Excitement of being in a new city, a new country, had us out of bed and walking miles for our first up-close glimpse of the Schwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, the most sacred of all shrines for the local people of Myanmar. Alarms set for six and on the road by seven to beat the heat of the day, and back for breakfast by nine.
Excitement was the also the driver for our return visit in the late afternoon to watch the sun set and change the colour on the sixty tons of glistening pure gold covering the ‘bell’ of the main stupa. After nightfall, again we return to the Governor’s Residence hotel, this time for dinner outdoors under the trees in the garden.
As the sun rises, we are “In the Air to Mandalay’, and on to Heho Airport, the gateway to the Shan State. It’s a slow drive over paved but bumpy and twisting roads passing bullock carts of hay and trotting horse and carts to reach Nyaungshwe, the jetty-village for Inle Lake. At 3,000 feet, this is so much cooler than sweltering Yangon.
This short video illustrates our journey including 3-nights on the Orient-Express ‘Road to Mandalay’ river cruiser gliding down the mighty Irrawaddy River between Mandalay and Bagan, where
we see the remains of Buddhist pagodas and monasteries from the first Myanmar Kingdom of the 9th century AD scattered across a vast arid plain, positively exuding antiquity and mystery.