Forgot my phone for the beginning of today.. Zoe's GoPro pics still to follow!
We arrived in Hpa-an at around 6.30am on the night bus from Mandalay. Our room wasn't ready yet so the options were: wait 6hours until the official check in time OR go on the 8.30 tour of all the sights. 💁🏼♂️
Hpa-an is the most beautiful place. Everything is green and it just looks like you're walking through a fantasy movie; pagodas precariously perched atop rocks jutting out of lakes, fog-covered mountains peaks, endless fields of Buddha's, cave systems and hidden monasteries... its like something out of your wildest imaginations of Southeast Asia.
We were a bit delirious with lack of sleep but we made it out at night for the Karen National Day festival (which is basically like a county fair but with man-powered rides). I repeat: man-powered rides. (!!!) Ended the night with a traditional dances performance and feeling like this is one dope place we have to come back to.
9 November 2016
We spent the day in Mandalay today. Highlights include the dope breakfast spread and the awesome vegan Indian food at Marie Min. We hiked the never ending stairway to the top of Mandalay hill which would have been a lot more pleasant had we both not been a tad sick with stomach bugs and infected wounds. But I digress- we made it to the top to see without a doubt the most beautiful side of Mandalay (and just in time for the sunset). Unfortunately, the moment was made a little less sweet at the news of our new president elect but.. for now we plan to enjoy the last couple of days of our journey. Real life will be waiting for us when we get back.
P.s- there's secretly an elevator that takes you to the top for all you lazy peeps out there ;)
8 November 2016
Took a 12hr boat ride from Bagan to Mandalay which embarked at 5:30am! Lots of beautiful skies, rainbows and scattered pagodas. 🌅🌈
6 November 2016
One day in Bagan: not nearly enough time to see everything, but we tried. Rented an E-bike (things with motors are illegal for tourists) and we cruised around the bumpy roads checking out the endless fields of stupas, pagodas, and monasteries. The Archeological Zone (which is the entire town and surrounding area) has thousands of them so it is literally pagodas on pagodas as far as the eye can see. Pretty dope.
We splurged on souvenirs and I traded my pants for a traditional Burmese longyi. I'm basically a local boy now 💁🏼♂️
Climbed to the top of one of the more famous points in the area and we got a great view of everything at sunset. It was beautiful in the fading light. Another day done- up early the next morning to catch the boat. Next stop Mandalay.
5 November 2016
After the nightmare hell journey from Koh Lanta that spanned 12 hours, a downpour, air, land, and sea, we finally made it to Yangon. Can't say we recommend Nok Air (that's a story for a different time) but they got us there in one piece and that always counts for something.
Yangon itself is stunning. A lot of colors and British colonial buildings that have since fallen into decay and are slowly but surely being consumed by the jungle. We're calling it the Thailand of yesteryear.
Went to the Shwedagon Pagoda and decided a theme of Buddhism must be infiniteness. Had some 💥 food and 0.75$ mojitos on Chinatown's 19th street and then everything sort of devolved when we met our good friend Cho-cho at the Double Happiness bar.
But we're alive and we love Yangon. Only a pity we're not here for longer- onto Bagan on a 12 hour bus. Catch y'all on the other side. ✌️