Myanmar

Tag Archives for Myanmar.

Reviewing 2014-How do you measure your travel?

As I reflect on 2014, I pondered how do I measure my travel? 1. By Kilometres, miles or points? In 2014 I covered: 3000km (2000 miles) by train 4000km (2500 miles) by bus 12000km by rental car (7000 miles) 124,754 (77.5k) by air to or from 22 airports. I flew four new airlines bringing my total number of air carriers to 91 airlines! The new ones were: Burma’s Air KBZ, Bangkok Airways Finnair (review coming Tuesday) and Germania   2. The Goals I achieved? In 2014, I completed my first (and last) marathon in Berlin, Germany hiked across…

Continue Reading »

Riding the Yangon Circle Train

  I have been wanting to ride this train for years.  The Yangon Circular Railway is a British built train line that connects Yangon Central station (pictured above) with inner city suburbs, impoverished towns and semi- country villages in a 46 kilometre (28.5 mile) long loop with 39 stations. Trip Adviser users rate it as the seventh best attraction in Yangon with people saying “a trip of a life time” and  “Excellent way to watch everyday life in yangon“.   Some of the key stations with close by attractions include: Pagoda Road for Bogyoke Market and Holy…

Continue Reading »

Air KBZ to Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)

One thing I didn’t want to do was fly internally in Myanmar! The fledgling airline industry does not have a great safety record. After our long train trip from Mandalay to Bagan, we realised, however that a ten hour train trip from Bagan to Yangon would take too much time out of our schedule so I reluctantly agreed to fly!   Booking: 7/10 The country has seven local airlines registered: Air Bagan; Air KBZ, Air Mandalay, Asian Wings, Golden Myanmar Airlines; Myanmar Airways International and Yangon Airways. Our first choice was Asian Wings because they  are 49 per cent owned by Japan’s ANA. Unfortunately,…

Continue Reading »

Breathtaking Bagan

Bagan is one of the musts on the Myanmar tourist trail. Almost all tourists make the trek by air, train bus and even car to this spot 715km  (431 miles) northwest of Yangon. The area is sited on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwady (or Irrawaddy) River. This river slices Burma into two. You can travel to Bagan from Mandalay using this river on an express boat (which takex 10 hours) or an equally long train ride, a very rough bus or car ride (8 to 9 hours). Trains, cars and buses will take you south to Yangon (13…

Continue Reading »

Inappropriate Words?

The tourists stood gazing at the Bagan, Myanmar sunset. The ball of fiery orange turned more and more red as it slid down the sky. The colours reflected on the stone and wood temples and pagodas that spread across the plains. The gold on the roofs sparkled in the light. Faintly a star started to emerge. The hairs on the backs of the watchers tingled at the sensations: colour, noise and smells of this ancient, magical, holy place. All were entranced. Well almost all. The young Australian tourist turned to her companion and loudly screeched…

Continue Reading »

Rail Mayhem in Myanmar (Trip Report)

I have ridden the rails in Africa, the Americas,Asia, Australia and Europe in steam trains to TGVs! Today’s report talks about a train ride in Myanmar (Burma) from Mandalay (the country’s second biggest city located in the centre of the map) to Bagan (the tourist and spiritual heart of the country located southwest of Mandalay). This ride has to be simultaneously one of the best,  worst and funniest rail journeys I have ever done! Some websites warn tourists that trains in Myanmar are expensive compared to buses, slow, uncomfortable, dirty, noisy and smelly. True. Others extol…

Continue Reading »

Visiting Myanmar Reflections and Advice

  “This is Burma, and it will be quite unlike any land you know about.” Rudyard Kipling, 1889 My 59th country was the mysterious land of Myanmar (Burma). This country has been cut off from the world for most of it’s existence, more lately by an inward focussed military regime. Sadly that regime has seen one of the richest countries in Asia slide into poverty. Average GDP per person is a mere $1000 per annum with a massive gap between people at the top and the bottom of the tree. Yet Burma was rich. The temples…

Continue Reading »

Road to Mandalay

  “For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say: ‘Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!’” Despite writing this very famous poem, Rudyard Kipling never stepped foot in Mandalay. This city 716 km (445 miles) north of Yangon (previously known as Rangoon) was the capital of Myanmar (Burma) from 1857 to 1885. At that time,  the British annexed the country , exiled the royal family, made the country part of India and moved the capital to Rangoon. As per usual, with every city I visit I rate the city in comparison…

Continue Reading »

Burma (Myanmar) Bound

Off to my 59th country this week: Myanmar (Burma). We are following a fairly standard tourist trail. We fly into Mandalay in the North, then travel down to Bagan and then visit Yangon. It has been only fairly recently that travel has been opening up for tourists not travelling in tourist groups! So excited! Related Posts Any advice for Myanmar? My 58th country: Vietnam I visit my 57th country      

Continue Reading »