Posted by: lindsaygoes | January 8, 2015

Myanmar – around Kalaw

Sunrise, U Bein Bridge, Amarapura, MyanmarFrom Mandalay we had a reasonable drive onto Kalaw, a colonial hill station. Because of this we had a very early start to see sunrise at U Pein Bridge, the world’s longest teak bridge (there seem to be a lot of world’s biggest things in Myanmar). We walked almost all the way to the end of the bridge before the sun rose, so it was pretty dark, but on the way back the colours were spectacular. It was amazing how many people were on the bridge so early.

Then we got back on the bus for a bit of sleep and stopped for lunch in a place which had typical Myanmar wifi. A good signal, but no actual access to the internet.

Once we got to Kalaw we had a wander through the town and grabbed some street food banana pancakes which were delicious! Water buffalo in Kalaw, Kalaw, Myanmar

The next day was market day in Kalaw so we checked out the local markets before starting a trek. The first half of the trek was done on unsealed roads, passing some pagodas, farms, a monastery and a school before having lunch in a village and trying on some traditional Shan clothing. We took a rougher, narrow track back to Kalaw, but at one point managed to get in front of our trekking guide and missed a turn off. At least we didn’t travel too far in the wrong direction. Cabbages in Kalaw, Kalaw, Myanmar

We were planning on repeating the pancakes, but also getting some local ice-cream when we got back to Kalaw, but the ice-cream shop was closed, so we just had pancakes again.

In the morning we left Kalaw for Inle Lake. On the way we stopped at the Pindaya Caves, which contain over 8000 images of Buddha in multiple caverns. It was a really interesting stop, there seemed to be no real order to the statues and stupas in the caves, all crammed in for an almost overwhelming effect. One area was even labelled ‘Maze’. Pindaya Caves, Myanmar

We had a lovely lunch at a restaurant overlooking a lake (not Inle Lake, I’m not sure what it was) and visited an umbrella workshop. It was fascinating watching the frame of the umbrella being assembled and how quickly all the handmade parts came together.

I’ll tell you about Inle Lake in the next post.

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