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.
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 ;)
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.
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.
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.
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 ;)
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.
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.
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.
Alex resting on the steps of a pagoda west of Inle Lake
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.
A family seeking the cold water of a river, the kids play while the woman wash the clothes.
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.
Road contruction workers and their clothes were turned nearly the same colour as the stones they chopped.
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...
Mirror Selfie :)
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!
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.
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 :)
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all photos I post are taken by me with a Canon 6D
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