A Travellerspoint blog

Around Sagaing - on the opposite bank to Mandalay

HERE WE ARE, OFF UP INTO THE HILLS BEHIND SAGAING - BARBARA, ANN & NANCY ON THE LEFT, Mr SO HANGING ON BEHIND AND ARTHUR

large_P1310495__1_.jpg

ALTHOUGH I CAN DISTINCTLY REMEMBER ARTHUR HANGING ON OUTSIDE TOO - TOO MUCH BEER MAYBE.

THERE ARE SIX OF US IN THIS TRUCK - THEY SQUEEZE WHAT SEEMS TO BE TWENTY MYANMAR PILGRIMS INTO THE SAME SPACE ..

large_P1310496__1_.jpg

large_P1310497__1_.jpglarge_P1310499__1_.jpg

IT IS A BEAUTIFUL SPOT - COMING IN ON THE BOAT, ANN COUNTED 56 GOLDEN PAGODAS ON THE HILL BEFORE SHE GAVE UP COUNTING ..

large_P1310501__1_.jpglarge_P1310506__1_.jpg

THE RIVER IS SOMEWHERE DOWN THERE ..

large_P1310510.jpglarge_P1310512.jpg

UP HERE, IT'S ALL BUDDHA & PAGODAS ..

large_P1310514.jpglarge_P1310515.jpg

AND PILGRIMS .. YOUNG & NOT SO YOUNG ..

large_P1310516.jpglarge_P1310521.jpg

large_P1310523.jpglarge_P1310527.jpg

SOME SOUVENIRS FOR SALE ON THE STEPS LEADING DOWN ..

large_P1310529.jpglarge_P1310534.jpg

WE HAVE MOVED ON TO ANOTHER PAGODA NOW - HERE ARE SOME OFFERINGS ..

large_P1310535.jpglarge_P1310538.jpg

THERE ARE LIGHTS IN THE CROWN ABOVE THE BUDDHA, THEY CHANGE COLOUR & APPEAR TO MOVE ..

large_P1310539.jpglarge_P1310541.jpg

large_P1310542.jpglarge_P1310545.jpg

large_P1310547.jpglarge_P1310550.jpg

MORE COLOURED LIGHTS AROUND THE BUDDHA ..

AND SOMETHING FOR THE KIDDIES ..

large_P1310554.jpglarge_P1310558.jpg

MORE LADIES WANTING THERE PHOTO TAKEN WITH THE STRANGE TOURIST, ALTHOUGH THEY DID NOT WANT ONE WITH MIKE. NOT STRANGE ENOUGH I EXPECT..

OUT ON THE STREET NOW, THE GROUP HEADS IN ONE DIRECTION & I HEAD IN THE OTHER TO FIND SOME SHADE & A CUP OF TEA ..

large_P1310562.jpglarge_P1310563.jpg

WHICH I FIND AT THIS LITTLE SPOT ..

large_P1310568.jpglarge_P1310570.jpg

A FEW VERY YOUNG NUNS COLLECTING ALMS. THEY DO NOT GO OUT SO OFTEN AS THE MONKS - ONCE EVERY FEW DAYS.

large_P1310572.jpglarge_P1310575.jpg

large_P1310576.jpg

FAR MORE NUNS HERE IN MYANMAR THAN I EVER SAW ANYWHERE ELSE IN SOUTH EAST ASIA ..

WE ARE NOW ABOUT TO ENTER A NUNNERY & ON THE BUS, I ASKED Mr SO WHAT THE RULES ARE FOR PHOTO TAKING INSIDE.

HIS ANSWER WAS THAT I WAS NOT PAYING ATTENTION FIFTEEN DAYS AGO WHEN HE SAID WE CAN TAKE PHOTOS OF ANYTHING & ANYONE WE LIKE & LET THEM SAY NO.

EVEN POLICE, EVEN MILITARY.

FIFTEEN DAYS AGO! I BARELY REMEMBER FIFTEEN MINUTES AGO.

JUST ABOUT THE FIRST THING WE SAW AS WE ENTERED WAS THE ABSOLUTE BEST PHOTO OPPORTUNITY I HAD THIS TRIP - & THERE WAS A SIGN -- NO PHOTOS HERE.

large_P1310585.jpglarge_P1310586.jpg

BUT HERE WE ARE IN THE NUNS KITCHEN & INTERRUPTING SOME GIRLS HAVING LUNCH .. & IT'S OK TO TAKE PHOTOS ..

large_P1310587.jpglarge_P1310588.jpg

large_P1310590.jpglarge_P1310593.jpg

THESE NUNS ARE SAYING A PRAYER FOR US - WE HAD JUST DONATED A FEW DOLLARS FOR THE NUNNERY BUT EXPECT THEY WOULD HAVE SAID A PRAYER FOR US ANYWAY.

WE HAD BEEN INVITED INTO THE DOORWAY BEHIND. IT LED TO THEIR LIVING QUARTERS & IN ONE ROOM THEIR ELDERLY MOTHER SUPERIOR WAS ASLEEP ON A BED UNDER MOSQUITO NETTING. THEY DID NOT NOT MIND OUR BEING IN THE ROOM EVEN THOUGH THE NUN WAS NOT WELL.

large_P1310595.jpglarge_P1310597.jpg

ON THE BUS I MANAGED TO GET A SHOT OF THE FORBIDDEN - IT'S SOME OF THE NUNS LOVELY PINK LAUNDRY HANGING ON A LINE. THAT LOOKED WONDERFUL BEHIND THE FORBIDDEN SIGN. IT WAS NOT THE LAUNDRY THAT WAS FORBIDDEN BUT THE NUNS BATHING AREA WAS JUST BEHIND, NOT VISIBLE IN THIS SHOT FROM THE STREET.

THINKING OF IT NOW, I SHOULD HAVE ASKED ONE OF THE NUNS TO PHOTOGRAPH THE LAUNDRY FOR ME.

large_P1310599.jpglarge_P1310604.jpg

LEAVING THE NUNS, WE GO SEE GOLD BEING HAMMERED INTO EVER MORE THIN LEAVES ..

large_P1310606.jpglarge_P1310610.jpg

large_P1310612.jpglarge_P1310619.jpg

MY DAILY GIRL IN YELLOW .. THEY WERE VERY CUTE & QUITE CHATTY TOO.

large_P1310624.jpglarge_P1310636.jpg

AFTER THE GOLD RUSH WE HEAD TO A WEAVING FACTORY - A FULL DAY THIS ..

large_P1310637.jpglarge_P1310638.jpg

large_P1310641.jpglarge_P1310642.jpg

large_P1310647.jpglarge_P1310650.jpg

... AND IT'S NOT OVER YET - SUNSET OVER THE U BEIN BRIDGE IS NEXT .. BUT I WILL LEAVE THAT FOR ANOTHER PAGE ..

Posted by hasbeen 13:50 Archived in Myanmar Comments (0)

The U Bien Bridge at sunset

A FITTING END TO A GREAT CRUISE

WE VISIT THE WOODEN U BIEN BRIDGE ... SOME CHOOSE TO WALK THE BRIDGE & CLIMB DOWN INTO ONE OF THESE BOATS ..

large_P1310653.jpglarge_P1310655.jpg

SOME OF US CHOOSE TO JUST TAKE THE SLOW BOAT ...

large_P1310657.jpglarge_P1310665.jpg

large_P1310667.jpglarge_P1310670.jpg

PERHAPS MY FINAL GIRL IN YELLOW ...

large_P1310675.jpg

large_P1310681.jpglarge_P1310682.jpg

OUR OARSMAN FLOATS US GENTLY UP TO & UNDER THE BRIDGE ....

large_P1310689.jpglarge_P1310692.jpg

large_P1310693.jpglarge_P1310695.jpg

large_P1310700.jpglarge_P1310709.jpg

THIS MUST BE ONE OF THE BEST PLACES IN THE WORLD FOR WEDDING PHOTOS ..

WITH A COW OR TWO LOOKING ON ...

large_P1310711.jpglarge_P1310712.jpg

large_P1310714.jpglarge_P1310715.jpg

large_P1310718.jpglarge_P1310728.jpg

ANN & NANCY - BYE YOUNG LADIES .. SAFE TRIP HOME TO BELGIUM ..

large_P1310737.jpglarge_P1310742.jpg

large_P1310746.jpglarge_P1310752.jpg

THE PANDAW CREW DO NOT FORGET US -- A SPECIAL TREAT

large_P1310753.jpglarge_P1310759.jpg

large_P1310760.jpglarge_P1310762.jpg

SUE & PAM FROM AUSTRALIA ... BYE LADIES .. CHEERS!

large_P1310769.jpglarge_P1310774.jpg

large_P1310785.jpglarge_P1310787.jpg

large_P1310788.jpglarge_P1310790.jpg

large_P1310793.jpglarge_P1310801.jpg

large_P1310802.jpglarge_P1310805.jpg

RUSH HOUR - MYANMAR STYLE ..

large_P1310806.jpglarge_P1310818.jpg

BACK TO THE SHIP & THE LOCALS CALLING IT A NIGHT .. BUT MARIANNE, ERIC & I WENT ASHORE FOR ONE LAST BEER OR TWO. WE FOUND Mr SO & A LOT OF CREW IN A BAR & HOISTED A FEW. ERIC TRIED CHEWING THE BETEL NUT STUFF & WISHED HE HAD NOT.

I TRIED IT A FEW DAYS AGO & KNOW HOW HE FEELS.

WE BOUGHT A LOT OF DRINKS, THE BETEL, SOME CHEROOTS AND GOT CHANGE OUT OF TWENTY DOLLARS I THINK.

A GOOD WAY TO END THE CRUISE.

large_P1310836.jpglarge_P1310839.jpg

THE NEXT DAY, WHILE THAT LITTLE ONE DID HER CHORES, WE ALL DRIFTED OFF IN OUR SEPARATE DIRECTIONS.

OUR LUGGAGE HAD BEEN TAKEN FROM OUTSIDE OUR CABINS & I EXPECTED A CREW MEMBER TO LUG IT UP THE HILL BUT NO - A LOCAL LADY CARRIED IT - ON HER HEAD, NATURALLY.

END OF CRUISE BUT NOT END OF MYANMAR OR MY TRIP. FIVE DAYS TO GO IN MANDALAY & STILL A LOT OF PLACES AFTER THAT.

MOST OF THE PLACES VISITED HERE WOULD BE AVAILABLE AS PART OF A PACKAGE SOPHY HAS, OR SHE CAN TAILOR MAKE A VISIT FOR YOU ..

WHY NOT ASK HER AT RED IXORA TRAVEL & TOURS OF MYANMAR

THIS IS SOPHY ... THE LAST & BEST GIRL IN YELLOW ..

large_DSC_0178.jpg

BEAUTIFUL GIRL ..

Posted by hasbeen 13:54 Archived in Myanmar Comments (1)

Last days in Myanmar at Pyin Oo Lwin & Mandalay

I am off the Pandaw boat & looking forward to standing still for a bit. It has been a relaxing cruise but we got off & did something every day. That is very tiring ..

Five days more of Myanmar, sitting around the Ayerwaddy River View Hotel on the outskirts of Mandalay.

It does have a river view - from the roof-top terrace & bar. Free cocktails at around five every evening brings a few non-guests most night.

The hotel is very pleasant, but not too photogenic.

The food is good, the pool tiny but nice enough to sit around & read the book I stole from the library on board.

The Flame Trees of Thika with a photo of Hailey Mills on the cover - my teenage crush.

Around the hotel it is quite a rough area but non-threatening. Lots of places with auto parts.

There is a small park across the divided highway between hotel & river. I spent a few hours there watching life on the river & sunsets.

On day three of my stay I had one of the very pleasant reception girls get me a ride to the hill station of Pyin Ooo Lwin.

It's quite a ways away, with a few switchbacks creeping up the mountain.

Here I am arriving at the first stop - the Pagoda ..

P1310843.jpglarge_P1310845.jpg

I felt like praying a little bit - many cars here are curiously, right hand drive but they drive on the right too. Somewhat scary as the driver trusts to luck nothing is coming when he pulls out to overtake..

P1310846.jpglarge_P1310849.jpg

More ladies wanting their photo taken with the strange grey haired tourist .. & one girl in Yellow too ,,

P1310852.jpglarge_P1310853.jpg

and another in Yellow - lots of prayers up here .

large_P1310855.jpglarge_P1310857.jpg

Lots of photos being taken too ..

P1310860.jpglarge_P1310862.jpg

the driver waited for me by the food stalls ...

P1310864.jpgP1310866.jpg

& then drove us off to the ex-governors mansion & some nice old English cars ..

P1310868.jpglarge_P1310872.jpg

Following the horse & buggies ..

P1310877.jpgP1310878.jpg

and the lady road construction workers ..

we arrive at a spectacular botanic garden ..

large_P1310882.jpgP1310885.jpg

Every time I turned a corner, there was another request for a photo - a tough job, but ...

large_P1310887.jpglarge_P1310890.jpg

large_P1310892.jpglarge_P1310894.jpg

large_P1310895.jpglarge_P1310896.jpg

Any time you see photos of Pyin Oo Lwin - this will be one of them ..

but probably not this one ..

large_P1310900.jpglarge_P1310903.jpg

P1310907.jpglarge_P1310908.jpg

These are petrified trees I think ..

P1310910.jpglarge_P1310911.jpg

A really pretty place to take some time - A bit cooler than Mandalay ... but still hot ..

large_P1310912.jpglarge_P1310916.jpg

large_P1310917.jpglarge_P1310920.jpg

Coming back to meet the driver I got asked by several more groups for my picture .. I am getting quite expert at getting theirs after they get mine.

Here's a lovely young family out for the day ..

large_P1310921.jpglarge_P1310923.jpg

with the youngster totally bemused ..

I stopped here to get the driver & myself a drink & had to wake him up to give him his. I would have liked to spend longer here but it was getting a bit hot & I was getting tired ..

P1310926.jpgP1310928.jpg

so we just drove around town a little ... more lady construction workers ..

more old colonial buildings ..

large_P1310930.jpgP1310937.jpg

large_P1310939.jpglarge_P1310943.jpg

more Pagodas ..

P1310945.jpglarge_P1310946.jpg

large_P1310947.jpglarge_P1310952.jpg

a few street vendors selling to the pilgrims - it was here I first became aware of the practise of ladies selling birds to people so they can be released.

P1310955.jpglarge_P1310956.jpg

We head off to a very popular waterfall ..

large_P1310963.jpglarge_P1310965.jpg

large_P1310967.jpglarge_P1310971.jpg

Many people out for the day - all locals by the look of it ..

large_P1310973.jpglarge_P1310977.jpg

kids dressed in their Sunday best - on the way home from the Pagodas perhaps ..

large_P1310979.jpglarge_P1310980.jpg

The one below does look like a tourist though ..

P1310982.jpglarge_P1310984.jpg

large_P1310986.jpg

people scaring themselves crossing the wobbly bridge ..

large_P1310989.jpg

P1310992.jpglarge_P1310993.jpg

Picnics & ice cream ... & time to head back down to Mandalay ..

large_P1310996.jpglarge_P1310998.jpg

Some time looking down from the little park on the river ..

large_P1320001.jpglarge_P1320002.jpg

large_P1320007.jpglarge_P1320009.jpg

The hotel is a bit out of town but you don't get scenes like this down-town Mandalay .. or down-town anywhere ..

large_P1320012.jpglarge_P1320013.jpg

large_P1320014.jpglarge_P1320016.jpg

large_P1320018.jpglarge_P1320019.jpg

large_P1320020.jpglarge_P1320021.jpg

large_P1320022.jpglarge_P1320024.jpg

For a couple of days there had been a lot of noise out back of my hotel. Chanting & music coming from loudspeakers.

On one of my walks through the back streets, the road was blocked off by the back of a temporary structure. I was going to bi-pass it when a man showed me I could walk by the side. As I got to the front of the structure, a man took me by the hand and led me inside. It was jammed with people, dressed finely, seated on the floor with food on tiny tables. The man offered me food & a place to sit but I begged off as I would have had trouble sitting & even more trouble getting up.

I made as dignified exit as I could & later realised I had been attending a young monks initiation ceremony & that was what all the noise had been about.

An amusement park with the Ferris wheel was just a walk away too, so I took that in on my way back to the hotel.

large_P1320025.jpglarge_P1320028.jpg

large_P1320029.jpglarge_P1320030.jpg

There's something you don't see too often .. naked boys riding bicycles ..

large_P1320032.jpglarge_P1320034.jpg

There's the river from the bar on the roof of the hotel. I spent a very pleasant evening up here chatting to an Austrian Tourist who was biking through Myanmar & a beautiful French girl who is a travel agent in Myanmar - I must remember to introduce her to Sophy of RED IXORA fame.

The next day I am sitting in the lobby waiting for my cab to the airport & notice a procession going on outside.

large_P1320041.jpg

By the time I decide to take photos the procession has gone so I took pictures of these two receptionists - goodbye girls & goodbye Myanmar, It was a treat..

P1320042.jpg

& here are the bullocks returning from the initiation ceremony.

large_P1320044.jpg

And that's that for Myanmar & I promise to never talk of Sophy & Red Ixora again ..

Well - not til August when I get back from visiting her & Mother in Myanmar.

This blog should be called 'PEOPLE & PAGODAS OF MYANMAR'

Please scroll down a little & leave a comment ..

Posted by hasbeen 17:51 Archived in Myanmar Comments (1)

(Entries 21 - 23 of 23) « Page 1 2 3 4 [5]