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Published: April 7th 2012
Mingala ba again from Mandalay!!
After a long busride overnight in a surprisingly quite good bus (even water was supplied and seatnumbers were on the tickets) on the new Mandalay - Yangon Highway we arrived in Mandalay. We made a reservation in Yangon before for a hotel - it is not absolutly necessary but a good advice - especially if you don't want to run around at 5 in the morning and need to find a hotel!!! The rooms were .... mmmmh .... how to describe .... looking like a prison and very scrabby on the first floor - and that for 15 Dollars for a double room!!! O.K. but on the other hand the people working in the hotel were extremly helpful and friendly, especially the women in the morning reception hours!! So not a real problem, just something to get used to, after cheaper and nicer rooms in other countries before!! So we stayed finally 3 nights there!!
Mandalay itsself is a big busy town, markets full of life and a lot of old towns located arround the main city. So we explored the many stupas, pagodas made of teak, the teak wodden long U-Bein Bridge near
Aramapurna - an old city in the south - all by bike. It,s worth cruising arround near the river, we saw parts of Mandalay that were authentic with garlic harvest, people living in rubbish mountains, boats but still very friendly and smiling!! Mandalay hill gave us a nice view over the city. Sagain is another city we travelled by local pickup, the travel was really special with ending up on Sagain Hill, again hundreds of stupas everywhere. From there we even hitchhiked back to Mandalay. The food is not very special for me, a lot of sour stuff and a lot of chapatis are offered on the streets. Oxcarts could be seen still along the river and also horsecarts, finally this was my expectation to see Burma like this, but in Mandalay a lot of motorbikes pollute the whole city, same like a lot off wicked cars, trucks and buses that are still running even they look more like a fast selfconstructed peace of metal. So the impressions of this country are getting deeper, but it slowly starts to become harder because of the pollution and dusty environment! But that was actually not a big surprise - so we continue
to Hsipaw in the northern Shan state the next days - areas with hopefully nice environment and interesting local hilltribes!!!
Hope you still enjoy the blog - greetings from Burma
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