Suitcase and World: March 2016

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Last Moments in Bangkok. Khlong Lat Mayom Market.

It was a sad start to our day as we had to say goodbye to Ayşe in the wee hours of early morning.  By the time the sun rose, she was already on the plane bound for home.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Farewell Dinner in Bangkok. Yaowarat Road.

Yaowarat Road.

We arrived back into Bangkok earlier this afternoon. We're just here on an overnight layover as we're all flying back home to the US tomorrow. So sad that our trip is coming to and end - we've had a wonderful time!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Kanbawzathadi Palace and Kyaikpun Pagoda.

The Great Audience Hall inside Kanbawzathadi Palace.

Before arriving back into Yangon, we stopped in the city of Bago to see two sights - the Kanbawzathadi Palace and Kyaikpun Pagoda. We went to visit the palace first.

Weird And a Bit Creepy. The Snake Pagoda.

While Kawgun Cave was the highlight of my trip to Myanmar, this place was one of the low lights.  I was not looking forward to the visit but off the beaten path sightseeing in Myanmar continued!

A Hidden Gem. Kawgun Cave.

Of all the places I've been to in Myanmar, on this trip, Kawgun Cave was my hands down favorite. This is truly a gem of a temple. It's not on the usual tourist path so we were the only non-locals here which made for a very enjoyable experience - we could easily walk around and take photos without a million people messing up the view was quiet which lets you get lost in your own head space.  Above all, the place is visually stunning. 

A Giant Reclining Buddha and Kyauk Kalat Pagoda.

 Kyauk Kalat Pagoda.

Today was our roadtrip back to Yangon and all along the way, Spring took us to see sights. It was a full day and we were exhausted by the time we arrived back into Yangon!

March of the Monks.

Leaving Mawlamyine this morning, we drove by a procession of monks.  We had the driver do a U-turn and stop the car well ahead of the first monk.  We quickly scrambled out of the car and waited for the line of monks to approach us.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Kyaik-than-lan Pagoda & Mahamuni Paya.

Kyaik-than-lan Pagoda.

Kyaik-than-lan Pagoda  was erected in 875 A.D. during the reign of King Mutpi Raja.  *Kyaik* means "stupa" in the Mon  language.  The pagoda stands on a ridge, giving a panoramic view of the city and the Thanlwin River and is surrounded by 34 smaller temples.  It is believed that among its sacred treasures is a hair relic of Buddha well as a tooth relic conveyed from Sri Lanka by a delegation of monks.  Tripitaka manuscripts and gold images of the Buddha are also enshrined here.

To Mawlamyine!

At Uzina Pagoda in Mawlamyine.

Today, we left Yangon for Mawlamyine ("Maw-lay-me-yang"). We checked out of the hotel and took our suitcases downstairs where our driver was already waiting for us. But, Spring was nowhere in sight. Apparently, he lives in a neighborhood very near the airport and we'll be driving past it to Mawlamyine so we'll be picking him up on the way.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Back to Shwedagon.

We ended our one and only day in Yangon the same way we started it - at Shwedagon Pagoda. I convinced the other two to take a taxi for the short ride from the hotel. Spring had told us that it was worth a return trip to see the place at night as more people come to visit after dark. Our entry ticket was good for the day.

A Day in Yangon. Part 2.

The giant reclining Buddha at Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda.

Sring was on a mission to show us as much of Yangon as he could in one day. It's exhausting rushing around in this heat but I really appreciate what he's doing. Today is our one and only day in the city so we have to make the most of it.

A Day in Yangon. Part 1.

Inside the golden stupa at Botataung Pagoda.

We spent a couple of hours this morning visiting Shwedagon Pagoda.  What an amazing place! After that, we spent the rest of today taking in the other sights of Yangon.  I hadn't done any pre-trip reading on Yangon so I had no idea what we would be seeing today.  In hindsight, there really isn't much to see in Yangon other than Shwedagon.  So for planning purposes, you really don't need more than one full day here.

The Incomparable Shwedagon Pagoda.

We arrived into Yangon yesterday afternoon. Our guide, who told us to just call him *Spring* because that's what his Burmese name translates to in English, was there to greet us.  Before taking us to our hotel, Spring took us to the office of One Stop Travels & Tours.  There was a change to our itinerary that needed to be discussed with us.