Blogs from Mawlamyine, Southern Burma, Burma, Asia

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Asia » Burma » Southern Burma » Mawlamyine January 24th 2018

L’idée du voyage est de longer la bande étroite de sud-est du Myanmar et de rejoindre la Thaïlande à son extrémité. C’est une zone peu visitée du fait de son éloignement et des conditions de transport parfois difficiles au Myanmar. Il semble bien que Hpa An cherche à se développer touristiquement. Si la ville elle-même a un attrait moyen, elle est une bonne base pour se disperser dans sa campagne magnifique. De grands projets de rénovation de ses quais sont en place et vont certainement voir ouvrir des hébergements modernes. Aujourd’hui c’est un grand chantier. Surtout ne pas réserver dans un hôtel à proximité des quais. Le bus a l’air de vouloir faire un record de distance avec un seul plein d’essence, ou bien la seconde ne s’enclenche pas, on avance à un rythme de tortue. ... read more
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Asia » Burma » Southern Burma » Mawlamyine November 26th 2017

Rudyard Kipling spent only a few unscheduled hours in Moulmein (now Mawlamyine), by then the former capital of British Burma, on his way home – via America – from India in 1889, but it nevertheless managed to inspire the opening line of one of his most memorable poems, “Mandalay”. Having first encountered the poem only just before I left the UK, I found it getting under my skin as I travelled around Myanmar almost 130 years’ after Kipling’s visit. “But that’s all shove be’ind me - long ago an’ fur away An’ there ain’t no ’busses runnin’ from the Bank to Mandalay; An’ I'm learnin’ ’ere in London what the ten-year soldier tells: “If you've ’eard the East a-callin’, you won’t never ’eed naught else.”” It felt so resonant for me, as I combine my first ... read more
Kyaikthanian Paya
orchids for sale, Myine Yadanar Zei
colourful bananas, Myine Yadanar Zei

Asia » Burma » Southern Burma » Mawlamyine February 22nd 2015

Hpa-An (Sprich: Panan) Dieses kleine Städtchen im Südlichen Teil Burmas, im Staat "Kayin", ist bekannt für seine vielen Höhlen in den Karsthügeln, die alle mit Buddha-Statuen befüllt sind. Nach einem Moped-Ausflug zu ein paar dieser Höhlen, und in die abseits gelegenen kleinen Dörfer, gabs das größte Spektakel aber am Abend. Aus einer der Höhlen schwärmen nach Sonnenuntergang hunderttausende Fledermäuse heraus. Das Spektakel dauert 10 Minuten, und es sieht nicht so aus, als würde die Fledermausdichte jemals geringer werden. count the buddhas :-) scary bridge on a motorbike Bats Out of Hell ... read more
am Than Lwin River
Mt. Hpa-Pu mit Pagoda
Mt. Hpa-Pu

Asia » Burma » Southern Burma » Mawlamyine February 18th 2015

Day 1: Golden Rock to Hpa An Arrived via truck from Kinpun (Golden Rock) and got my hotel. Went for a walk around town, chartered a boat across the river to climb a local hill for sunset views. Day 2: Hpa An Arranged for a tour around the area. A large group of backpackers and myself were driven around in a tuktuk to a number of caves, large and small and some other sites nearby. Day 3: Hpa An to Mawlamyine I took a river boat with some other travelers down the river for 4 hours to Mawlamyine passing a few villages and various farms. All the hotels were full (or just got full right before I arrived). I ended up visiting over 10 hotels in the small town and walking for about 2 hours before ... read more
Myanmar - 7 Hpa An-3
Myanmar - 7 Hpa An-4
Myanmar - 7 Hpa An-9

Asia » Burma » Southern Burma » Mawlamyine February 9th 2014

Southern Myanmar We were all excited to be back in this fascinating country, and relieved to find that tourism has not yet made its mark. The only noticeable changes in Yangon were the odd ATM (including one within the Shwedogan Pagoda Complex!) and a half empty shopping mall in the city centre. But outside of Yangon we found the same friendly faces going about their way of life and unique culture (and the same battered vehicles) as if preserved in a time capsule. We were heading south on this second visit to Myanmar, away from the more popular tourist destinations of the north, into the previously off limits States of Mon and Kayin, close to the borders with a Thailand and Cambodia. With the exception of Mount Kyaiktiyo or Golden Rock there are no other specific ... read more
Golden Rock
Hpa An Jetty
Saddar Cave

Asia » Burma » Southern Burma » Mawlamyine February 9th 2013

I decided that motorcycle taxis are not that bad, I just need to relax and "go with the flow." So I found my faithful driver, Mario (he did tell me his name, but at the moment I've forgotten), and his velvet covered motorcycle seat, and off we went to Kyaikmaraw, a small town about 15 miles from Mawlamyine. This time I could watch the scenery, as the helmet was a bit smaller and didn't slip over my eyes as happened on the first ride. I enjoyed the palm tree lined road, the paddy fields--now mostly brown, patches of green where farmers tended cabbage or beans, and the beautiful Mon houses. Everything zipped by, and I hesitated to ask him to stop so I could take a photograph because it felt as if the rhythm of the ... read more
Sitting Buddha
Window in Mon House
Deep Fried Somethings for Tea

Asia » Burma » Southern Burma » Mawlamyine February 7th 2013

Friend Jenny and I set out for Khai Yon Cave, a short distance from Mawlamyine. I thought we'd see the usual Buddha filled alcove, maybe smell some bat guano, and make a hasty retreat. We ended up staying far longer than we anticipated. Part of the complex is being developed, which means a lot of cement is being poured. But what delighted us was the opportunity to see a real artist at work. He was creating an elaborate set of life size figures in cement. They were coming to life before our very eyes. Even though the figures were all grey from their cement surface, they already had eyelashes, as though this was one of the most important things to do first. Most were handless, and one female figure was emerging from the ground. Another figure ... read more
Nat Work
Man with Cigar
The Cement People

Asia » Burma » Southern Burma » Mawlamyine February 5th 2013

The Lonely Planet Guide to Myanmar says, "If you thought you'd seen some big old buddhas, just wait till you get a load of this one." Indeed! Here's the story for the day: It just so happens that the annual festival celebrating the birthday of the monk who built the Buddha at Win Sein Taw Yaw is in its second of three days. I have to go to see not only the monster Buddha, but also take in the festivities. The initial problem is getting there. Hire a car taxi? No, I head for the minivans that shuttle people every hour. But twenty feet outside the door of my hotel is the local motorcycle taxi service. They of course ask me where I'm going and I tell them. They give me an offer I can't refuse, ... read more
Big Buddha
Get the Fights Underway!
We Love Magic!

Asia » Burma » Southern Burma » Mawlamyine January 2nd 2013

Our last full day in Mawlamyine. Today was market day. There are three large markets in Mawlamyine. One that is prmarily a wholesale market where anything and everything is sold in bulk. A second market supplies everything from buckets to hats and kids toys. The OH had lost all of his hats now including the favourite half a hat. With much optimism he set off to see if he could buy one at the markets in Mawlamyine. They may sell just about everything but there were no half hats. There were hats though that had a full flap hanging down the back. In fact they would even come in handy if on a motor bike as everything except your eyes can be covered. The last market is a fruit, vegie, flower, and jewellery market of all ... read more
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Asia » Burma » Southern Burma » Mawlamyine January 1st 2013

We took a different approach to our discovery of Mawlamyine and went to have a look around the various pagodas. The majority of them are located on a ridge that overlooks the town. Although not as impressive as the pagodas we have seen elsewhere, these were none the less worthy of exploration. There is a large monastic population here in Mawlamyine and one of the suggested routes cut straight through the monastery region. The monks were out and about with their daily lives. It was easy to spend a couple of hours wandering around here and the pagodas. The main road we took was very narrow and I think only motor bikes or very small cars could fit down the quite steep hill. The road was largely made of fired bricks. Interesting paving. As we rounded ... read more
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