A Motorbike Tour around Myanmar

in travel •  7 months ago

Myanmar

has many many things to offer, especially when you travel on your own, away from the big hot spots and tour groups. So we decided to rent motorbikes and do our own tour, to get some first hand impressions of the country, people and small villages.

We met a very friendly guy in Mandalay and rented some 125cc bikes (more like scooters^^) from him for around 10$ a day.

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The route we figured out for our trip was around 760 kilometres long and we wanted to do the trip in 10 days, which turned out to be a bit too little time for us. We liked certain places like Bagan or Inle Lake so much, that we decided to stay juuuust one day more. So we added two extra days ;)

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First Stop was Bagan from which we headed east over Kalaw to Inle Lake and then back up north. There were all kinds of roads, from the well paved motorway to the very dusty small road packed with potholes.

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We saw a lot of road construction and it was very disturbing to see the conditions the workers had while building the road. They cook tar in old barrels over firepits and pour it on the street. Obviously it smelled really bad and there was so much smoke. You can imagine how healthy it is to breathe the smoke filled air everyday for several hours while working hard.


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The Monastery on the mountaintop is called Mt. Popa and offers an amazing view, even from a distance. The road leading to the actual temple was so steep that we decided not to go further halfway, also the traffic on the road was pretty nasty and the turns extremely narrow.

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The small villages on the road were lovely, we stopped A LOT for coffee and breaks and the people were often so friendly and interested in us. Especially in my buddy Alex who has dreadlocks. They couldn't believe that this is his actual hair and always asked to touch it, which was a bit annoying for him after a while ;)

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The rural side of Myanmar looked like from another century to us. It was amazing how much the people in small communitys relied on old transportation and machines to get their work done. It isn't that efficient of course but keeps the communitys also a bit more independent from energy and gasoline which can be a good thing.

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Thanaka is a paste made from ground bark and used as a sunlotion and for clean skin in genereal. Its been used for over 2000 years by the burmese people and a lot of women and children use it everyday.

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We saw areas which were nearly white from the limestone mills. Limestone gets grinded up into smaller pieces and powder and the dust was flying around from the smallest breeze.

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Alex resting on the steps of a pagoda west of Inle Lake

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Landscapes were pretty diverse, even though we covered only a small piece of this big country. Myanmar is 676.578 squarekilometres big, so its impossible to see everything in the short time we had.

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A family seeking the cold water of a river, the kids play while the woman wash the clothes.

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A tea farm near the town Kalaw. The route was very nice but very steep. We took a break at a lovely small indian restauant on top of the hill.

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Road contruction workers and their clothes were turned nearly the same colour as the stones they chopped.

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Sadly I don't know the name of the monastery on the mountain, it was on the road up north from Inle Lake back to Mandalay...

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Mirror Selfie :)

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We had to drive all the way up a mountain pass here to get to Kalaw. It took us a lot of time since the road up the mountain was under construction, steep and very busy on some corners. But it was well worth the view!

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This little cabin was standing in the middle of nowhere. We discovered it from the road while taking a break and wanted to get a closer look, but the inhabitants were a bit weirded out by some strangers coming up their property so we went back to the road again.
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Some roads had been VERY dusty and a real challenge to drive. It took us about three hours to get over this particular mountain road and we caught a lot of dust ;) I forgot having pulled my camera out, strapped around my neck and shoulder the whole time so it was covered in dust. Luckily the Canon is very forgiving and took it like a pro :)

Thank you for stopping by!
Cheers,

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all photos I post are taken by me with a Canon 6D
come and visit my profile for more photography and travel images :*

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Wonderful motorbiking story, @biffboff. You have my upvote and I have featured this post in #payitforward contest by @pifc: https://steemit.com/payitforward/@zorank/pay-it-forward-curation-contest-entry-week-26

It looks like you were exposed to tons of dust on the road but it must have been worth every particle of it!

Interesting information about the sun lotion paste, it is actually admirable that these people preserved their traditions and their organic healthy life style.

Greetings from Cape Town :)

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Thank you! :) yes it is very admirable, but sadly not that healthy. The average life expectancy is around 60 years for men...

Welcome to Myanmar,you visit my hometown Monywa...Monywa is attract place and beautiful ...so welcome😁

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Monywa is a very very nice place. Loved it.....

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Thank you, but sadly I'm already back in germany....next time! ;)

Hi biffboff,

This post has been upvoted by the Curie community curation project and associated vote trail as exceptional content (human curated and reviewed). Have a great day :)

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I've seen a documentary about Myanmar not long ago, aired by Rai 1, the Italian Tv but reading your blog and watching these amazing photos is very different. Must have been an amazing adventure! Great job!

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That's nice of you! Thanks :)

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I'm so glad you got the curie upvote, this post deserves a lot! Congratulations again, well done! :)

Lovely post, with a lot of amazing photos! Thanks for sharing this adventure with us.

PS: I've found your post because @zorank featured you in his entry for the Pay It Forward Contest

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Oh! How nice of him :) and thank you for the feedback!

Incredible your trip on that little motorcycle ..
Very beautiful the photographs that you captured of that place, A great adventure ..
Excellent post, I really liked the way you were writing your post, congratulations for your curie vote, very deserved .. !!
A big hug from Venezuela @biffboff

Dear @biffboff , you had such a great motorbike tour in Myanmar. And the name of mountain you didn't know is "MainMaYe Mountain" which means is the brave woman mountain. 17103426_1291005234321179_2841129060121580343_n.jpg

Thanks for sharing your bike trip photos! I especially like the close ups of people... The girl in the image really looks like from another century to the western eye. In a way, it's time travel too...

I upvoted your post.

Best regards,
@Council

Posted using https://Steeming.com condenser site.

Touring Myanmar must have been really incredible, it's always great to explore new places, new people and cultures....

It's really sad to see the condition those guys are being subjected to all day, everyday just to make a living (the guys making the tar), that definitely doesn't look healthy, and on top of that, they look really young...

I love the views, they are all beautiful, especially that monastery on the mountain and the one of the lake. That is just Wow!!!

About thanaka, it is actually my first time hearing about it, will love to try it out (lol). Is it only available in Myanmar??

And... Did you cover part of your face because of the dust? It must be really dusty over there... Great photos!!

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Thank you for your comment, I actually dont know if Thanaka is available in other countrys...maybe in some asia stores or something. Yes I covered my face because of the dust, it was just unbearable to breathe without cover ;)

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I guess you didn't know it before you journey too? .. Well, I will look it up, hopefully I will get more info on it...

Oh, so sorry about that.. I actually always feel uncomfortable with my face covered...

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@audreybits Thanakha is available as the cream type also, and one of our local cosmetic brand Shwe Pyi Nann distribute this cream to Singapore and Thailand. Thank you for your interesting on Thanakha.

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Oh... That's great...

Hey @biffboff, thank you for taking to the tour in Myanmar, there are sometimes places where we never go so it is interesting to discover with the eyes of other people. 760 km, that is a long distance, I am glad you did not have major problem with your bikes. Looking at the pictures I was impressed with The Monastery Mt. Popa and the other one that was also on top of mountain, when I imagine that everything was build by simple ancient people, you can't really believe that it is possible, but they are there as an evidence. In that moment I think why such nation who could create such difficult construction so poor now. I love the picture of those curious people, I believe you visit was a highlight of their day, also was nice to learn that that white/grey paste was protection for skin :)

Cheers from art-supporting blog @art-venture
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Mnyamar seems like a place in maybe Indonesia, I definitely cannot tell however the temple and the rustic lifestyles, the system of farming as well. The dusty road suggests that it's been a long time it's rained and also I wonder how the grasses could be so green, yet it's very dry and dusty.
Thanaka seems like a cleaner I've heard of that's made into a paste and smeared on the face.
I must say this is one adventurous tour really, wow.

@ biffboff Myanmar how nice that people are kind. Unbelievable view of the monastery. Beautiful photos of the lake and the landscape with purple flowers. Your captures of the vegetable fields were incredible. They are very well cared for. A big greeting. Thank you for taking us through your journey through all the photos.

I like your contribution. I share your impressions. I was also in Myanmar this year and I am enthusiastic about the country. I follow you for further stories

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What a beautiful adventure. I am glad that you took so many photos as you traveled around Myanmar, because then I can experience the beauty also in some manner.  
                         
Congratulations on your curie vote :D.                

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Thank you! :)

It is beautiful to visit towns that are not mentioned. If you had a long trip the spectacular landscape or knew that Thanaka was used more than 2000 thousand years ago, if there is a lot of beautiful planting the route even though the dust did not help I congratulate you for the great job you did the photos , culture, planting everything a little @ neymarth10 peace and love

You look very cool @biffboff with the leatherjacket and all :) Thank you for sharing your journey with us. The view of the mountains and the monasteries and the lake is beautiful. I can see you guys experienced quite a bit during the trip. Sorry you guys were covered with dust. How was the weather there? And how did you guys decide to go there and not anywhere else?

Your photos are awesome and I love the adventures. New follower.