• Mandalay,  Mrauk-U,  Myanmar,  Myanmar-South,  Transportation,  Yangon

    Myanmar – situation in 2021

    I travelled in Myanmar in 2013, 2015 and 2016 when the Burmese people was optimistic about having a brighter future with democratic ruling. When we prepared for our first trip we were told not to discuss politics and don’t show images on Aung San Su Kyi, because it could cause problems for the Burmese we talked with. We were surprised that the taxi we took from the Yangon Airport has several pictures of the Lady posted around in the car. Thought all our journeys we have met friendly people warmly welcoming visitor to the country. We tried to chose privately operated hotels, transportation, restaurants etc. in order to support individuals…

  • Myanmar-South


    The port of Myeik provides the access to the archipelago which I think is the most valuable element from the city. The city is situated on the coast of the Andaman Sea, just north of the Tanintharyi River. To get to Myeik you must either come by bus or by plane. From north you’ll have the opportunity to get a minibus in Dawei, it takes 6-8 hours to drive the approximately 340 km. The road is fine in the Dawei part, but as it leaves the lowland and enters the mountains it get a bit rough and not all of it is sealed. In late 2015 the road from Kawthong…

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  • Myanmar-South


    Hpa-An is situated in the Karen state were it is the capital. It is in the northern part of the south Myanmar. Even though it is the state capital and has approximately 75.000 inhabitants it feels like a small city. The houses are lower than what you find in Yangon and Mandalay, most only 2-3 stories high, except for a few new hotels that rises 5-8 stories. Karen state was not recommended to tourist until 2014 or 2015 as a freedom movement with armed rebellion against the Yangon dictators operated in the Karen state. But in January 2016 the city and the area was safe to travel in. A little…

  • Myanmar-South


    The city is located 80 km north east of Yangon, by train it takes 2 hours to get from Yangon to Bago and approximately the same by bus. I took the train from Yangon, it went at 8.00 AM and was leaving on time. It had one stop before we arrived to Bago. The landscape you’ll travel through is almost flat, no hills are seen. The tracks takes you out through the outskirts of Yangon before it runs into the plane. In the country side you’ll be travelling along rice fields and there is rich opportunities to see field workers and rural buildings. And you will have a good look…

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  • Myanmar

    Hsi paw

    Hsi Paw is placed in Shan State where it is the principal town. An easy way and quite interesting way to get there is to take the train from either Mandalay or Pyin Oo Lwin. I recommend to take the train from Pyin Oo Lwin, because the train takes 4 hours from Mandalay to Pyin Oo Lwin, and because of this it leaves Mandalay around 4 AM. The train tickets is low cost and you’ll experience the famous Gokteik Bridge on the way. By road there is around 200 Km from Mandalay. Sir Charles is a major player in the tourist business in Hsi Paw. The family runs hotel, guest…

  • Myanmar-South

    Golden Rock or Kyaikhteeyoe

    When we were planning our tour to Golden Rock it was difficult to find precise guidance how to get there. The confusion comes from places that have similar names. The town Kyaikto which is situated in the lowland, if you take the train from Yangon you have to get off the train here. Then you must go with a bus or a truck to Kin Pun. In Kin Pun you find the only road  to the mountain – the mountain’s name is Kyaikhteeyoe. The road up the mountain is not open to general traffic, only certified trucks can travel up the mountain. The trucks are quite modern by Myanmar standards,…

  • Myanmar-South


    Dawei is situated in the southern part of Myanmar. In January 2016 the route from Mawlamyine to Dawei was serviced by a standard 12 meter bus with a long history, but the approximately 310 km is travelled in only 8,5 hours. At this time the bus came from Yangon and stopped in Mawlamyine around 1800 and left again at 1830, it arrived in Dawei just after 0300 in the morning. As always you will find taxi drives – almost fighting over the passengers – ready to get you the last mile. There is not many attractions in the city it self. But the city has its charm. It seems less…

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  • Myanmar

    Pyin Oo Lwin

    Pyin Oo Lwin is located 40 km north-east of Mandalay, the easiest way to get there is to buy a seat in a shared taxi. When we took the trip it took almost 2 hours from we started near the train station in Mandalay until we arrived at Pyin Oo Lwin city center. Almost 45 minuts were spent on picking up 2 more passengers within Mandalay. The road is fairly good from Myanmar standards, but there will be a lot of heavy and slow traffic, and it will be slow due to the rather step road into the mountains. The city is small and do not offer a lot of…

  • Myanmar

    Ngwe Saung Beach

    When you have left Europe during the winter you are likely to long for summer, I do. With summer I think of a visit to a beach to swim in the ocean. Myanmar provides several opportunities to do so. I have found that Ngwe Saung Beach is a lovely spot for recreation. You find an approximately 15 km long white sand beach – with a few rocks – with hotels between the coconut palms along the beach. Hotels can be found both cheap (from $50) to the expensive (around $250-300) and some in between. To get there you need to take the bus from Yangon, over Pathein. None of the…

  • Mrauk-U

    Chin Villages

    When you are in Mrauk-U you’ll have the opportunity to visit the Chin Villages. The most remarkable thing about the Chin villages is that until around 1972 women at the age of 16-17 were tattooed in the face. The tattoos are rather characteristic and as I understand the tattoos are unique for each village. What the purpose of the tattoos were our guide could not tell us, but he assured us that the women were happy that the government had banned the tattoos and that they were the last to be tattooed. If you purchased a blanket produced by the women they would willingly pose for a photo. The trip…

  • Mrauk-U

    Shwe Taung Pagoda

    The Shwe Taung Pagoda is the best place in Mrauk-U to watch the sun rise. The temples is located on one of the highest hill tops in Mrauk-U and it has a free view all over the area. To find it you must go by the road out of town towards Magdwe, just after you have passed the river you’ll find a dirt road to the right. Follow the dirt road approximately 300 meters, you have a small pond at you left hand. Near the gate you’ll find a small gate and a path through the forest. When the path starts to climb up the hill it is pawed with…

  • Mrauk-U


    Some calls Mrauk-U for little Bagan. The area is much smaller than Bagan and it holds fewer temples and sights than Bagan. Temples in Mrauk-U is not the same style as in Bagan, they seems heavier build. The first Europeans in Burma actually mistook the temples for fortresses because of the heavy look. While the archaeological set-up is very like Bagan, the tourist set-up is not. There is not the same intensity of tourists in the area and the Burmese are not as eager to sell gods and services as in Bagan. This makes the visit more relaxed than a visit to Bagan. You can visit the temples in the…

  • Myanmar


    I’m visiting Myanmar for the third time in January 2016. This time I will travel to parts of Myanmar I have not visited earlier. Point of entry will still be Yangon, during my earlier visits Yangon have been like a hub I have been passing from and to other destinations, this time we will leave Yangon after a day and do not expect to go back as we wish to travel to the very south end of Myanmar and from there travel in a long-tail to Thailand. The plan is to enter Myanmar on January 3 2016 and to leave near the end of January. The itinerary can be seen…

  • Myanmar


    I revisited Myanmar in January 2015, the visit included both places I had visited in 2013 and new places. I arrived at Yangon International Airport at January 1 2015 and left again on January 26. The visa application process for this visit was with the e-visa, which had been implemented during autumn 2014.  The e-visa process is easy to follow and feels secure throughout the application. You are still required to pay ($50) for the visa. When you arrive in Yangon, just proceed to the immigration counter, where your passport will be verified and a visa stamped into it. The entrance date is stamped and the valid until date is…

  • Mrauk-U

    Leaving Mrauk-U (or getting there)

    Of course you can take the boat back to Sittwe and a plane from there. It’s straight forward, but it will set you back $130-200 per person. We wanted to try something different and we had previously with success taken a local intercity bus. After some research on the internet – prior to our trip – we experienced that the road from Sittwe to Magwe allowed an intercity bus to operate on daily basis. Getting tickets were quite easy because our hotel could provide them for only 20.000 Kyats each. Communication were not precise, so we were in doubt whether our tickets were for Mandalay or only for Magwe. But…

  • Myanmar


    Mrauk-U is an ancient capital of the Arakanese Kingdom and was established I 1433. The city is situated in the north western part of Myanmar in the Rahine state. To get to Mrauk-U you can either take a plane to Sittwe and from there a bus or boat to Mrauk-U or you can take a bus from Mandalay over Magwe. The fastest and most comfortable way is to get on the plane in Yangon. When you leave Yangon in morning you’ll reach Sittwe after the days route boat and bus has left, so your forced to stay until the next day to catch the next mean of transportation. So you’ll…

  • Mandalay

    Mahamuni Pagoda

    If you’ve been to the gold pounders district and experienced how thin gold can be flatted you’ll will probably have a hard time to believe what you see in this pagoda. The main attraction is the central Buddha statue, which is fitted in the centre of the pagoda. A long carpet clad passage in front of the Buddhas vision, in this passage way you will find hundreds of worshippers kneeling and praying. The pagoda itself is very much like the most pagodas, entrances in the 4 corners of the world, along entrance you find stalls were you can buy art-work, drinks, food etc. The central Buddha statue is made of…

  • Mandalay

    Teak Temple

    A more than 100 years old temple build from teak wood. It’s located in a peace full garden and you are allowed to go in. Some of monks are eager to talk with the visitors, so allow yourself a chat with them even though not everybody is fluent in English. Several places on the building you’ll find fine figures carved into the wood. An interesting and relaxing place.

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  • Mandalay

    Marble carvers

    In the south end of Mandalay city you find a street where all workshops are dealing with marble cutting. Workshop might seem as a more fancy word than what you experience in the streets. Most of the shops are only a shed with 3 walls and part of a roof, the work is performed mostly in the area just in front of the shed. When you enter the street the first thing you might notice is the clouds of dust. All cutting is performed on the dry stones, a few workers are still working with a hammer and chisel but most work with electric tools like grinders. The grinders fast…

  • Mandalay

    Gold pounders

    You will most likely meet the habit of putting leaf gold on Buddha statues and you are likely to meet women who try to sell you leaf gold in small packets. So Myanmar uses a lot of the leaf gold and need to produce them. You can see the production of the gold leafs in Mandalay, go to 36th street between 77th and 79th street where you’ll find their workshops. It’s an amazing process where they start with approximately 1 cubic cm of gold and hammer it repeatedly, cut it into peaces and continue with more hammering until there is several hundred leafs approximately 4×4 cm and thinner than paper.…

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  • Mandalay

    Sagaing Hill

    Sagaing hill is not in Mandalay itself, but approximately 20 km south west of Mandalay city centre. It’s a fine place for a day trip. The easiest way to go is to hire a taxi to take you around in the area.We went to a weavers workshop, they operated both semi-automatic weaves and fully manual weaves. The semi-automatic produces the simplest cloth, with only up to 7 colours while the manual ones uses as many colours as the weave-operator can manage and that’s impressively many. The workshops produces cloth from cotton, pure silk and a mixture of cotton and silk. You find shops that sells the products right beside the…

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  • Mandalay

    U Bein Bridge

    This iconic bridge apparently is a must see in Mandalay. I will say the bridge looks well at all times of the day, but it is specially amazing when seen in the twilight (either before sun up or after sun set). I’ve heard that it can be hard to get a view of the bridge with monks on during sun set time, because tourists almost have overtaken the bridge – don’t know if it’s true – but I went to the bridge in the morning. As with other things in Myanmar it’s good to be an early riser, because sun rises at around 6:30 AM (November through February), and to…

  • Mandalay

    Kuthodaw Pagoda

    The pagoda is home the worlds largest book. Mindon Min had Tripitaka carved in stone in the 1860’s to secure that the book would last until 4.000 years after the Buddha. The book is set up in small stupas – one for each page or stone slab – arranged in rows and columns. The sighting is quite impressive.

  • Mandalay

    Mandalay Hill

    In the northern part of Mandalay you’ll find Mandalay Hill with it’s pagoda. When you walk up the hill you’ll probably think that it is not one pagoda but a series of pagodas. At the entrance you are meet by to very large lion like sculptures or correctly name chinthes. The chinthes are the guardians of the pagoda (, like the dragons found in Thai temples. When you enter the area you must hand in your shoes, you might need to pay a few hundred kyats for the service. Then you are ready to climb the stairs up the hill, on the way up you are protected from the sun…

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  • Mandalay

    Yan Kin Hill

    Yan Kin Hill is found at the east end of the 19th street, the easiest way to get there is to hire a taxi or ride a bike. As with Mandalay hill the sight is a series of pagodas and monasteries place on the hill. Yan kin hill is not as crowded as Mandalay hill and is neither with quite as fancy pagodas, but it worth the effort to climb all the stairs. You can leave your shoes at the entrance and climb the stairs towards the peak of the hill, the stairs follows the hill, so in some places they are rather steep. At the top you find an…

  • Mandalay


    Mandalay is the second largest city in Myanmar and is the capital of Mandalay Region. Mandalay has served as the Burmese capital for a short notice from 1857 through 1885. The status as a capital was removed by the British annextation. When you look at the map you’ll find Mandalay approximately in the middle of Myanmar. Mandalay city is practically flat, no hills are found within the city borders, so if you dare it shouldn’t be hard to get around on a bike. To find your way in Mandalay is mostly easy as most of the city’s streets are running north-south or east-west. North of the rail road station streets…

  • Myanmar


    My first trip to Myanmar or Burma took place in November 2013. We had been curious about this former closed country that through some years had been opening up towards the external world. But we do not want to support an oppressive dictatorship, we would like to support the free population of the country. So our travel had been waiting for the rulers to implement freedom of speech and democracy. From the time in 2010 where opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest we began to believe that a visit to Myanmar was acceptable. Our perception was increased through 2011 and 2012 so during the summer…

  • Transportation


    The first option is a taxi bike, only relevant outside Yangon. It’s a tri-bike that mostly assembles an ordinary old-school mens bike without gears fitted with a sidecar. The sidecar can with good will be said to have to passenger seats, however I’ve never seen both seat used. But I’ve seen – and tried – to be in one seat and the luggage in the other. I rode on a taxi bike the first time I was at Ngwe Saung, the trip was the 3 Km from the bus-stop to Tamonnar Oo Resort. I and my suitcase was loaded in the seats and the driver began to push the bike,…

  • Transportation

    Motor bike taxi

    You’ll find them everywhere. The bike is typical fitted with a 75-150 ccm and in scooter design. If you are Burmese you would probably think such a device can seat 3-4 , but I recommend to limit it to the driver and one passenger. In the cities the motorbike taxi can progress faster than the car, because it can circumvent the congestion. Some of the drivers offer a helmet you can wear, the ones I’ve seen are similar what in Denmark is used when riding a bike and be sure it’s one size fits all.

  • Transportation


    The taxi is a good idea when you are going around in a city, at least it will protect you from the traffic and weary feats, save you time and might be comfortable. If you have only been in a taxi in Europe you think of taxis as a uniform experience, forget it in Myanmar where taxi quality is very different. A frequent taxi is a Toyota Corolla from the late 1980’s or a newer low cost Toyota Probox. For old on the odometer has probably been the full clock around more than once, but the engine is still ticking and the horn works, so it’ll go on. Of course…

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