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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Mandalay, Myanmar

Dec 1, 2006 - MYANMAR: Pyin U Lwin

Max and I were just dozing off on the night-bus from Taungyi when Chris jumped on at Kalaw. He ended up joining us on our trip to Hsipaw and the three of us were pretty much inseparable for the next 3 weeks! Chris is German and certainly a character. His natural bubbliness and energy meant he was great fun to be around. Always entertaining us and the locals with his attempts at speaking Burmese. We decided to make a stop in Pyin U Lwin on our way to Hsipaw, breaking the trip. We hired bikes and enjoyed an 8km downhill cycle to Anisakan...

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Nov 12, 2006 - Upriver from Mandalay

Yet another pretty bad night's sleep with noisy generator...no generator...fan on...fan off...window open/noisy traffic, etc, etc, but a general theme of very hot and sticky. So a trishaw to the river (Arewaddy) and a ferry upriver to Mingun. I have added a little movie clip just to give some impression of the people around. I keep trying to do ones that catch the madness at crossroads, but may wait till Vietnam for that, where I am told it is much worse. It was interesting to see life around the riverbank, a lot of it a pretty precarious...

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Nov 11, 2006 - Monk hills

Today we hired a taxi for the day to explore some of the stuff in the countryside around Mandalay, with our trishaw driver acting as a sort of guide, or at least helping me with my Burmese words. First we went to a place called Amarapura, most famous for this mile long teak bridge across a lake, hugely photogenic and nice. On the way there we stopped at this big pagoda to check out the view from the top, only, as a lady (as women are called in Bath) Erica wasn't allowed up on the terrace, so I went up, in bare feet as usual, only to find a...

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Nov 10, 2006 - The road to Mandalay

I wasn't keen on 12 hours on a ferry, and Erica couldn't face 12 hours on a crowded local bus on bad roads, so for the sake of $35 each we flew. Another fitful night's sleep, too drafty with the air-conditioning, murder without it. And another mad taxi ride to the airport. I am fairly certain all third-world taxi drivers are amphetamine abusers. At first sight, after driving through a lot of flooded rice paddies from the airport, the city of Mandalay was a bit brain damage; bedlam, and not very attractive, nor was our hotel. On the advice...

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Nov 6, 2006 - Kyaukme to Mandalay

I woke up with a high fever, and nausea. Myles packed up everything, settled our bill and got us on the way while I got some more sleep. We were catching the 8am bus to Mandalay. We arrived at the terminal at 7:30am. Heavy items were being loaded on the roof of the bus. Our bikes were strapped to the back with some rope. I wasn't looking forward to the next 6 hours or so. The bus left the terminal on time. We barely got a chance to say goodbye to Thura who came out to see us off. We were one of the last passengers to board the bus....

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Trip Journal


Somewhere in Asia

Nov 1, 2006 - Mandalay, Myanmar

Oh my Myanmar, how materialisticly poor you are, but how cultrally rich and friendly. Mandalay We flew from Dali on " Lucky Air Airlines", (praying all the way for good luck), switched to China Air in Kunming (breathed a sigh of relief) and on to Mandalay International(?) Airstrip. It was such a busy airport we were the only plane in sight! They brought the luggage to the terminal, unloaded it from the carts by hand, and threw it through the door for passengers to pick up. I must say I didn't mind. It was an eye opener, but quite peaceful...

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Oct 28, 2006 - Mandalay

We spend the entire day walking the streets of Mandalay. It was hot, sunny, dusty and teeming with life at every corner. We visited many tea shops, which give one a great vantage point for observing what goes on, without being observed. After sitting in one spot for a while, people stop noticing your presence, and you become a fixture. There are many little alleys connecting major streets, where people live in very close proximity to each other. There is an undeniable sense of community as you pass through them. Most people seem rather...

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Trip Journal


Somewhere in Asia

Oct 27, 2006 - Kyaukse to Mandalay

We got up at 6am and packed up our stuff in a hurry - both eager to get going. We were out the door with bikes loaded in no time flat. The owner was waiting for us outside, smiling. He was probably glad to see us go. I can't say I blame him, for all the hassle he put himself and us through. We both shook his hand, and rode off. We were hoping to get breakfast in a different part of town, on our way out. We found just the place. After some Shan noodles we were all fueled up for the ride. The traffic was really heavy on the road out of...

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Trip Journal


Somewhere in Asia

Oct 26, 2006 - Ywa Ngan to Kyaukse

We woke up at 6am, and quickly packed our things to leave. It was light out, and many people were making noise outside. I washed my face, and brushed my teeth, and put on some stinky clothes - least favourite part about cycling. We headed to the restaurant part of the 'guesthouse' to retrieve our passports, which they held hostage for the night even though we already paid for our stay. They claimed it was to keep them safe, but in actual fact they probably spent half the night copying out our information onto a million different forms. The...

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Trip Journal


Somewhere in Asia

Oct 12, 2006 - Mandalay

Our bus ride from Inle was terrible. The 3 of us managed to get the back bench of the bus. I thought I got lucky with the window seat but my hopes were shattered as a nice piece of plastic stuck into my side and shoulder making it impossible to rest my head against the window. What we thought would be an easy 12 hour overnight ride ended up being one of the roughest rides I had had traveling. We all managed a few minutes of shuteye. I didn't know what to expect going to Mandalay. I knew the military government regulated things a bit more...

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Sep 10, 2006 - Mandalay & Ancient Cities, Myanmar

It was just as well we had eaten so well at the 4 Sisters Guest House, as otherwise we couldn't have stomached the bus journey to Mandalay! It was ONLY 10 hours, but felt more like 100! Once again, the bus was crammed full, but this time there was no air con. With all the windows wide open, we breathed dust and mosquitoes coming in from the dirt track roads as we meandered through the Shan Hills. In the moonlight, the bus ploughed its way through potholes and over bumps and stones. At every hairpin bend, the bus would come to such a crawl...

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May 27, 2006 - Mandalay

THe city of Mandalay didn't have too much to offer within it's borders, but the few things it does have are worth mentioning. The first is the comedy show put on by the moustache borhters. Two brothers and there family who have been making people laugh for generations. They have at times fallen into hot water with their poltically charged laughs, nothing obseen but to leaders with huge egos and too much power they didn't see it as funny. Par Par Lay was once sentenced to 7 years hard labour for calling the current government "different...

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