Category: Burma

Magnificent golden zedi of Shwedagon Pagoda 0

Riding the Circle Line in order to escape bustling Yangon

23-25 March 2014 I wish I could say that I saved the best for the end, but unfortunately Yangon was not my most favorite place. Maybe because it was freaking hot when I was there, which made me very loom the whole day long! Yangon was the only city during my whole trip where I felt the need of taking a shower after I just had one! With some effort I managened to convince myself for a walking tour of Yangon. I did not expect this city to have some of the grandest colonial-era buildings in all of South East...

Surrounded by seagulls 0

‘By the old Moulmein pagoda lookin’ lazy at the sea…’

19-22 March 2014 Instead of taking another boring busride to Mawlamyine (Molmein), I chose for the ferry option. A bit more expensive and double the time to get to my destination, but it’s a relaxing and scenic way to travel! A tuktuk picked us up at the guesthouse and drove us to the jetty where we jumped on board a small long tailed boat. There were only 2 of us that were taking this trip so plenty of place in the boat. There are no build in seats, but they provide plastic chairs to sit on (actually quite comfortable!) and...

The massive Saddar Cave 1

Spelunking in Hpa-An

17-19 March 2014 The bus journey from Bago to Hpa-An was ‘just’ a little more than 4 hours. A fairly short trip compared to other bus rides I’ve taken. This little riverside town in the southeast part of Burma has not that much to offer itselves. On my first evening, I did went for a wander. Afterwards I positioned myself at the riverbanks reading a bit, doing some diary, watching the local farmers offloading veggies, watching the sunset…in 1 word ENJOYING it all! But the real hightlights of Hpa-An are to be found in the surrounding lush countryside and limestone...

64 seated Buddha statues in a tunnel around Shwegugale Paya 0

A very short trip to Bago

16-17 March 2014 I do like temples. Maybe that’s the reason why I decided to stop in Bago for a day? Anyway, I hired a motorbike taxi to drive me around.It was actually way to hot to do anything (I burned my feet several times as you need to put off your shoes..even to walk up the stairs to the temples), even the driver was sweating non-stop! But as I was only staying for 1 day I couldn’t just sit and do nothing. As so I saw 8 temples in about 4 hours! This was just a short daytrip, so...

The highlight of Bagan! 0

It’s all about temples and stupas in Bagan

11-14 March 2014 I took the 7.30 pm nightbus from Inle Lake to Bagan. The plan was to arrive in Bagan around 4.30-5 am and head to one of the temples for sunrise. But again, not everything goes as you want it. Only 4 hours after we left Inle Lake the car broke down! Some technical failure. We waited SOOOO long that we saw the sunrise coming up from the highway. It’s not what I wanted, but it was actually not that bad And well, it was a nightbus so I had some sleep while they were fixing the car....

The well known leg-rowing technique 0

On the boat on Inle Lake and trekking in Nyaugshwe

07-11 March 2014 A busride of 12 hours is nothing new anymore. But if you have stomach problems, you want to be at your destination as soon as possible! As so, my busride from Hsipaw to Inle Lake was as you can imagine not so pleasant but I did made it! We were dropped off in Nyaungshwe, the closest gateway to Inle Lake. Once we got off the bus, we needed to pay a 10 USD gouvernment fee to enter the Inle Lake area. I was never asked to show the ticket later and I don’t know if I could...

Watering the flowers 0

The Shan state town of Hsipaw

03-06 March 2014 I never considered myself as a morning person, but if it’s necessary or worth it I can get up at unhuman hours Getting up at 3am to catch a 4am train is one of those moments. The 12-hours trainride from Mandalay to Hsipaw was however never boring. Although I had a ‘first class’ ticket, sleeping on the train wasn’t easy as the train rides up into the hills via steep, zig-zagging hills. Amazing views and a breathtaking gorge is what you get for the not so comfortable ride. The train makes however enough stops to stretch the...

The 1,2km long U Bein's Bridge in Amarapura 0

Into Myanmar, welcome to Mandalay!

28 Feb – 2 March 2014 It is the first time in all my travels that I go to a country where there is a time difference calculated in half hours. Meaning, when you come from Belgium, you need to add 5,5 hours to the Belgian time. In my case, coming from Bangkok, I turned my watch 1/2 hour back.TIP: If you fly into Mandalay with Air Asia, there is a FREE shuttle bus from Air Asia waiting for you to bring you to downtown Mandalay, it stops somewhere at 80th and 27th street. Be aware that this service is...

Inle lake - Nyaungshwe 0

Kalaw and hike to Inle Lake

Before talking about Kalaw, I must talk about the trip there. Before, I said that most people speak English, but that’s of course not the case everywhere and especially when taking the local bus, it’s important to communicate well with the people that are supposed to drop you off. The bus I took passed through a lot of small villages and since only locals take the bus, most of them know where to get off. Me being the tourist didn’t know this and because of some miscommunication with the busdriver and the sales person, they forgot to notify me when...

Little girl with Thanaka on her face, yellow white cosmetic paste made from bark 0

Mandalay and surroundings

Next up on the popular Myanmar backpackers travelers route is Mandalay. The city itself has a handful things to see, such as Mandalay hill, the new palace and Mahamuni Paya. There’s also the teak monastary but I didn’t visit that one. I only spent 2 days in Mandalay, in and around Mandalay actually. First day I rented a bike and went around Mandalay hill and Mahamuni Paya. At the end of the day when I tried visiting the teak monastary it was closed already. I heard Tosh and Emily went there though and they said it was amazing. It was...