from Ranong, a small town in Thailand, and made my way up the beautiful coast of Myanmar. With many long days behind me of hitchhiking, trekking, camping and exploring, my body was at a state of exhaustion and needed rest. So at the time I decided to spend this opportunity in Myanmar not as a tourist, but as a volunteer at a meditation center in Thanlyin Myanmar.
Where is Thanlyin Myanmar?
Thanlyin is a small town located just 15km south of Yangon, Myanmar’s capital city. In this small town resides a well known Meditation & Rehabilitation center, Thabarwa, where locals and volunteers come together over the beauty of life.
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When is the best time to go Thanlyin Myanmar?
Thabarwa Centre is always welcoming in volunteers throughout the year and will always have their doors open to anyone that wishes to be a part of this amazing community. You can contact them on their website, Facebook, or just show up to the center, like I did!
What can other travelers do there?
When I arrived to Thabarwa I had an eye opening experience that changed my life. I was immediately given a place to stay, and with open arms the center accepted my help as a volunteer. I spent my mornings in meditation with monks, I went on Alm runs through the cities to collect donations for the center, I worked and played with the local children during arts and crafts and after school hours, I helped the elderly in their housing and was able to give them comfort and attention, I had time to read in the center’s expansive library and best of all, I was living face to face with the culture of Myanmar. There was quite a group of volunteers and we all worked together everyday to strive for a better center. Many people had varied interested, but we all had a few things in common; we were all travelers, and we were all there to help the locals and enjoy the experience of doing so!
Other travelers can visit Thabarwa and spend time in meditation and offering their services doing volunteer work. It feels good to be a part of this community and gives you a grounding spot to rest and reflect on your journey in the present moment.
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How much does it cost?
To be a volunteer in this center you are provided shared housing and local food 2xs a day. You can, of course, buy some of your own food from local restaurants or goodies when you travel to the city, but it is extremely affordable and can allow the modern traveler to save money while on the road and experiencing face to face culture.
Thabarwa meditation center altered my experience in Asia. I was at a crossroads in my travels where I needed something more. I wanted a grounded spot and a nurturing community. I also wanted to give back and spend more time among the locals and their lifestyle. I was able to learn a lot about Myanmar, and create a deeper connection to the place than I ever would of if I traveled the tourist route. I also had the time to go deep within myself and learn more about why I was on this beautiful journey across Asia. It was a very reflective and healing time for me during my trip.
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Here’s what other volunteers are saying…
About the Traveler
My name is Deanna Amodeo! I was born and raised in the state of New Jersey until the age of 21. After having second guesses about my studies, I decided to pick up and move my whole life over to the Big Island of Hawaii! I am a photographer with a passion for traveling, yoga, and alternative medicine. I decided to travel at this age because I realized traveling is the best medicine one can have! To experience different cultures and new places shines the spirit and helps one to grow into their full self!
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