Myanmar


I arrived in Yangon together with a friend and we were joined by his sister in the evening. Together we would travel through the country for three and a half weeks.

From the airport we made our way to the hostel by foot and bus which was an interesting experience considering that the buses started operating just the beginning of this year.

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We visited the pagoda before the sun was up and watched the sun rising. It was interesting watching the local people praying and giving gifts at one of the many shrines. There are shrines for each day and an additional one for their eighth day (Wednesday afternoon).


Shwedagon Pagoda is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar. It is believed to contain relics of four previous Buddhas.

After two days in Yangon we made a trip to the golden rock and then went up north to Kalaw by bus. From there we started a three day Trekking tour to Inle Lake which was great.

Our trekking-group consisted of seven people plus guide and we had a fun time together. The route led through a bamboo forest and villages from different tribes. The area is pretty hilly and there were awesome views from high places. The two nights during the trip were spend in local homes in small villages and our guide prepared good meals including fruits which he partially cut to look like animals.

On our second day we made a boat trip on Inle Lake visiting several small villages, Pagodas, floating gardens and saw some of the famous fisherman. It is a very good idea to start the trip long before the sunrise, which is what we did. That way we saw the sunrise on the water, it was not that hot in the beginning and there are not many tourists on their way that early. A nice thing to do for the evening is visiting the winery for the sunset (and if you like it, drink some quite expensive wine ^^). We took three bicycles from our hostel and made our way there with just a few funny wrong turns ;)

We were a bit late and all the tables with a good view down on Inle Lake and the sunset were taken already. So we went ahead and asked a woman whether we could join her. She turned out to be from Yangon and travelling together with her husband. They both spoke good english and for the first time we had a long conversation with locals which was very interesting and informative. Over our conversation we kind of missed the sunset though ^^


The next day we took a night-bus to Mandaley. For me personally Mandaley was not that interesting, but then again I am not a city person at all. We walked around a bit and watched a cloudy sunset from Mandaley Hill. After two nights there we took a slow ferry leaving to Bagan. The trip down the river took around fourteen hours and most of the time was just sitting around waiting. Apart from us and two french there where only locals on the boat and we made many stops at small villages along the river loading and unloading people and goods. One time we got stuck at the shore and it took the captain quite some time to manoeuvre us out again.

We stayed in Bagan for three nights. Bagan had a comparable flair for me then Ankor in Cambodia. There are hundreds of pagodas scattered around a large area. We rented some e-bikes and drove around visiting a lot of them. It was my first time with such e-bikes and it was really fun driving almost 50kmph between all the local bikes and small transporters. I finally completely accepted the necessity of all the honking as a warning system and fully integrated myself with my left thumb always close to the horn ;)

On some of the pagodas there are stairs going up to terraces. Those are usually the more famous ones and you will be alone quite seldom. But if you search for a while you might tumble upon a pagoda that is completely empty and has a more or less hidden entrance going up to the roof. In our case we were pointed to such a pagoda by a small local girl that showed us around a bigger pagoda before.

The biggest tourist attractions are the sunsets and sundowns. Especially during the hot air balloon season the bigger pagodas will be crowded in the mornings with people trying to get a picture of the sunset with hot air balloons over the pagodas. And that is definitely a sight worth getting up early for>

Next stop: Mt. Victoria and Nagapali beach (still working on this)

Images

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Small village, close to the golden rock, where we stayed for a night.

(taken here on 19th March 2017)



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The Golden Rock

(taken here on 20th March 2017)



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Trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake (first day)

(taken here on 22nd March 2017)



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Trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake (first day)

(taken here on 22nd March 2017)



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Trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake (second day)

(taken here on 23rd March 2017)



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Trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake (second day)

(taken on 23rd March 2017)



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People getting water

(taken on 23rd March 2017)



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Sunrise from a boat on Inle Lake

(taken on 25th March 2017)



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Houses at Inle Lake

(taken on 25th March 2017)



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Wooden bridge over a water way connected to Inle Lake

(taken on 25th March 2017)



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The village Sagar close to Inle Lake

(taken on 25th March 2017)



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Bagan

(taken here on 30th March 2017)



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Bagan

(taken here on 31st March 2017)



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Nagapali beach

(taken here on 5th April 2017)



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Nagapali beach

(taken here on 7th April 2017)



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Nagapali beach

(taken here on 7th April 2017)



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Nagapali beach

(taken here on 7th April 2017)





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