Monday, 31 March 2014
It was still dark when I got up and left the hotel, despite it being after 6:00 in the morning. It has mostly to do with Malaysia being on a different timezone than Thailand and in my view they seem to be about 1h off because it only gets light after 7:00 in the morning. Nothing much happens either in the morning whereas in Thailand, Vietnam and other countries I visited where there is a lot of hustle and bustle going on from 5:00 already.
Sunday, 30 March 2014
At first this was meant to be the last day in Penang, or more accurate I was supposed to leave yesterday evening with the night train to KL. But since the trains were all fully booked due to school holidays, I had to stay an extra day.
Saturday, 29 March 2014
Ok, you all probably wanted to see some more street art and a few more old houses from George Town. Well, even if you didn't want to see more, I wanted to see more of this and have been wandering around to find the remaining street art without using the map I had with me.
Friday, 28 March 2014
Thursday, 27 March 2014
I started the day with a visit to the Camera Museum since it was right next to the guest house I stayed at, it was nice but it's very overpriced for what you get. There are not many old camera shops in most of Asia so I guess in this light it makes sense to have a camera museum but what you get here you get in most older camera shops in London for example.
Wednesday, 26 March 2014
The train pulled in at the border only a little bit later than expected but the immigration process was very smooth and fast, so fast even that everyone had to wait around until the train started to continue the journey to Butterworth.
Tuesday, 25 March 2014
Monday, 24 March 2014
Sunday, 23 March 2014
After the last day in Yangon, it was time to head back to Thailand and continue my trip. I chose to fly back to Bangkok rather than going by land in order to save some money but also to avoid another 24-48h in the train.
Saturday, 22 March 2014
Today, I got the chance to meet Daniel and go with him to one of the slums in Yangon to see the work he is doing there.
But before I continue let me first say thanks to Daniel, for his help and support of the people you see in this post (and more), and the friends at My Place, who made this possible by introducing me to Daniel.
Friday, 21 March 2014
Another day in Yangon and I decided to do some sightseeing today. After refusing to pay for the entrance to Kandawgyi Park, I managed to sneak in by going to the restaurants on the north side and from there to the park.
Thursday, 20 March 2014
After a slightly uncomfortable night, trying to sleep on a chair, I arrived back in Yangon.
I didn't have anything planned or the day so decided to just take it easy, chill a bit and check out the market.
While it was fun, it didn't provide the photo opportunities I was looking for so I decided to walk around the city instead.
Yangon is a very nice city and has character so it's nice to walk around and take photos or just take in the atmosphere.
Tomorrow will be another day in Yangon but this time I will try and go do some more sightseeing and visit the Shwedagon Pagoda.
Wednesday, 19 March 2014
Had to get up early to take the taxi to the train station in Shwenyaung for the 8:00 train to Thazi for the first leg of my journey to Yangon.
Despite the distance not being that far, as usual here the train takes almost all day to get there. Still, the views, especially in the first half of the journey, are fantastic and it is definitely worth taking the train.
It is fun how people buy all kinds of stuff when the train stops at the different stations, from flowers to flower pots and of course the usual food and drinks.
Another very interesting aspect is how the train manages to go down the mountain by going forward and then reversing on to another track that goes slightly lower and so on for a few times. It is very interesting and at first I thought the train is turning back or some reason.
Still, the journey was fantastic although quite long and once in Thazi it was time to get the tickets for the night train to Yangon, unfortunately only seats were available but I guess better than standing.
I have said something similar before but you just have to take the train at least once in Myanmar to experience the country and people fully.
There is something special about seeing kids and adults waving at you when the train passes by, the restaurant attendants in the train recognizing you again and having a drink once they finish their shift or an old lady smiling and handing you a napkin after you finished eating. This you will only experience in the train and it makes the journey and experience even more special.
Tuesday, 18 March 2014
I got picked up in the morning with a few other people from the hotel to go on the boat trip on Inle Lake. While I am not always keen on a tour with other people, you always pay the boat for the day and it's the same price irrespective of people so $15 divided by 5 people is just a lot cheaper than by myself.
The first stop as soon as you get on the lake are two boats with 'fishermen' posing for photos and asking for money so this can be ignored as it looks fake.
The next stop is a jewelry manufacturer and shop next to the 'floating' market. I ignored the shop but was curious why the 'floating' market was not really floating but on land so I got told the market is only on water during the rainy season.
Still, I enjoyed the market quite a lot and took lots of photos around. Afterall a market is always interesting, floating or not.
After deciding we didn't want to go to shops unless it was decided by us which shops we go and that we definitely didn't want to have lunch in a tourist restaurant, it was decided to head to the Indein Temple next.
The temples and views from there were great and we also got invited by the monk there for tea so it was great. It is certainly worth a visit and I can imagine if you can make it here before sunset it would be even better.
The next stops after lunch were the silk shop, to see how they make thread out of lotus flowers, and right after the cigar shop, I mean who doesn't like to try sweet cigars and cigars without tobacco.
The last stop before heading back and seeing the sunset from the lake were the floating gardens where they grow tomatoes and other vegetables on the lake.
Tomorrow will be another early start for a long 24h train journey back to Yangon.