Burma summary

Trip Start Mar 03, 2005
Trip End Apr 08, 2006

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Where I stayed
The White House Hotel

Flag of Myanmar  ,
Saturday, February 11, 2006

I drifted in and out of sleep on the bus from Bagan, and when we were held up for 45 minutes at around 6am I knew we were well behind schedule. Whilst I felt ok during the evening, my stomach played up again in the morning and I actually had cramps for the final few hours of the ride. We finally rolled into the Aung Mingalar bus station in Rangoon sometime after 9am, completing a hellish 18 hour journey from Bagan.

I spent the rest of the day relaxing at the White House Hotel and wandering around the city to take a few more photos. I was a little sad knowing my time in Burma was up, and I was a little nervous at the prospect of a morning flight to Dhaka in Bangladesh, given all the bad press I'd received on my travels. However, my 28 days in Burma were certainly an amazing experience. The major highlight for me was being able to talk with the locals. Despite the hardships they face on a daily basis I found them extremely warm, friendly and hospitable, and I'll never forget the people I stayed with all around the country.

My favourite place was Namhsan, due to the fact it was such a mission to get there, and once there I was rewarded with spectacular view of the mountains and huge vast valleys. It really felt off the beaten track, and I don't regret missing other places in order to spend a week up there. Bagan too was an amazing place, with the thousands of ancient stupas rising out of the plains. I was left in awe of the incredible Shwedagon Paya in Rangoon, and enjoyed a pilgrimage with locals to the famous Golden Rock Pagoda at Kyaikhtiyo. Kalaw and Inle lake also proved to be great places to do a little trekking and relaxing.

It really was great, and I know someday I'll return, as 28 days simply wasn't enough time to do the country any justice. I want to see more of the south, in particular Hpa An and Moulmein, complete a boat trip up the Ayeryawaddy north of Mandalay to Katha and Bhamo and trek between Kalaw and Inle Lake. Give that it was such a cheap country to travel I know it will be possible as well. I only hope when I do return that the situation has improved somewhat for the wonderful people there.

I feel the intensity is about to be increased now, as I fly onto Dhaka for a few weeks in Bangladesh...
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