Daily Joe's 365 (or until he goes home) : Taking a year off work : Updated to day 52

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#81
Hey,

Agree with the sentiment, we had a great time but not quite the time we expected (if that makes sense). Part of it was having Christmas in the middle - it made travel either side very rushed & the weather was the worst the locals had seen for a long time! Very happy we had Christmas there tho and great to spend time with friends :).

Joe.
Makes sense. :) I think it's very different from the rest of SE Asia. Ah, the weather... Spent a few days battling the winds and waves in kayaks because of it. :LOL:

Very jealous of you being able to get to Mayon Volcano and Mt. Isarog, they both look stunning. Two weeks just wasn't enough. I will also be following your Burma travels with interest, I'm tempted to go there next christmas.
 
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jojo90
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#83
Internet access here in Myanmar is woeful at best. There are some shots that made it on my Flickr photostream. Will do a full update here in 2 weeks once back in Bagkok! Got some great shots to share :).
 
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jojo90
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#84
Back in bangkok now so guess I'll start the arduous task of updating this thread via an ipad! Apologies if any of the images look badly processed, I have a sneaking feeling I'm overdoing the saturation to compensate for the iPad's screen profile (I travelled Myanmar with just an iPad and Android phone).

There are a few more photos from each day on my Flickr photostream.
 
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jojo90
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#85
Day 56 : Myanmar (Burma) : Yangon


Day 56 : Myanmar (Burma) : Yangon by -_Jo Gray-



Day 56 : Myanmar (Burma) : Yangon by -_Jo Gray-



Day 56 : Myanmar (Burma) : Yangon by -_Jo Gray-


Spent the day touring Yangon taking in the sights around the different Pagodas. Myanmar is a great place to be but it's really the people that make the place!


So many locals have helped us out here and there, spoke to us, and generally been nice. It's different to the rest of Asia and no doubt will change once the 'gap yah' kids come piling in.


My advice is to get there while you can. Right now it's like stepping back in time 30-40 years. Can't wait to get out and explore the country.
 
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jojo90
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#86
Day 57 : Myanmar (Burma) : Yangon


Day 57 : Myanmar (Burma) : Yangon by -_Jo Gray-



Day 57 : Myanmar (Burma) : Yangon by -_Jo Gray-



Day 57 : Myanmar (Burma) : Yangon by -_Jo Gray-



Day 57 : Myanmar (Burma) : Yangon by -_Jo Gray-


Woke up early again today to take a walk around Yangon. I find Asian cities are at their best in the early hours of the day (not to mention the light is at its best!). You get to see people going about their day and the streets are largely free of traffic. It seems to be an Asian thing to do aerobics in public parks in the morning! In the afternoon we went over to Shwedagon Pagoda to see the sunset, unfortunately our taxi driver took us to a hotel instead so a 30 min journey turned into a 2 hour trip round town! The pagoda is Myanmar's best so a little disappointed we missed the sunset and some great photo opportunities... Oh we'll, maybe next time!


As an aside for any photographers reading this please be respectful at these Pagodas. We saw some of the worst behaviour possible today from other photographers. One lady was taking photos inches from peoples faces (with a wide angle lens) while they we're trying to pray, she didn't even ask for permission! Other times while trying to set up for a shot people saw the 'photo op' and just barged right in front of the lens. Really bad behaviour!
 
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jojo90
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#87
Day 58 : Myanmar (Burma) : Yangon. To Kinpun (base camp for the Golden Rock of Kyaiktiyo)


Day 58 : Myanmar (Burma) : Yangon. To Kinpun (base camp for the Golden Rock of Kyaiktiyo) by -_Jo Gray-


Left Yangon early in the morning to take a trip over to the Golden Rock of Kyaiktiyo. We expected to be on the bus all the way there but at Bago, about 45 minutes from base camp, we were loaded onto the back of a flatbed pickup. Very cool.

We just sat back, pulled out the sleeping bag, and chatted with the locals!

Kinpun is base camp for the Golden Rock and has a great feel about it. We are amongst hundreds of pilgrims planning to take the trip up. Many stay overnight at the rock but being foreigners we aren't allowed - hotels need to register us with the government every night...
 
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jojo90
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#88
Day 59 : Kinpun & Kyaiktiyo : Golden Rock


Day 59 : Kinpun & Kyaiktiyo : Golden Rock by -_Jo Gray-



Day 59 : Kinpun & Kyaiktiyo : Golden Rock by -_Jo Gray-



Day 59 : Kinpun & Kyaiktiyo : Golden Rock by -_Jo Gray-



Day 59 : Kinpun & Kyaiktiyo : Golden Rock by -_Jo Gray-



Day 59 : Kinpun & Kyaiktiyo : Golden Rock by -_Jo Gray-


Today we decided to take a trip up to see the sacred Golden Rock of Kyaiktiyo. Many Burmese make a yearly pilgrimage to this sacred site. Often they are priced out do the hotels so will head up in the evening, sleep there for the night, then head back there the next day. The rock itself is impossibly perched on the edge of a cliff. The Burmese believe that it is held in place with a single strand of Buddha's hair.


The journey up and down is an experience in itself. You head towards the pickup location which is utter chaos. After finally managing to get a seat you are packed into a tiny open back pickup truck which is overloaded with people. We were almost sitting on top of each other! It certainly isn't for foreigner proportions.


Think of the worst roller coaster ride you've ever been on, quadruple that, and remove all safety gear. Now you're getting close to what the trip up and down is like...


It's all worth it when you reach the top. There is a cool vibe about the place and it's very photogenic. We bought some bells and locked them at the top (which our names inscribed) for good luck. It's just about possible to see the sunset (guidebooks would have you believe otherwise). The last pickup is 6pm so if you run you can make the trip from the rock in about 15 minutes. We were last on the bus but we'll worth the run!
 
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jojo90
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#89
Day 60 : Myanmar (Burma) : Mawlamyine (Moulmein)


Day 60 : Myanmar (Burma) : Mawlamyine (Moulmein) by -_Jo Gray-



Day 60 : Myanmar (Burma) : Mawlamyine (Moulmein) by -_Jo Gray-


Rudyard Kipling spent 3 days here & George Orwell spent some time in the town as a policeman. It's an attractive town with a charm of its own. There are plenty of monks, temples, and stupas to keep photographers happy.

We arrived in the evening, rented a motorbike, and followed the locals. Seemed they were all heading to the seafront for some BBQ. Just what we needed after a long day!
 
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jojo90
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#90
Day 61 : Myanmar (Burma) : Mawlamyine (Moulmein)


Day 61 : Myanmar (Burma) : Mawlamyine (Moulmein) by -_Jo Gray-



Day 61 : Myanmar (Burma) : Mawlamyine (Moulmein) by -_Jo Gray-



Day 61 : Myanmar (Burma) : Mawlamyine (Moulmein) by -_Jo Gray-



Day 61 : Myanmar (Burma) : Mawlamyine (Moulmein) by -_Jo Gray-



Day 61 : Myanmar (Burma) : Mawlamyine (Moulmein) by -_Jo Gray-


Continued our tour today around Mawlamyine. Most of the sights are a short motorbike ride around town so we carried on with the rented bike. This is a typically tropical town that feels 40 years behind the rest of the world. No big shopping malls, burger joints, and polite people. This is a lovely place to be!
 
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jojo90
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#91
Day 62 : Myanmar (Burma) : Mawlamyine to Hpa-An : Taking the slow boat


Day 62 : Myanmar (Burma) : Mawlamyine to Hpa-An : Taking the slow boat by -_Jo Gray-



Day 62 : Myanmar (Burma) : Mawlamyine to Hpa-An : Taking the slow boat by -_Jo Gray-



Day 62 : Myanmar (Burma) : Mawlamyine to Hpa-An : Taking the slow boat by -_Jo Gray-



Day 62 : Myanmar (Burma) : Mawlamyine to Hpa-An : Taking the slow boat by -_Jo Gray-


We heard he famed government boat to Hpa-An had stopped working a few months ago, so we set out the day before for someone who could pilot us up the river. We got a group together and left the next day.

The ride to Hpa-An is defiantly worth the effort, it's completely non touristy and very relaxing. Kids wave at you on the way and you get to see the real Burma.

As a last minute addition a guy from France joined the party, he had checked overland from Paris... 21 months in the saddle... Ouch!
 
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