Blogs from Bagan, Mandalay Region, Burma, Asia - page 2


Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan October 24th 2017

I started my morning at 4:30 having booked a taxi to take me to Ko Mauk Lake where they have built one of the new viewing platforms. It actually faced West hence we were the only ones there. First views were of temples illuminated in the dark but getting into the area was rather disorientating and I’m unable to name which they were. Of course it was dark and best for me, full of wildlife, a squirrel insects and many birds. Win, the driver knew the names, Later my guide Nang told me that books on these are very expensive. It was amazing to see how close all the temples are although it is not easy to go between them as there are areas of scrub and the tracks / paths twist and turn and end ... read more
Sunrise on the plain
The sun rises next to Pythador
Sulamani at sunrise

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan October 14th 2017

Woke to a dance ceremony outside the hotel 6am with music and a dancer being blasted through a mega phone and money collected was bought out for it, called it the Kaban Festival and the money collected goes towards new robes for the Monks. They had the money still stuck on the boards put into utes and with a escort of Police they left for the Monastery. We picked up our washing, 50c an item on average. Lym and Coca took us to a big Market where Mick bought a shirt and chiming bells. We then stopped at Sugar cane plantation, we were given a traditional welcome with snacks and green tea provided. We watched a man climbing the palm trea to get palm oil and an ox crushing nuts. They also used the palm sugar ... read more
Happy little chap
Morning Market
Yum anyone for Fish

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan October 13th 2017

Pick up at Hotel by Lym and Coco we saw the largest of the temples in Myanmar, tallest Stupa in Myanmar and more Fresco walls in another couple of Stupas in the walled city part. The locals have been moved from the walled city to another part of Bagon and as an incentive to move, they were given land in the new Bagon by the Government. Mick had a visit to the local barber to get his Beard and Hair cut and being a foreigner he was charged a $1, $1 for the beard and $1 for the hair cut. The poor barber I dont think had cut a beard before and was really nervous with plenty of locals watching. Visit to a lacquer workshop truly incredible, laquer taking 6 different processes and all hand done. ... read more
Thatbyinnyu Temple
Lacquer Ware
Etching the Lacquer ware

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan October 12th 2017

Pouring rain today, T2 picked us up at 8am to take us to Heho airport, 1hr drive, interesting on dirt roads. OHS is not something that exists here saw road workers working on steep cliffs with a Jack hammer and no support at all. Arrived in plenty of time for our flight, very wet which is unusual for this time of the year. Said goodbye to T2. Our plane K7 - 264 was supposed to leave at 10.20am, with no power for most of the time. Flight left 40 minutes late and we arrived at Hotel Royal Bagan after Lym and the driver Coco picked us up, called at the bank for change and Lym will pick us up in an hour giving us time to settle in. Stupa 1 Gubyaukgyi with amazing Mural Paintings, done ... read more
Frescoes in the Gubyaukgyi
Hindu influenced

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan September 9th 2017

I spent four fantastic days in Bagan Lara Croft-ing (i.e., exploring temples. Lots of them). But, before I talk about these temples, let me tell you about two unexpected things I did: 1. I stayed in a hostel and I loved it. 2. I rented an e-bike. Hosteling? Me? Ahmar, the UCLA MBA alumnus I had been put in touch with, told me he had booked at Ostello Bello Hostel in Bagan, and that it came highly recommended. When I set out in this trip, I had resolved to not stay in dorms because I am a light sleeper and I was wary about sharing rooms with partying twentysomethings. My past experiences with hostels over 20 years ago weren't too favorable - they were primarily crash pads for people who stumbled in at all hours. At ... read more
Part of the American Contingent at Ostello Bello
Having Lunch with Hostel Mates During Guided Tour
Me on an e-Bike

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan March 23rd 2017

Yangon's main bus station has one of the most interesting setups that I've ever seen of a bus station. First of all, it's not really a bus 'station' but more of a bus town. A town that taxi drivers have to pay to get into and that contains streets of transport companies who transport both cargo and passengers. Between all these company shopfronts are of course, restaurants and Indian-style general stalls selling snacks. The layout is all rather confusing and traffic jams are bad inside Transport Town, which is why perhaps, we were told to leave the B&B so early to catch our bus. Our taxi driver had to make sure he dropped us off at the right 'address' - there's no way that any tourist could've found this place on their own. The air-con on ... read more
Dhammayazika Paya
Thatbyinnyu Pahto
Sulamani Pahto

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan January 11th 2017

One thing that I very much wanted to do while in Bagan was to take a balloon flight over the archeological zone and see the temples from the air. With over 2,200 pagodas and stupas, there was no way I was going to see them all on foot. And besides, hot air balloons are really cool. There are three balloon companies in Bagan, but the government limits the number of balloon licenses to twenty. During the high (read dry) season, tickets sell out fast, so best to make your reservations well in advance. Make that months in advance. I went with a company called “Balloons Over Bagan.” All their pilots are trained overseas, with many coming from the United Kingdom. The man who piloted my balloon flies in Bagan during the winter, then moves on to ... read more
gold stupa
Shwezegon Pagoda

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan January 2nd 2017

All flights within Myanmar are operated by Burmese airlines. At last count there are eight Burmese airlines, which is rather a lot for a country only 581 mile wide, and 1275 from north to south. They all have similar prices, so it’s just a question of picking the airline that flies to where you want to go, and choosing the departure time that fits in your schedule. Yangon Airport is new and clean, with some distinctly Western touches, like the Gloria Jean’s Coffee counter, and a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet. What isn’t just like every other airport is watching Buddhist monks get patted down by airport security. When you fly with a Burmese airline, you check in at the ticket counter and in addition to your boarding pass you get a sticker to put on your ... read more
why is this man smiling?
downtown Nyaung U
Ayeyarwady Rive

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan December 14th 2016 to sum up a week in Bagan when you haven't been blogging the whole time - Pagodas and dust perhaps? Once more the pictures do not to the place full justice as it is just awesome!! Loved it here and felt I had at last found the Burma of my dreams. The military junta formed the Bagan Archaeolgical Zone (and tourists have to buy a 5 day permit to visit), people who had been living for generations in this area were turfed out of their homes and forced to move to the outlying areas. The then government allowed their cronies to build tourist hotels in the zone and a very odd watch tower with a restaurant in the top, which apparently the locals hate and does look totally out of place. All of this is ... read more

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan December 5th 2016

Bagan is the must see place for everyone that comes to Myanmar, it is quite incredible and so different, over 3,000 pagodas, stupors and temples are studded through the plains of Bagan. It is the worlds largest archeological site and was established in the 11th century. The Indian government is now helping them strip some of the pagodas back to show the original paintings below the layers of lime plaster. There is a lot of renovation work to be done around here. A couple of the pagodas we visited had some bamboo scaffolding around them as there was some damage from an earthquake here in August. We took an ox cart ride this morning with all the oxen and carts done up in their ceremonial gear, through the dusty countryside winding in and out of different ... read more

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