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  1. #1
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    Phuketrichard's Avatar
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    BURMA: Mandalay-Bagan

    Ok; here is my thread ;

    Taken from Wikipedia;
    is the second-largest city and the last royal capital of Burma. Located 716 km (445 mi) north of Yangon on the east bank of the Irrawaddy River, the city had a population of 952,570 (2011 estimation) [6] and 1,022,487 for the built-up area (including Sagaing) and is the capital of Mandalay Region. Mandalay is the economic hub of Upper Burma and considered the centre of Burmese culture. A continuing influx of Chinese immigrants, mostly from Yunnan, in the past twenty years, has reshaped the city's ethnic makeup and increased commerce with China.[7][8] Despite Naypyidaw's recent rise, Mandalay remains Upper Burma's main commercial, educational and health center.


    Rather than stopping in Bangkok i went with the per approved visa on advance offered by, https://www.myanmarvisa.com/

    cost an extra $60 for the visa but that is saved by not having to spend the night in Bangkok and dealing with taix's and waiting at the Embassy.


    flew in on Air Asia and arrived at noon and caught the free shuttle into town.



    our room at the 79 living hotel was only 2 streets up from where the bus stoped and only was $34/night and booked on booking.,com, had all the modern conveniences of home in a small package and their rates are not bad. Internet was spotty at best but good enough for email.


    view out the window on the 5th floor;



    went out an walked around as i usually do when get into a new city, i was last in Mandalay in 1988 an it had not changed that much other than a bit more traffic and shops.



    Local tire repair


    Nice to see NO western shops, ( although they do have malls) no 7/11's or fast food places, appears nothing run by westerners unlike Laos, Cambodia or Thailand. Mobile phone shops everywhere but few use them for calls as a sim card is about $150

    Cooking on the streets;



    Traffic was light;
    an walking was not bad, nice wide sidewalks and places to get water along the route i took


    around the palace to Mandalay hill.
    They were repairing the banks of the canal


    First stop was Shwenandaw Kyaung, nice old Pagoda that was converted to a Monastery in 1880. Although i had read that one will be asked to buy a $10 combo ticket good for everywhere i was never asked for it so never brought one,





    After walking for over 3 hours was beat so grabbed a moto to the top of Mandalay hill for $5 ( up and back to the bottom) its only 230 m up but seems a lot more, Camera fee was 1,000 kyat.





    More to follow
    "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol or insanity, but they've always worked for me" HST

    View my pics

  2. #2
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    Ratchaburi's Avatar
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    Great pic's Richard

  3. #3
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    Bower's Avatar
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    Nice thread, thanks

  4. #4
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    Nice thread, love the pics.

  5. #5
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    Phuketrichard's Avatar
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    here we go, busy uploading to my zenfoilio site as well:

    Around Mandalay:




    Mandalay Train station






    Am sure but a few weeks ago there were a few moslem people beaten and killed in Mandalay, it occurred on 2 streets only an there is still a police presence and curfew is at 9 pm.







    Takana is used by many to keep their skin from getting sunburnt an is brought on the streets and in the market



    Plenty of old wind up trucks around





    Market;




  6. #6
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    Where are the girls ?

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    Nice pics. Good stuff.

  8. #8
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    Your a talented photographer Richard looking forward to the rest of them, great stuff, I enjoyed Burma but only saw Yangon, next time I'd like to check out the coast, get a bit templed out sometimes

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    Its good to see AirAsia has started to run their own bus into town.

    Its a long way from Mandalay Airport into the city, we had to go the Taxi.

    Also good to see that in the off season the rooms are priced sensibly, come the high season they will be well wedged up again given the shortage of accommodation.
    Stroller is a Yerman faggot.

  10. #10
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    Phuketrichard's Avatar
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    Thanks; used to make a living out of it but the iphone ruined that, dam APPLE!!!

    i have uploaded lots to my site that i wont place here, Richard Reitman Photography | Myanmar (Burma)

    Songtaw of monks:


    The boat from Mandalay to Bagan, $43 mostly Farangs, took 9 1/2 hours and they call it the fast boat ( slow boat 12-15 hours)


    Waiting to board


    Upper deck outside, the fee included breakfast an lunch



    Passed the ancient city of Sagaing, ,home to 500 Stupas, monasteries and nunneries an over 6,000 monks.


    Sagaing was the capital of an independent Shan stae in 1315 after the fall of Bagan



    River life


  11. #11
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    I've never been a fan of Sepia simply because they invented Color to get away from the boring black and white.

    Only my opinion, I realize some punters like it.

    Not me though.

    The boat trip looks interesting, full of Backpackers I notice.

  12. #12
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    Phuketrichard's Avatar
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    yea 95% of the people onboard were backpackers. it was worth going by boat over flying, never liked to fly from a-b unless i really have too, but glad i took the express boat an saved 5 hours or so.

    Air asia also runs the bus back to the airport

    for some photos B&W ( which i have NEVER found boring) and sepia just work for me

    The train coming back had 5 westerners on it :-) upper class was ONLY $2.90 no reason at all to fly.

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    Really great info there mate and if I had been more tuned in I would of taken that boat trip.

    Looks bloody brilliant.

    Thing was we where there at the high of peak season and for the first time, had a real hard time securing rooms before we landed so dare not chance our luck just fronting up and getting a room.

    Regards your Sepia shots, there not boring at all, very good actually. Only me that don't really get off on the Sepia.

    Lots of other people really like it.

    All different Eh.

    So what did you think about Mandalay ? I was not that taken by it.

  14. #14
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    Phuketrichard's Avatar
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    i actually liked Mandalay,nice city to walk around, THe views form the hill are amazing.
    Now Bagan on the other hand i found 2 full days was plenty,
    in fact after 4 hours on the horse cart i was kinda bored, seeing the same Buddhas in each pagoda, the white washed walls, its only the ones where you can climb and get up high and see the whole layout that it becomes spectacular.

    Still feel Angkor Wat wins in "which one to see if u can only see one"

  15. #15
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    Phuketrichard's Avatar
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    arriving in Bagan, your met by taxi's rickshaws, Horse carts, mini bus's all trying to get your attention.



    Empty streets for sure



    MY room at the New park hotel, right around the corner form the road with all the restaurants, $20



    Before when Terry was there guess they didn't have these Ebikes Very popular to get around the temples, battery lasts about 4 hours , only cost $8/day an you don't need get all hot an sweaty.



    Hmmm which one?



    Or you could do the pagodas by Rickshaw, ( watching someone work that hard is just something i cant do, even knowing its the only way he can make money)



    Much nicer way an its still only $20, Mine was a nice guy but kept trying to get me to go see lacquer ware shops an silk places and i kept getting him to turn down dusty lanes, we did end up at the same spot for sunset Terry visited after passin gone that was much to crowded with large tour bus's .


  16. #16
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    I really like the new Ebikes, that's a great idea.

    Not good for the horse guy though.


    Nice price on the room too mate, you done well.

  17. #17
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    Phuketrichard's Avatar
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    on to the temples;







    Not to many westerners here but imagine high season would not be as nice,




  18. #18
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    Just a question on the Backpackers. Are they a notable presence yet. ?

    January last year they where thin on the ground with not many around at all.

    Have they started making a presence yet. ?

  19. #19
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    Phuketrichard's Avatar
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    hmmm; if ur referring to the great unwashed that frequent Bangkok, koh tao, , khao san road, Cambodia,Vang Vieng, Siem Reap

    Nope, don't see them, seems mostly younger crowd mid 20-40 travelling around asia for a month or so.

    Burma offers nothing really for the backpacker, no night scene, no bars, no drugs, no parties, no cheap accommodations,( although a few places i saw that offered dorm rooms) no places to hang out, no beach scene (yet) ( the restaurant road hardly classifies as a "pup street" in siem reap).

    I really dont expect to see them over there anytime soon.

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    ^

    That's good to hear, seems like Myanmar has a few years left yet before it gets invaded.

    When I was there it was mainly older independent travellers with quite a few organised tour groups.

    Bloody brilliant it was to be away from the masses.

  21. #21
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    Phuketrichard's Avatar
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    Ananda Pahto one the two pagodas/temples i saw that had any locals about



    Rickshaw wallah



    Market



    Another of the temples that had locals Shwezigon Paya





    Bagan train station


    Upper class for $2.90 for the 9 1/2 hour ride,



    ordinary class $1.90 :-)



    Landscape outside Bagan

  22. #22
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    Phuketrichard's Avatar
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    random shots;






    Now lets head out of Mandalay towards Hsipaw which we made in a day next day was up to Namhsan ( 80 kms each way ) 7 hours up 4 hours down with stops for road work repairs on the road.
    Next day is was back towards Mandalay where we took a turn off in Kyaukme an headed to the closed Shan area and the restricted city of Mogok,
    total distance over 4 days was 700 kms on a 125 copy of a honda wave. worse roads i have traveled in SE Asia in 30 years. 30 riding hours with 10 of those in the rain
    BUT
    the most fantastic trip i have done in years, scenery is worth the trouble.


    after climbing out of the plains of Mandalay into the hills,



    The town of Pyin U Lwin







    The Gokteik Viaduct, built in 1903 for the train and at the time 2nd highest RR bridge in the world



    3 kms of traffic back up, thank god we were on bikes



    Monks collecting alms in Hsipaw





    Female monks



    More later

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    Some really interesting pics there mate.

    The bike ride must of been brilliant. The train trip looked great as well.

    I must go back outside tourist season and do those trips.

  24. #24
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    Good work Richard. Thanks for the views.

  25. #25
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    Young female monks


    crossroads heading to Namhsan



    Along the road,



    a view that is repeated throughout the 80 kms trip






    Cemetery



    Shan Village


    Entering Mogok, my only regret is we arrived so late an had to leave the next morning early as we were there illegally, we had no permission to enter this closed /restricted area






    so no one would rent us a room ( only really 2 hotels in town) Finally the xxxx allowed us to stay, if we did not say where we stayed and if we agreed to leave early

    Great video of Mogok;


    Feel free to see more of my photos on my site here
    Planning on a trip back ( with permission) in Oct.

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