Burmese Days – Mandalay and Hsipaw, Myanmar

Just a quick post with some fun things from the last few days. I’m typing this blog on my phone so sorry in advance for any spelling mistakes!

Leaving Yangon we finally got to experience a staple of Southeast Asian travel that we had so far managed to avoid – the overnight bus. Our bus left Yangon at 9pm and arrived in Mandalay about 6 am (still dark). The Yangon bus station is confusing, dusty, loud, and generally not a great place to be. But we were pleased to see that our bus was quite good – good AC, seats that reclined a long way.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Settling into VIP overnight bus.

Mandalay doesn’t have the old colonial buildings we saw in Yangon. It had them once, many years ago. But it was completely bombed to the ground in World War 2. It was rebuilt with ugly buildings, chaotic roads, and very few traffic lights. But there are interesting sights in and around the city.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
One of many pagoda complexes in Mandalay.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
We have been to so many temples in Southeast Asia so far but they all manage to be a little different.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
We have had some great sunsets on this trip, but this one over the Irrawaddy River was spectacular. No editing of the photo, just great colours …probably caused by the smog from Manadalay.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
We met a nice monk and his friend at sunset. The monks seek out tourists to practice their English. He asked for my Facebook details, but he hasn’t added me yet.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The longest teak bridge in the world. Now you know where it is.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Working out with the locals. There are fixed pieces of exercise equipment all around the Royal Palace moat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
One of many ambitious scooter drivers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The last temple picture for this post, I promise. These old temples are outside of Manadalay in an ancient capital city for the Burmese people. They are seemingly abandoned but when you look inside, the local people still use them daily.

 We were glad to leave Mandalay and head north, into Shan State, to the small town of Hsipaw. It was a 6 hour bus ride, through canyons and over hills.

After Yangon and Mandalay, Hsipaw was a literal breath of fresh air. It’s a small town in the hills, on a lovely river. When the sun is down its legitimately cold here. The locals wear heavy jackets and toques, which might be overkill. But we needed pants and long sleeves at night.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
One of the main roads in town. The best restaurants are in these small roadside buildings. Or rather in front of them. And the huge trees are awesome.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Hsipaw is beautiful.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Great view from our hotel.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
We were in town for Shan National Day, which is basically the local holiday like Canada Day. Their festival was great – music, sports, food, a market. We were somewhat of a novelty there. Emily even had girls ask to take pictures with her.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The doors were just left open for most of the train ride.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Windows wide open, giving much needed airflow.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
These ladies ride the train all day selling food, drinks, and beer. They ride halfway, then skip to the train going the other way to ride home. There is only one train each way per day.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
So many rice fields…This must look even better in the wet season.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Beginning to cross Gokteik Viaduct. The train goes at a snails pace, and you can lean out the window all you like….Provided you’re not scared of heights.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The Gokteik Viaduct is really, really tall.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Almost across!

 

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Burmese Days – Mandalay and Hsipaw, Myanmar

  1. Guys! You’re so good at staying current on your blog posts! its so great.
    That bridge is absolutely terrifying, if only given the age of the infrastructure.
    Do you guys take blog requests? I would love to know/hear some anecdotes how you guys are functioning in countries where you don’t speak or read the language.

    lots of love!

    Like

  2. We met you two at Aungsan’s home in Yangoon. (we are the old people from the States who talked your ear off!) You told us about your blog and I’ve been following you when wifi allows. Love your blog and photos!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s