Archive for October, 2014

3 days hike to Kalaw

Friday, October 31st, 2014

As I wrote we went on a 3 day hiking trek to Kalaw. Tour started with a boat trip to a village where the hike started. Our two guides were polite and friendly and even able to talk english. Great. Let’s go. First 2 hours just a nice walk through tribe villages , we saw a woman which was making Cucuma and some other on a potato field.
We climbed up a mountain, 30 degrees Celcius and no shade. The short brakes became longer and longer , meanwhile we had reached 1700 mtrs above sea level. And now it happened. My lower legs muscles have started to burn. It felt like an all time spasm. We reached the top of the mountain and I thought I wasn’t able to move only one foot any longer. For lunch time we had been invited to a house in a Pa-O village (a tribe which lives in the Shan state) and one of our guides prepared a soup and tea for lunch. I gave a rest to my legs and took magnesium which I carried. The next 4 hrs were only pain. I suffered so much that I wasn’t aware of the fascinating landscape we walked through.

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We reached finally a village for the stay overnight. I was not able to climb up the stairs and sit for a while just outside and blamed myself for this.
A decision was needed. And finally I decided that it doesn’t make any sense to be on a hike for two more days. Very sad and we paid already 120$ ;(
Later on our guides and hosts prepared a very tasty dinner and we had a nice chat with an Australian couple (in their 60s!!) which were doing the hike the other way around.
I was fallen asleep after more magnesium and pain killers.
When the morning came my legs felt a little bit better but no good enough to walk further. 20 km last day. Our guide arranged a transport to Kalaw and we broke up here. I could walk only slowly but was able to go down stairs without help. The village people went for their daily business and we talked about how it would feel to stay for 3 month or more here where the life goes on as it went the last centuries.

So what’s the summary? Too old, still too much weight, not trained enough ? May be a little bit of all that.
Now we stay for 3 days in Kalaw just to give us a rest and repair the damage.
Btw Mandy did better than me….

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Inle lake tour

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

yesterday we have been to the Inle lake which is the 2nd largest in Birma and one of the largest bird preservation area in SEA. Amazing landscape, the lake is surrounded by the Shan mountains (up to 2000 mtr) We were two of us one the boat which was very cozy. The floating gardens are breathtaking (I stood on the gras !) and the diversity of birds is incredible. For sure they bring tourists to commercial places like weaving village but it was interesting to see how a scarf or a longi is made from Lotus flowers. Verrrrry expensive. We bought a scarf from silk and some home made Burmese cigars as well. And we decided to skip the visit of the so-called long neck woman coz we don’t want to go to a human zoo. After back at the hotel we thought what to do and decide to go on a 3 day hiking trek from Nyaungshwe to Kalaw. We will have overnight stay in local villages and the chance to get in touch with local people. We are really looking forward. After all, dinner at the night market for 6$ , whole fresh fish for Mandy and Shan noodles for me with a tomato salad and a big bottle of Myanmar beer. cheers ….

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funny images

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

If you need to go to the restroom double check your gender 🙂

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As a tourist you have to take care …

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And if you are in a hurry and need for a fast espresso …

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Until now …

Monday, October 27th, 2014

I am not able to find the spirit of Asia. Relaxed and slowed down but I have not stepped a foot into a pagoda. Don’t know why may be the rhythm of the county is enough.
We were discussing about backpackers and our conclusion is there we can’t count that any longer. More individual tourists than back packer. Even the pancakes this morning were very yummy 😉

Nyaungshwe

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Not that much western influence as we found in Yangoon , still a cozy small Shan city. We were able to buy Star cola (local stuff before Coca cola has been arrived) and we knew this from our last trip to Birma. See how old fashioned people like us can be happy 😉

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Took a walk around and found a traditional Burmese massage (7$ /hrs) and it was great. The arranged boat trip on the Inle Lake must be cancelled for today coz of Mandys stomach. So will stay at the pool side today and do – nothing 😉

The Burmese food was great last night , curry and tea leaf salat and Myanmar beer as well for less than 10$.

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Yangoon – Nyaungshwe

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Ride started outside downtown and it was the most luxury bus we have ever used in SEA. Brand new Scania with 24 seats, catering and air con plus onboard entertainment. 22 $ each person. A very comfortable ride.

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We arrived 6:30 am at the Princess Garden Hotel and we could check in immediately. Highlight of the hotel (which is not a backpacker hostel for sure ) is the 16 mtr pool.

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Yangoon – Thanlwin guesthouse

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

We spent 3 nights in this cozy guesthouse and I can recommend it for sure. Friendly people, nice atmosphere and good service. You can check out their site on Facebook and you are able to book via booking.com as well.
Tonight we will go to Nyaungshwe , not sure if Internet will be available but we will keep you updated.

Yangoon – lazy day

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Nothing to do so far. We got our flight tickets for the 7th Nov and went for shopping to the Boyoke market. New flip flops and a longhi (traditional burmese skirt) for Mandy. Booked our bus tickets to Nyaungshwe as well as the hotel. And we had Mohinga , the traditional Burmese soup for breakfast. Very yummy 🙂

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A lot of shirts with the image of Aung San Su Kyi offered in the streets of Yangoon. this was never imaginable 8 years ago. But some of the food seems still the same. You love pork ? You will enjoy this 🙂

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For tonight we will go to see the Shwedagon pagoda again.

Yangoon – about permits and trains

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Most important topic yesterday – to find out if we need a permit to leave the country in the south @ Kawthuang. Went to MTT and the formal official answer is – NO which means we can save the 200 $. Great.
We bought a train ticket for the circle line which is a train around Yangoon. It was interesting to see the way this local train is used. People buy and sell goods, load and upload stuff and exchange news among each other.

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But besides the rail road we saw people living in a wasted environment and we recognized once again that our problems are only first world luxury problems.

Our anniversary night

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

We arrived to Yangoon in the afternoon. Our taxi driver had some problems to find the guesthouse but at the end he made it. Nice guesthouse , friendly people and a cozy atmosphere.

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We decided to go out for dinner and choose the real burmese food which is 5 mins by car away. The food was awesome. We ordered 2 appetizers, 2 vegetable dishes and 2 main courses. Plus 2 Myanmar beer. We paid 36 $ for all what you see at the table

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It was a fantastic dinner , even we never thought 15 years ago that we will be here in Yangoon tonight.