Myanmar is one of those countries that have it all. Colonial architecture, one of the most impressive monuments in the world: the 110 meter high golden sphere of the Shweddagon, old English hill stations, Bhuddist temples with a wonderful atmosphere, a vast plain of monuments rivalling Ankor Wat, jungle trains, very old cars, lakes, rivers and hiking in the hills. And lots of the little things that can amaze and make the experience of travel even more unique. Like homemade vehicles, flowers made from money, little horse drawn coaches and a lot more if you have an eye for it. And perhaps the best reason to go is that the people are welcoming, friendly and still not too spoiled by tourism. I was there during a 6 1/2 month trip I made in 1995.
Although the capital is relocated, Yangon remains the place that feels like the capital. The city is situated near a river with the splendid Schweddagon and a lot of other temples, markets and back-streets and a riverfront that makes you feel like you are back in the colonial area as it's star attractions.
A little hill station that can be reached by one of the few zig-zag railways in existence. One of the main attractions are the horse-drawn carriages that look like they were left over from filming of a western.
The old capital from 1860 to 1885 when Myanmar was a great kingdom. Besides the many temples, including one holding the 729 pages of the world largest book in numerous little shrines (Kuthodaw) and the royal palace. Near Mandalay is the island of Mingun with a set of very special pagoda’s including an unfinished one that was meant to be the biggest in the world but was damaged by an earthquake.
The train to Lashio
Paul Theroux wrote about this train journey in his famous book 'the great railway bazaar'. Back in those days it was not possible to go the whole way from Mandalay to Lashio. When I went it was. It is an interesting ride. The train almost literally goes through the jungle, as the track is at some points half overgrown. We enjoyed the company monks of kid soldiers, and of friendly businesspeople. The trip ended in the dark, the train lit by candlelight. Lashio itself has a great market.
A tiny village with a very relaxing pace. Not really full of attractions but definitely full of atmosphere. Try the dumplings.
An amazing sight if there ever was one. Sixteen square miles with ruins of temples in an amazing variety of style and sizes. Unfortunately, if you look closer, the government has done a bad job in restoring, using modern materials and ignoring the rules of the game. One can only hope there will come a chance to re- restore.
The famous leg-rowers, floating markets, a monastery where monks have taught cats to jump through hoops, floating islands and nice people.
Shot on slidefilm