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Old 01-06-2013, 03:20 PM   #31
Nemanja
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Good Luck! Have a great adventure!!
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:15 AM   #32
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The riders here in Myanmar are all Jealous of what you guys were able to accomplish.
The police escort seems like a bitch to deal with but since you are able to ride in the forbidden zones of Bagan and Yangon, the escort is worth it. If you stay out of Bagan, NyaungShwe(inle), Yangon and ride a bike registered in Myanmar you can cover a lot of ground here by yourself without an escort.

Thankfully you don't need crisp new USD banknotes anymore. crappy Euro, USD and SGD are all exchangeable since October


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Old 01-09-2013, 08:09 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Nemanja View Post
Good Luck! Have a great adventure!!
Thanks
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:18 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by zachb View Post
The riders here in Myanmar are all Jealous of what you guys were able to accomplish.
The police escort seems like a bitch to deal with but since you are able to ride in the forbidden zones of Bagan and Yangon, the escort is worth it. If you stay out of Bagan, NyaungShwe(inle), Yangon and ride a bike registered in Myanmar you can cover a lot of ground here by yourself without an escort.

Thankfully you don't need crisp new USD banknotes anymore. crappy Euro, USD and SGD are all exchangeable since October


.
Zachb, Thanks we have covered Pa'an and Kyaikhto We are now in Naypydaw. I have not had the time to do the reports as we have been arriving at our locations after 7 pm.

By the way we are not allowed to ride in Yangon. We have to load it onto a lorry and bring it in to the hotel and then bring it out again.

The people here are wonderful.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:52 PM   #35
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Why would you not be allowed to ride in certain areas but could still travel there ?
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:58 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by KHVol View Post
Why would you not be allowed to ride in certain areas but could still travel there ?
We were told that some areas are not safe for tourists and so they don't allow us to go into these areas.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:02 AM   #37
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I have not been able to upload pictures ever since we entered Myanmar due to the slow network and I have been holding back the reports because of this. Looks like I won't be able to do it till I cross over to Thailand again. So i will post the reports first and then post the pictures when I get a better connection.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:03 AM   #38
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Mon 7 Jan 2013

Everyone's excited. All were having breakfast at 630 instead of the scheduled 7 am.





Even the hotel staff were excited and wanted to take a picture with our bikes so that they can display it at their lobby.




We set off at 745. The Thai border area was crowded with people, mostly from Myanmar. You won't feel like you are in Thailand.
At the Thai customs we encountered our first problem. They wouldn't let us go through as they were not informed of our exit through the border. Moreover they said that the Myanmar side does not allow motorbikes in.




After some persuasion they agreed to let us in if the guide from Myanmar comes over with the approval papers. Eric contacted the guide and he agreed. Everyone cheered up again. The guide arrived with the necessary papers and the customs guy went through our bike documentation. Then came the second problem. The customs guy at the Sadao immigration did not update the chassis number of Uncle David's new bike number. Do refused to let his bike through. We were looking at our options, let Uncle David keep his bike in Thailand and follow the escort vehicle round Myanmar. We tried for
the last time by producing the log card and telling them that it was a mistake made at the Sadao end. The customs officer then talked to his counterpart at Sadao and finally allowed the bike to go through.
It was 1130. We were stuck there for 3 and a half hours. We crossed over the friendship bridge into Myanmar. The immigration officers there were waiting outside to welcome us in. He collected our passports got it stamped and handed it back to us. He requested to take some pictures with us too. So after some picture taking we were escorted into Myanmar.






The roads were not as bad as I expected it to be. After about a10 km in the road transformed into a sort of dirt track going up and down the hills. It was also congested with buses and lorries. With my bike I had a really hard time maneuvering it through these difficult conditions.











Some of the dropped their bikes as it was sometimes difficult to balance yourself when you stop as the surface was not level. That I managed to go through without dropping it was a surprise for me too. The 50 km of dirt road gradually took its toll on me. I was sort of dehydrated and didn't have any water with me. We have been riding for a few hours, I could not tell as I was too exhausted. We didn't have any lunch either. That didn't help and aggravated my condition further. Finally I saw some of my buddies at a road side stall. They were getting the bikes washed down from the dust. I put my head under the running water and let it cool down. It was so refreshing. But I was still feeling weak, drank a lot of water but it didn't seem to help. Finally the lady in the shop offered me a drink that was similar to Red Bull. I had that and lay down for a while. That helped a lot. We were told that the restaurant was only a few km away. So we continued and stopped to have our lunch.




It was almost 4 pm if I wasn't mistaken.The remaining 100 km were rough but manageable. There were intermittent good roads every now and then. It was dark and we were still riding. We lit up the whole villages a we passed by them as there didn't be electricity around those areas. We finally reached our hotel, The Grand Hill Hotel at Pa'an. It was a very small hotel with small rooms.






After a quick shower we were ready for dinner. Dinner was in the garden.




We had dinner and talked about the days events. Everyone was tired and decided to hit the bed.

gshajisg screwed with this post 01-23-2013 at 07:50 AM
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:07 AM   #39
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Tue 8 Jan 2013
Breakfast was at the garden again.







Sunrise view from the front of the hotel.

At 830 we were ready to move off to Khayito. About 20 km down the road I got a puncture and Loh stayed back to help me out. A small piece of blade was the culprit. We continued with the ride and caught up with the rest who were waiting for us at the petrol station further up. Our first stop was at a temple where Eric knew the monk.



We had our lunch there and some even had time for a power nap.











Then we proceeded to an orphanage where some donations were made. The orphanage had 300 children.









The monk there also blessed our bikes.

After our visit to the orphanage we continued to our final destination. It was close to sundown when we got there. Private transport was not allowed up the mountain. So we had to park our bikes below and take the lorry that transported people up.



The lorries fell into 2 categories, one that goes all the way up while the other one will only go to the base. From the base its a 45 min steep climb up to the top. We were told that only 5 from a group were allowed to go up the lorry that goes to the top.





The remaining 6 of us took the lorry that went to the base. It was a grueling 45 minute climb to the top. We had to stop at almost every 2 corners to rest and catch our breath. By the time we got up there my legs were killing me.



Some of the stuff sold along the way up.

We stayed at the Kyaik Hto Hotel. Its a very basic no frills hotel.






After dinner and shower a few of them congregated in our room for a chit chat till 12 midnight.

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Old 01-12-2013, 11:08 AM   #40
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Wed 9 Jan 2013.
Got up at 530 am as I was too tired to go and visit the golden rock yesterday.
Our hotel was located just a minute's walk from the entrance. The rock was an awesome sight. Ladies were not allowed onto the main rock on which the golden rock stood. They had to do their prayers
from the platform in front of it. The place was crowded with devotees.


















I quickly had my breakfast and at 830 am all were ready to move down.





This is the wood that they grind into a paste and then apply it on their face. We were told that it helps protect them from the sun.



The guide somehow managed to arrange for all of us to go down by lorry from the top. That was a good thing because my leg was aching real bad because of yesterday's climb. We also managed to catch a wedding ceremony while waiting for the lorry.









There was an oil leak from Loh's bike's final drive. A check revealed that there was no more oil in the final drive. As we couldn't change the oil seal at this point, oil was topped up.




We moved off for our next destination Naypydaw. Along the way we stopped for lunch. I liked the names they had for the food.







We stopped for dinner at Naypydaw before proceeding to the hotel.






Coming into Naypydaw was an eye opener. It was a starling contrast to the villages that we passed by. It was spacious and filled with large modern buildings. The buildings were all lighted up as though it was Christmas.
We stayed at the Myat Taw Win Hotel. It was spread out in a large compound. We got the junior suite and when Cherie saw her room she commented on whats app to the group "guys the room is seriously bigger than my entire house.UNREAL!!"








After washing up the guys got together for the usual chit chat while I prepared the report and tried to upload some pictures. But it was so difficult to upload them that I gave up and went to bed.

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Old 01-12-2013, 11:10 AM   #41
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Thur 10 Jan 2013.
After a quick breakfast and topping up of gear oil for Loh's bike, we headed out for Mandalay at 1030 am.






We stopped by at one of the Pagoda's for a group picture.



The road to Mandalay was one of the best that we have had till now. But we had to take many breaks as Cherie was having a bad bout of diarrhea. But she braved it and managed to complete the whole journey. We stopped for lunch at one of the towns. The ride being approved by the ministry had its benefits. The police stopped the traffic for us to pass through. I think we are privileged to have this benefit, as when the country opens more, it would become like riding into Cambodia and Laos.








After lunch and a rest we continued with our ride. For the first time since entering Myanmar,
we managed to reach our destination before dark. Mandalay, unlike Naypydaw was a bustling city. We were told that its the second largest city after Yangon.
As there were not enough rooms available, we stayed at 2 different hotels, Hotel Mandalay Hotel and the others at City Mandalay Hotel.
After shower we headed out for dinner and then ended up in one of the rooms for our daily "gossip".






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Old 01-12-2013, 11:11 AM   #42
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Fri 11 Jan 2013
Today was our rest day and a guided tour was arranged for us. We had a mini bus to bring us around. So after breakfast, we visited a couple of temples and the Mandalay Royal Palace.



























By then it was time for lunch. We had lunch at Myanmar Cuisine for our lunch.






We continued our tour with a visit to another temple and to the top of the Mandalay hill from which we could get a good view of the whole Mandalay city. On the way back we stopped for some photography and visited the china town in Mandalay.











While on the way to dinner our guide informed us that the news about our ride came out in the local newspaper "News Watch".



We ended the tour with a dinner at the Golden Duck. The dinner was so yummy.




Back at the hotel, we topped up oil for the final drive of Loh's bike and after our usual chit chat we called it a day.


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Old 01-12-2013, 11:16 AM   #43
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Sat 12 Jan 2013.
We had an early breakfast and were ready to go by 830 am.








We weaved our way out of the city to our next destination, Bagan. My rear tire pressure was low. I monitored it for a while. It wasn't going down so I continued with the journey. We didn't use the main road. We took a slightly longer scenic route and stopped for a very long lunch around 1 pm.









Our next stretch brought us into Bagan and the place was filled with pagodas. It was an awesome sight. We checked into the Bagan Thande Hotel. Its a very nice hotel set on the river banks and chalet type of accommodation. Then it was free and easy till dinner.












For dinner we were brought to Nanda restaurant. It was a tourist place and had a puppet show. After dinner it was our chit chat session as usual.










We will be staying in Bagan for one more day to do for some site seeing.

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Old 01-12-2013, 10:07 PM   #44
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So, even with the police escort you still can't ride in Yangon.....too bad. I always tell people that despite the off limits areas for foreigners on motorbikes there are enough places where we are allowed to ride to keep us busy.

Looks like I missed you guys when you were here in Mandalay. I would have loved to have met you.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:08 AM   #45
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So, even with the police escort you still can't ride in Yangon.....too bad. I always tell people that despite the off limits areas for foreigners on motorbikes there are enough places where we are allowed to ride to keep us busy.

Looks like I missed you guys when you were here in Mandalay. I would have loved to have met you.
The roads are much better than I thought except for the one from Mae Sot to Pa'an. Great for riding. If I had posted my reports on time maybe we could have met. I was so preoccupied with uploading the pictures that I delayed my reports. Sorry about that.
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