Page 2 of TWtrips Travel Blog Posts

Asia October 26th 2017

I have now completed my 2 bus journeys. I tried to film and jotted notes of sights, sounds and feelings but even these do not say it all! Seen from bus to Kalaw Mountain river caves Broken trucks Building roads by hand, ladies shake sieves of gravel over larger rocks Petrol stations Monastery, shacks, stores, café, wooden house on stilts Meiktila city town by lake or river Catholic church pink Pagoda in river, flood Shiny gold dragon like temple Oxen pulling cart, young woman driving Sheep or are they woolly goats Tuk tuk van filled seats, guys hanging on back parcels, baskets on top Goats in the road, herd spread across, bus braked & stop blasting horn Cows in motorbike tuk tuk JCB. Trucks here not decorated, all very practical Hear constantly blasting horn Yutong advert ... read more
Inside the bus to Bagan

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan October 25th 2017

After some extra sleep following another early wake up (I was up 5 till 7) I debated whether to aim for Old Bagan, a couple of hours pedalling, or just hang about the hotel till the sunset boat. Win, the taxi driver who took me to see sunrise, was outside. We’d agreed to leave at 4:30 to use his friend's boat, now we are going an hour earlier to see the temples in Old Bagan first. Win and the hotel staff have been asking around but we can't find others to share the cost. About 11 I took the bike just 10 minutes along the main road (less traffic, go figure!). The main temple was Gubyaukgyi with no photos allowed inside. It was damaged in the earthquake last year. There were many people including a tour ... read more
Group of temples
Keeper of Gubyauk Nge
Gubyauk Nge

Asia October 25th 2017

Zfreeti Hotel So totally different to previous two - open and airy and very welcoming after the long bus ride. We were quickly checked in and told to ask for anything we needed. True to their word, all service has been brilliant from reception to housekeeping and laundry. One of the reception staff told me that the boss took them out to dinner as a celebration for their successful work. However when I offered to tip after dinner the waiter said they are not allowed to accept extra at this hotel. The hotel is only enclosed within rooms and all else, reception, pool, restaurant open to the air. Gardens surround it and shrubs in pots are by rooms and on the roof. My room is another huge room, it's simply furnished and comfortable. From the roof ... read more
Rooftop view

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 » Mandalay October 23rd 2017

Bagan King hotel Completely different to Clover in style and ambience. Staff are of course attentive, friendly and helpful but the whole place is rather posh. I am most definitely the customer. Prices are listed in USD with a poor exchange rate. For example Sprite was k1000 in Clover and k2100 here. Although I arrived before 10, staff prepared my room so I was able to bag up my t-shirts and trousers that were soaked in Yangon’s rain and by 7 this evening they were back in my room freshly laundered, at a cost of 12 USD for 5 pieces. It was useful to pay for dinner on my last night as I have not changed enough into kyat. That was $14 a good price for peppered beef and rice, banana fritters in honey and a ... read more

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Mandalay October 22nd 2017

October 22nd This all day tour started with a trip to Mandalay Hill and was listed as a tour of that area followed by “The rest of the day the car and guide are available for additional visits till 6 pm if wanted – we suggest you to visit Yankin Hill” I had researched many interesting places and had a list of possibilities to share with my guide. Mandalay Hill - half way up we stopped at Byardeik Paye Pagoda - the first Buddha encoutered points at arrivals and seems to be showing us the way out! Within this area were also calm seated Buddhas and I was fascinated by their hands - so much so that I photographed them from every angle! Next we continued up the hill on the one-way system, to the base ... read more
Buddha Hands
Su Taung Paye
Snake Nats

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Mandalay October 21st 2017

Ein Daw Yar I reached the temple around the back, I think it was the west entrance but I had intended to enter through the east, the direction from which I had walked. Thankfully I did it that way round because at the entrance I used, there were people collecting money for the temple with the usual donation stall and loud hailing for any passers by to give money or goods. I left from the east entrance and although it also had people making goods to donate to the monks, in this case fans, I'm not sure I would have seen all the different things made for donations. The Pagoda itself was quite spread out. In the centre was the stupa in gold, as so many are, but around it were other stupas in marble, wood ... read more
Donations for monks
Ein daw yar main stupa
Buddha's Life story

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Sagaing October 21st 2017

Sagaing, Amarapura Just an hour south of Mandalay, these old kingdoms are famous tourist places, for foreigners and locals. The bridge in particular is a spot to take a walk or chat with friends and family on a day off. We began in Sagaing across the Irrawaddy river and reached it over a new bridge for which there is a toll. It was made because the old Colonial one could not take trucks. Now that is only for the railway. If you are going into the town you also pay for that, in total about k700 (about 40 pence). Sagaing is like an island of hills, 240 I think, each with a pagoda. As time goes on it is more and more difficult for me to remember which I have seen so this with my many ... read more
Frog at the gate to the hill
U Min Thonze
The original Buddha

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Mandalay October 21st 2017

This morning I was up by 5:30 to see my first Burmese sunrise, like sunset last night it was a bit disappointing but hey, there is more to life than seeing the start and end of a day. It is now noon and I will shortly be collected for a tour of the historical area south of here. After an early breakfast I left the hotel around 7:30 heading east as I thought, huh, a block later I realized it was the other way. Lucky I checked the phone map. I also remembered to map my walk and am proud to report that I covered 3.88km in 1 hour 17 minutes taking lots of photos and rejecting possibly more rides on taxi motorbikes. This in sun and temperatures above 30C. My goal for the morning was ... read more
Motorbike oil -
The road over the railway
Mandalay Central Station

Asia October 20th 2017

Mandalay has a totally different look and feel to Yangon, enough to say it could be another country! Even the people look different. I was picked up at the airport about 9 and was amazed at the emptiness of the road into town. I'd been told it would be about 45 minutes. Got my video cam out to film the many sights. It won't show the dragon and butterflies that swirled across or record sound because the car was air conditioned. The road itself was like the M11 when first opened 35 + years ago, wide and pretty well empty if any of you remember those days :-) There were taxis from the airport of course but the further in we got the more variety of vehicles appeared. Motor bikes and small trucks carrying produce such ... read more
Coffee shop, Yangon airport
Planes on tarmac
Onboard first flight

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