Min-ga-la-ba or Hello in Burmese

We didn’t fall off the face of the Earth. We’ve just been in Myanmar, which doesn’t have the best internet. And we didn’t have a lot of down time, so blogging wasn’t a high priority.

Hay guys! I actually took this picture in Cambodia, but thought it was too funny not to share on this.

Now, however, we’re basically in the first world. We are back in Thailand, in a city called Pattaya. It’s ocean side, about 2 hours outside Bangkok so it’s packed with tourists. We also decided it was time for a little luxury, so I cashed in most of my Holiday Inn points, and booked us an 3 nights in a lovely ocean view room. 

But enough about that. This is about Myanmar!

YANGON

We initially spent 3 days in Yangon. I know I have already mentioned this, but now I can add photos. Yangon is a very busy, bustling city. It’s full of life and Colonial architecture. One of our highlights of Yangon was the train ride around the city. We got a chance to see the landscape, local people, and insane amount of garbage they have.

A little local flavor on the Yangon circle train.
Watching the world go by.

Shwedagon Pagoda

INLE LAKE

From Yangon we took an overnight bus to Inle Lake (pronounced In-lay). It’s a little weird because the town is actually not on the lake, but about 6 miles north. Lodging on the lake side is rare, isolated, and very expensive. The lake is about 10 miles long with canals going all from village to village. It’s also very beautiful. We spent a FULL day having a lake tour, where we saw everything from lotus silk making to knife making. On our other two days we did some wine drinking and bike riding. 

Inle Lake at sunset

Lake Inle fishing boats

The wine!

BAGAN

Bagan is the place people travel to Myanmar for. It’s also probably the most visually well known of any of the places in Myanmar. Bagan has about 10,000 pagodas. It’s just an insane amount. And that is what you do there, go look at pagodas. In Bagan it’s illegal for foreigners to rent motorcycles, so they rent e-bikes, that looks just like mopeds, but run on battery only. We rented 2 e-bikes and cruised around. On our second day there we got up early to see the sunrise and hot air balloons. We counted 20 balloons that go up every morning. A ride for 1 person costs $394, so if you want to make some money, move to Bagan, and open a hot air balloon company for $380/person. You’ll be rich!

When we were planning our time in Bagan I was having the hardest time finding a place to stay. The internet kept telling me places were available when they weren’t and confirmations wouldn’t go through, so we ended up arriving with no place to stay. We ended up getting a room in a pretty nice place, but about twice what we wanted to be paying. One perk that came with it though, was the restaurant associated with the hotel had a free tour. They have only been doing this tour for about 10 days. It took us across the river into this very old, closed off pagodas, that still have original artwork. Not very many people get to see what we saw, so that was a neat experience. 

A few pagodas in view.

The inside of an old pagoda showing the story of Buddha.

Sunrise with the hot air balloons.

MANDALAY

After Bagan we headed to Mandalay to catch our flight to Bangkok. We were planning to only spend 1 day there, but since Bagan was so booked up, we ended up doing 2 days. We had been getting mixed reviews from travels about Mandalay, some people thought it was okay, and some thought it was pretty horrible. On our first day, we slept in, which was needed after 2 0430 wake ups. Then we just walked around the city to the old palace. Yesterday we took a taxi tour for the day. We really didn’t know what we were getting into, but we ended up having a 9 hour day of seeing pagodas & Buddhas. We also watched the sunset on the worlds longest all teak bridge. It’s was beautiful, but the bridge was wobbily and full of people. I thought our chances of making to 2017 weren’t great on the bridge!

Sunset over the palace in Mandalay.
A hall of Buddhas

World’s longest teak bridge. NOT OSHA approved!!

This will probably be the last post for a while since we are coming home in a few days, and it seems unlikely we will have anything too exciting to report on…well unless you want to hear about all the inappropriate old-man-young-Thai-girl relationships and women with eating disorders that seem to flock to places like Pattaya.

—–

Countries visited: 4

Modes of transportation used, all of them: ferry boat, long boat, train, plane, car, bus, pedal bikes, ebikes, horse and carriage

Sunrises seen in Myanmar: 2

Sunsets seen in Myanmar: 4

Games of cribbage played: about 50

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