On Location May 08 – Myanmar

Myanmar is stuck in a different era. Isolated from the outside world and with little infrastructure the country remains underdeveloped. This was my second visit and the purpose of the trip was to look at ‘all things new’…

Arriving late at night in Yangon I stayed briefly at the Savoy Hotel, a wonderful old colonial building with teak floors and Kipling memorabilia. The following morning I flew to Kyaingtong near the border with Thailand. This small town has a central lake and holds a buffalo market twice a week. It is the staging post for the 30km drive to the former colonial hill station of Loimwe. The road is now a track but during British times it had stone tram lines on which the cars ran. Anyone wanting a driving license and making it from Kyaingtong to Loimwe was granted one, an early test. Loimwe is in a shallow dip in the hills, pleasantly cool in summer. Surrounding the small hills are the colonial houses that the British stayed in. The hospital, the post office and a number of residences remain. There is also a Sikh temple here with a Sanskrit stone marker by the front door. Sadly it is in a terrible state.

In the far north of the country lies Putao. You are nearer to Bhutan here than you are to Mandalay; an isolated location and one that has only recently opened up to foreigners. The town is located in a long narrow valley surrounded on three sides by snow covered mountains and thick forest. On my first morning I met three lorry drivers who had just com from Mytchina, half way between Mandalay and Putao. They had just arrived with three six-wheel lorries and it had taken them 29 days to cover the 220 miles. Luckily I had flown in.

Putao is well worth the journey not least for the ten room Malika Lodge, which is fabulous. It is located at the base of the foothills on a bend of a river with impressive views of both the river and the mountains. Activities include gentle rafting, light or serious trekking (it is possible to trek for the day, stay away for several nights or do more serious treks of up to 2 weeks), biking or riding elephants.

Inle Lake was as magical as ever. Travelling by boat from the town of Nyang Shwe along a narrow waterway, the lake opens up to form a mirror in front of you. Crystal clear water with green weed a few inches from the surface is a haven for fish. The people rely on the lake. They create floating gardens held in place by bamboo poles on which they grow vegetables (beans, tomatoes, cucumbers), they fish using nets and large wicker baskets and live in floating villages, some which produce silk and cloth made from local lotus plants.

My final night in Yangon was spent at the Governor’s Residence, another fine old colonial building with a garden and veranda dining. A wonderful way to end a wonderful trip in an amazing country.

  • Добавить ВКонтакте заметку об этой странице
  • Мой Мир
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LiveJournal
  • MySpace
  • FriendFeed
  • В закладки Google
  • Google Buzz
  • Яндекс.Закладки
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • БобрДобр
  • MisterWong.RU
  • Memori.ru
  • МоёМесто.ru
  • Сто закладок

Ваш отзыв , 07 Oct 2011

Ваш отзыв