Blogs from Western Burma, Burma, Asia


Asia » Burma » Western Burma November 14th 2017

I’d long wanted to take a boat down (or up, I wasn’t fussy, although travelling immediately post-monsoon suggested downriver would be quicker) the Irrawaddy, the age-old “road to Mandalay”, for the sheer romance of it, but the logistics involved in trying to fit in everything that I wanted to do during this trip in a vaguely logical manner did not permit. In consolation – although, realistically, I had no other option for this particular journey – I decided to take the boat from Mrauk U to Sittwe, winding along the tributaries of, and debauching into, the Kaladan River which, at Sittwe, then joins the Andaman Sea. After the excitements involved in getting to Mrauk U, a bus journey of a little over 21 hours, a serene 4½-hour boat trip sounded sublime, even if it did involve ... read more
a very delicate exercise
the morning commute

Asia » Burma » Western Burma » Mrauk U November 12th 2017

In a little text box in the Bagan chapter of the new edition of the Book, it proudly proclaimed: “A new overland service connects Bagan with Mrauk U…” This was enough to hook me when I was planning this trip. Otherwise, getting between Myanmar’s two most famous archaeological sites involves two planes and a boat, none of which connect, which means a minimum of three days’ travelling. It’s only 479 km, but, as I had quickly learned on arriving here, the number of kilometres has no bearing on the time involved. Historically, the bus option necessitated backtracking almost to Mandalay, I believe, which, on the basis of the last 24 hours’ experience would be, err, suboptimal. And so, my first afternoon in Nyaung U, the transport hub for the Bagan area, I tootled off to talk ... read more
not exactly a bus station
river crossing
the shrine at the Kyaukpadraung café

Asia » Burma » Western Burma » Ngapali March 1st 2015

NGAPALI BEACH Vi har hatt noen fantastiske dager her på Pleasant View Resort. Avslappende og rolige dager, men også innholdsrike. Det hele startet heller dårlig. Flyet fra Bagan var forsinket på grunn av tåke i Yangon (flyet kom derfra og skulle plukke opp oss i Bagan) slik at vi ble sittende i over 4 timer på flyplassen. Etter å ha gått gjennom sikkerhetskontrollen, ble vi sittende i et rom uten muligheter til å kjøpe verken mat eller drikke. Flyturen tok 2 ½ time inkludert mellomlanding tilbake til Heho (flyplassen ved Inle Lake). Vi, som hadde spist frokost kl. 06:00, var kjempesultne og håpet på mat ombord. Det vi totalt sett fikk, var 2 bitte-bitte-små kakebiter, 4 drops og 2 glass juce. Stemningen var laber, og da vi etter å ha landet i Ngapali, kom inn i ... read more
Pleasant View Resort. Hytta vår lå mellom palmene helt til høyre i bildet.
Ikke dårlig, hva?
Fruktselgerne på stranda.

Asia » Burma » Western Burma February 13th 2015

J'adore aller en birmanie ! C'est l'endroit ou j'ai été dans ma vie le moin dispendieux ! C'est très très pauvre...les enfants cours vers les touristes pour leurs demander des sous a tout les coins de rues. Pour des vacances pas cher et des beaux paysages c'est parfait ! Remplis de belle plages de montagnes et de couleurs la birmanie est selon moi un paradis encore pas très découvert !... read more
Promenade en bateau
L'enregistrement de passeport
Le plus gentil des petits garcon

Asia » Burma » Western Burma » Mrauk U January 26th 2015

Wie schon vermutet war die Internetverbindung im westlichen Myanmar so langsam, dass ich es schnell aufgegeben habe, noch einen Blogeintrag zu verschicken. Inzwischen sind wir wohlbehalten wieder zu Hause eingetroffen. Aber die letzte Woche Abenteuer möchte ich euch nicht vorenthalten. Tag 15: Flug Yangon - Sittwe, halbe Stunde Verspätung, sitzen mal wieder im unterkühlten Domestic Terminal und sitzen und sitzen. Angeblich wegen verspätetem Abflug am vorangegangenen Ort, wahrscheinlich Heho. Das heißt unsere Ankunft in Sittwe wird sich verspäten und bei einer zu erwartenden Dauer der anschließenden Bootsfahrt werden wir erst im Dunkeln, Stockdunkeln, in Mrauk U ankommen. Auch mal spannend. Sittwe Hafen: Was für abgewrackte Pötte da rumlagen. Auf einen steuerten wir dann auch zu. War aber nicht unser Boot, sondern wir mussten nur über eine schmale Planke drauf und drüb... read more
Fortunately not our boat, but a Public Ferry anyway
Kothaung temple Mrauk Oo
Child wearing Thanaka

Asia » Burma » Western Burma » Ngapali October 26th 2014

October 26th, 2014 Well, this will be an easy post to complete: we did absolutely nothing here but relax and eat seafood...done. Well, okay, we did a few things but overall this was all about down time on a beach, something we like to fit in on our travels if possible... Took a flight from Inle and arrived at Thandwe about an hour later...we had kind of half-booked a place called Lin Thar Oo on a recommendation from our hosts at PYI Guest House and they sent a bus to pick us up which worked out fine...accommodation here can be expensive (most are well north of $100 USD a night for a spot with beach views), and after checking out a couple of rooms and some negotiations we settled on a cool bungalow pretty much on ... read more
Our Bungalow...
On the beach...

Asia » Burma » Western Burma June 11th 2014

We were there some years ago when it was not very well known to foreign tourists, and only the locals were there with the exception of one lone Frenchman. Chaungtha is probably one of my favorite beaches among many which I have been to around the world. The name 'Chaungtha' in English means pleasant stream. Well, it really is pleasant, but certainly not a stream by any means. Chaungtha is a long stretch of fine beach situated on the Bay of Bengal, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) from the city of Bassein or Pathein as it is called now. Actually, this beach is named for the village nearby. Accordingly, it is more commonly known as Chaungtha Beach to separate it from the village. More about Chaungtha village later in this article. We hired a private car ... read more
Chaungtha 1
Chaungtha 2
Chaungtha 3

Asia » Burma » Western Burma » Mrauk U March 30th 2014

Having a 4 day holiday in Ngapli Beach was a good idea . We were ready to move on and it did take a bit of effort to get to Mrauk . We flew to Sittwe , the capital city of the area , had to overnight in a dingy hotel then take a 7 am ferry . The boat trip ,on a no frills government ferry took only 5 hours because the current was with us that day . It was actually only a 40 mile trip!!! Travel in Myanmar is SLOW by road and by water ... not expensive but really slow . I do not regret choosing to fly 5 times while we were there. Sittwe was unlike any other place we were in Myanmar . There is a lot of tension there ... read more
Coffee Bar
Another Temple

Asia » Burma » Western Burma » Ngapali March 21st 2014

I was rereading the blog last night to remind myself about what stood out at the time that I was writing .The hotel , the fishermen and their families ,the meals , and the beach itself were truly memorable . It is hard to narrow down the photos ( as it has been all along ) but I think these might capture that time .... read more
The catch

Asia » Burma » Western Burma » Kyaukphyu March 8th 2014

After my 2011 trip to Kenya, I had another opportunity to volunteer for HWB (Hydrogeologists Without Borders), this time in Myanmar at an IDP camp run by Oxfam. The camp is located in the western Rakhine State and houses about 1500 Muslims who were displaced after their homes were burned down during the 2012 riots. The camp is guarded by the military, and the residents can only go into town with a police escort. The situation is more tense further north where the Muslim population is larger. My involvement with this project started in the fall when HWB was approached by Oxfam for help with their water wells. These drilled wells supply drinking water to the camp but the water but was turning salty, and their other water sources (springs and shallow hand dug wells) eventually ... read more
Yangon apartment  building
Maha Bandoola Garden
Anti-government rally

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