Burma 2017

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Another episode in our adventure packed lives - from Chiang Mai to Ayutthaya via Burma

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We stopped at hotel Can Panyeela in Gelida- good grub in an impressive comedor. And then well looked after on Singapore Airlines

Thailand.

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The Pillars137 hotel in ChiangMai was most impressive- looked like being a top notch holiday!.Just the one night there before on to the Maree Dheva near ChiangRai
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stopping at a tea plantation, lovingly cared for by guide & driver. This hotel also de lujo, though a trifle cold
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Visited the temple of Wat PaSak, then the Opium Museum and had a river trip to Laos- but decided not to bother entering, been there before!. Enjoyed the food on the river bank

Then on into Burma, staying 2 nights in Keng Tung and visiting some local hill tribes

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Then a plane to Heho and a drive to the fascinating Inle Lake

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A pleasant sejourn at the, largish, Sanctum hotel. Then 2 days of hopping in and out of boats- & with no recuperating bones we were better at that than the mater!
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Between monasteries, pagodas, floating gardens, markets and fishermen, we found time for a couple of local meals
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Fantastic stupas at Wat Pasak and even the odd buffalo in the water . The wee hotel buggy proved useless for our luggage!
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Mandalay

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A flight to Mandalay, a carriage ride round the ancient Burmese capital, Ava, & then a stay in the Rupar Mandalay, loved their elephants!
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In Mandalay we visited the U Bein bridge- overpopulated!- then lunch before being impressed by over 1000 monks at the monastery Shwenanda, then Pagoda Mahamuni, Burma's 2nd most holy place, followed by the world's largest book- above- , its stupas & temples
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Next day three hours in a train, passing over the Goktiek Viaduct at 300 m above ground level in the Shan mountains, on our way to Hsipaw

Hsipaw & Pyin oo Lwin/ Maymyo

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We then stayed at Mr Charles Riverside Lodge and chatted to Mr Charles himself! A lovely day on the river to a magical place, plus cafe!, then back to explore
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a Shan village, where we saw a rare frate train. Then back to Pyin oo Lwin/ Maymyo, a former British hill station . Another carriage ride around the old colonial
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mansions before a visit to the colourful Botanical Gardens, established 1915. A yummy cafe was in walking distance from the Pyin oo Lwin hotel

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A blissful 24 hour trip down the river Irrewaddy aboard the R V Pautang to Bagan

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Royally welcomed aboard. Approved of the cabin layout with a pleasant balcony, good for spotting other river craft
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Lots of deck space and good food and even met the Captain!
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Even got up early for this sunrise . . . . before 3 days around the thousands of awesome stupas in Bagan.
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Pleasant hotel with playthings for us!
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Travelled over to the island of Ryun Thiri with our lovely guide,Nilar. Saw how to cook rice in quantaties!! And lots of village life .

Then on to Yangon, with its breath-taking Shwedagon Pagoda

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and its end of an era Strand Palace Hotel - below 100 years ago!

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Our suite was really luxurious and we had a personal butler ( though actually not too bright!). Hotel had porters dressed like vicars!
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We were not able to eat in their gastronomic restaurant( closed- unbeknown to the butler!) but the tapas, bar& high tea kept us going .
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A trishaw ride round Dallah and a stroll round Kandawgyi park, plus lots of time in the dazzling Shwedagon complex

The Golden Rock at Kyaiktiyo

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We drove for 4 hours and then decamped into a crowded ( ah but we had the front seat!) lorry for the last 30 minutes of the journey, then by paw. This impressive golden rock balances on a knife edge, & is supposedly prevented from slipping by a hair of the buda : the 3rd most sacred site in Burma. Saw rubber tapping on the way back.
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Sailing on the Mergui archipelago

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Flew south to Kawthaung, stayed at the Victoria Cliff-wondrous views.
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Then, with difficulty for the mater, onto the Meta4, Burma Boating . . . And a very snug cabin! . . A snug place on deck. . ." Let us out of the bag please", Cathy
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Had whole sandy beaches to ouurselves whilst the other 5- Americans!- snorkelled. A couple of short treks to observe sunsets
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Caught a carp- good as sushi and later grilled. Yummy breakfasts too. A visit to some sea otters. And the final Happy Hour . Then back aboarrd with Lisa

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We then flew on to Dawei, an unmodernised old Burmese town and spent the night there, unfortunately forgettting to demand photographs!! And from there we drove four hours to the Thai border,

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The Chinese hotel in Dawei & the challenges of the border area!

and from there to Kanchanaburi and its Bridge over the River Kwai

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Our river view room at the Oriental Kwai Hotel was superb- wonderful views from it and from the gardens & restaurant and lots of wee friends around
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We got our tickets for the railway, halted the train by the bridge and off we went, to Hellfire Pass- a sombre experience

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Leaving the River Kwai we drove to Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of Thailand

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En route we stopped at the Royal Summer Palace, Bang Pa-In, enjoying a buggy ride round this- due to the heat- and a cablecar ride across to a buddhist temple .
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Baan Thai House Hotel was not quite so 'de lujo' but we enjoyed seeing the railway station & the ancient stupas in Ayutthaya

Thence flights back from Bangkok to Singapore, Milan, Barcelona

What a lot to tell all the other Teds!

Life in 2017

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