Posts Tagged With: Burma

Myanmar’s Maymo – A little slice of the old country

Nestled in the hills above Mandalay is the old British era Hill Station of Pyin Oo Lwin. The British called the village Maymo and moved their capital there every summer to escape the heat and dust of Yangon. The temperature noticeably cools as you work your way higher and higher North.

Colonial building in Pyin Oo Lwin

Colonial building in Pyin Oo Lwin

Today Pyin Oo Lwin retains much of its colonial legacy from the strawberry fields and the National Kandawgyi Botanic Gardens which look as if they have been transported directly from England to the rows of English cottages and buildings left from the previous century and the large number of Indian and Nepalese families bought here as part of the Colonial Administration.

Roses of every colour

Roses of every colour

National Kandawgyi Botanic Gardens

National Kandawgyi Botanic Gardens

A path through the swamp at Kandawgyi

A path through the swamp at Kandawgyi

Categories: Colonialism, Myanmar | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Travel Tools – the Night Bus

Saving on a night’s accommodation can be an important tool for a budget backpacker. Combine this with traversing hundreds of kilometers across a country and you have the joys of travelling on a night bus. In Myanmar this was by far the easiest and cheapest way to get around. I travelled on night buses between:

  1. Yangon to Inle Lake
  2. Inle Lake to Bagan
  3. Bagan to Yangon
  4. Yangon to Mawlamyine
  5. Yangon to Mandalay

 

Pros

Cheap and you save on a night’s accommodation

You don’t have to see the dangerous driving that during the day would have you gripping your seat for dear life

Good way to meet some locals

 

Cons

It’s often pretty cramped

12 hours in a bus is no one’s idea of a fun time

Very loud Buddhist chanting being played on the tv or over the radio

Terrible Burmese soapies being played on the tv

Terrible Burmese songs (or rip-offs of Western Songs) being played on the tv 

The gastro roulette that is eating at all night restaurants

Getting to your accommodation at 4 in the morning and having to way until 10 to check in meaning that you have to sleep on the lobby floor

The ‘shuttle service’ from central Yangon to the main bus terminal which took around an hour on the back of a ute sucking in peak hour fumes

 

It can be a great experience though – glimpses of traditional villages through a moonlit night, pagodas lit up like a Las Vegas casino flashing past, watching villages waking up as the sun slowly rises over paddy fields and banana plantations and that ultimate joy of reaching your destination in one piece!

Categories: An Aussie abroad, Food, Myanmar, Travel Tools | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

On the road to Mandalay in Myanmar – the last capital of Royal Burma

Fulfilling a Buddhist prophecy King Mindon selected the short lived site of the Burmese Royal capital at the foot of Mandalay Hill.

Lord Buddah pointing to the site of a Royal Burmese Capital

Lord Buddah pointing to the site of a Royal Burmese Capital

The British conquered upper Burma in 1885 and exiled King Thibaw into India ending Mandalay’s role as a capital city.

The Royal Palace

The Royal Palace moat

Travelling to Mandalay was partly an excuse to do a nice night bus but also as a transit stop before heading North into Shan States. That is why this post is very light on detail!

Mandalay is a well known city partly because of a Rudyard Kipling poem called Mandalay written after he had visited Mawlamyine (formerly Moulmein). Kipling never made it as far as Mandalay. This hasn’t stopped a plethora of bars being named after him.

http://www.kipling.org.uk/poems_mandalay.htm

Categories: Colonialism, Myanmar | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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