Read the first part on Yangon here
When I arrived to Yangon I was planning to do the usual golden triangle (Yangon-Inle Lake-Bagan) and maybe squeeze in Mandalay but I’m never too strict when it comes to planning so I ended up going south. I didn’t know much about it, especially because in the past it was much more difficult to travel to these remote towns and villages but it was well worth a visit.Luckily, the bus ride from Yangon to Hpa An was quite relaxing and comfortable…
We arrived in time to cross the river and climb a little mountain to see the sunset
The view from the top was amazing
People down below were getting ready for the night. Children running home, smoke flying from the chimneys…
It was time to go back to our hotel.
The best way to get around is by motorbike or tuktuk so the next day we hired a driver
Before we could get to the cave temples we needed petrol
It had a huge entrance but as we progressed it got smaller and darker. In the end we could hardly see anything
When we got to the cave’s other end we found the boats that took us back to the main entrance
We didn’t climb Mount Zwegabin but we saw it from the Lonebini garden.
There are 1122 buddha statues in the garden.
Our next stop was Kyauk Kalap
People are extremelly friendly in the South and very happy to see foreigners
The next cave was Kaw Goon with beautiful carvings and statues
We were in a hurry to reach our final stop before 5.
Our last stop was the famous Bat cave. We were told that the bats would leave at 5 but they were almost an hour late. It was smelly and loud but was definitely interesting to see the thousands/millions? of bats leavingthe cave at the same time.
The next day, it was time to leave Hpa An and catch a boat to Mawlamyine. Before we left the guest house we had some time to walk around the local market then we went to the river to find our “ship”. It was more like a boat with extremelly uncomfortable plastic chairs but luckily the boat trip was interesting enough to take away my thought from my soar back part.
The market was hot, smelly, colourful and exciting
They squeezed in a lot of plastic chairs and thThe boat ride to Mawlamyine was not the most comfortable but it it was worth the suffering. The children who lived along the river were very excited to see us, too.
Some of them tried to catch our boat.
After an exciting but tiring boatride we celebrated with a few beers and a very delicious dinner.
We had to get drunk to be able to fall asleap in our “prison” hotel. My head and feet were touching the walls and the bed was hard as a rock. I didn’t dare use the blanket but luckily I bought a longyi that was big enough to cover myself
In Mawlamyine, we had to visit the giant reclining Buddha. It’s 180 meters long and there’s a weird exhibition inside with creepy wax figures.
And they are building the next one opposite to the first one.
Our last stop was a hindu temple
We managed to survive another night in the prison hotel and caught the bus to Inle Lake the next morning.
Third and final part with pictures from Inle Lake and Bagan is coming soon 🙂