Last  year (december 2015) we visited Bagan. 

Bagan (Pagan) is a relatively small steppe area with uncountable Buddhist stupa’s and temples somewhere along the Irrawaddy River in middle Myanmar. During a time in history it was the centre of power of the ancient Pagan Empire that ruled Myanmar. These days it is the prime tourist attraction in a country that is slowly opening up its doors to the outside world. Although the tourists are taking over Bagan there are many places on the plains to solely wander around. If you don’t go to the standerd lookout points at sunrise and sunset you might find your own private lookout spot! We took the overnight bus from Yangon and stayed for a few days in the area before going on to Mandalay.

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…. On two rented Yamaha Lanza 230cc we set out for a trip through Myanmar along the historical Burma- and Stilwell Road. This is the fourth blog about this trip. Click to see the introduction and part one and two.

On the way to Inle

The first part to Inle Lake was going back the same way as we had come. Until that point the bikes had done well. Only the daily checking and if necessary topping up the two takt oil was enough to keep them going. Driving back the Burma Road the opposite direction, away from China, shit hit the van.

I used to hate having motorbike problems, but gradually I don’t mind that much anymore. A sequence of motorbike failures in all kind of corners of this planet over the past years have proven that problems are not that horrific as I used to think. A defect will not be the end of your trip. Its maybe even quite the opposite, motorbike problems is where the unplanned and strange situations start, thus a vital part of fun and adventure driving a motorbike in these countries.

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…. On two rented Yamaha Lanza we set out for a trip through Myanmar along the historical Burma- and Stilwell Road. This is the third blog about this trip. Click to see the introduction and part one.

China in sight

Lashio is a large city and a bustling market town 150 kilometers from the border with China. The town also marks the end of the Mandalay – Lashio Railroad. Historically, goods and material came in by railroad and were loaded on trucks to be transported over the Burma Road to besieged China (the first blog contains more background information on the Burma Road). There remain little signs of that time due to a major fire that ravaged Lashio in 1988. What stands out today is the Chinese presence in Lashio. Shops and hotels advertise with Chinese signs and the markets are loaded with cheap Chinese goods. A road born to supply China, seems now used the other way around. I find myself a 2 Euro sweater in preparation of the unexpected cold.

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…. On two rented Yamaha Lanza’s we set out for a trip through Myanmar along the historical Burma- and Stilwell Road. This is the first blog about this trip. To see the introduction, click here.

Pyin Oo Lwin

Leaving Mandalay and the great Irrawaddy plains behind us, the road started winding up the limestone plateau that extends all the way far into central China. The dust slowly starts to make way for some fresher mountain air. The road to Pyin Oo Lwin is excellent and large parts have separated driving lanes. All together a fine stretch to get use to the distinct sitting postion on these dirt-bikes, the roads and how Myanmarese people use them. Our first stop is hill town Pyin Oo Lwin, about 45 kilometer from Mandalay and the former summer capital of the British administration during colonial rule in Burma (former Myanmar).

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‘The Burma Road runs from Yunnan [China, red.] into Burma; it was built during World War II to bring supplies to beleaguered China, to help them resist the Japanese invasion. Not much of the original road survives today, but parts of the route can still be travelled.’ Source: Wikivoyage.

From Mandalay, on two Yamaha Lanza’s, we set out along the historical Burma and Stilwell Road. An amazing journey through Myanmar’s history and culture, along winding roads and dusty paths, with beautiful and not so beautiful (Myanmarese army) encounters, but fore most a complete motorbike adventure.

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This is part 2 of Exploring the archipelago from Myeik (view Part 1 here)

Since recently the government allows day trips to the Myeik Archipelago. This opens up a whole new part of the vast islands formation in the Andaman Sea off the coast of southern Myanmar. We sailed around the ‘undiscovered’ northern part of the archipelago for a week. In the previous blog you could read about our first trip to the Islands. This blog is about our second visit, a trip to the outer northern.

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Since recently the government allows day trips to the Myeik Archipelago. This opens up a whole new part of the vast islands formation in the Andaman Sea off the coast of southern Myanmar. We visited three islands during our week stay in Myeik.

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Myeik has a great food scene, different from anything we’ve experience in Myanmar. Be prepared to have a second breakfast, a second lunch and a second dinner.

When it come to food, Myanmar has a bad reputation. Unlike neighboring Thailand, where a wide variety of delicious food is to be found at any place at any time, this is not the case in Myanmar. However, we found great food everywhere in Myanmar.

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