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A train derailment

After the high of the viaduct crossing, and with 3 hours to go, sleep drifts in and out as the train returns to its regular speed and rocking motion. After some time, the train stops, but the pause is longer than usual, even by Myanmar standards. The view outside the window is of soil and…

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The dramatic Gokteik Viaduct

Another of Myanmar’s wonderful train journeys is the route crossing the Gokteik Viaduct between Mandalay and Lashio. As an alternative to the full 15hr trip, the course between Hsipaw and Pwin Oo Lwin is a popular option linking the two most popular cities in Upper Myanmar. Departs Hsipaw:              …

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The other ancient cities: Sagaing & Inwa

SAGAING Sagaing Hill: A long climb up along a covered stairway is rewarded with panoramic views of the countryside surrounding the Irrawaddy River. The rolling hills are crammed with hundreds of pagodas, stupas and monasteries – it clearly is one of Myanmar’s most important religious centre.                  …

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Amarapura, the ancient city

Since the fall of Bagan in the 14th century to the British colonisation of 1885, the capitals of Myanmar have rotated between the cities of Amarapura, Sagaing and Inwa (before it was transferred, for the last time, to Mandalay in 1860). The cities lie on both banks of the old Ayeyawady (Irriwadday) River, within a…

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Sightseeing in Mandalay

A Mandalay Archaelogical Zone combo ticket (10,000 kyat) is required for the following sites: Atumashi Kyaung Cultural Museum Mandalay Kuthodaw Paya Mahamuni Paya Mandalay Palace Paleik Paya Shwenandaw Kyaung Entrance to the ancient cities of nearby Amarapura and Inwa Of them all, only Mandalay Palace and Shwenandaw Kyaung checked for tickets, though they are both outstanding…

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On the road to Mandalay

All great nations have an inherent rivalry between their two largest cities – in Myanmar, it is Yangon vs. Mandalay. In the colonial capital, government and administration buildings, detiorating and decaying as they are, remain standing as architectural salutes to a provincial past. Yangon is busy and chaotic, with a lively street food and market…