Chaungtha (Chaung Thar) beach to Kawthoung (Kawthaung), Myanmar

Discussion in 'Myanmar - Road Trip Reports' started by cybercisco, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. cybercisco

    cybercisco Member

    via Yangon (suburbs), Bago, Kyaikto, Hpa-An, Mawlamyine, Ye, Dawei then go lost in some mountain roads, Palaw, Myeik, mountains roads, then Bokpyin and finally Kawthoung.

    I’ll post our full itinerary and some pix when I get some time and a descent internet connection.

    We’ve been dreaming about it for some time and honestly we didn’t think it was possible for foreigners to ride the Southern coast of Burma all the way down to Kawthoung!

    So as every one of our riding trips, to add challenge to adventure, we bought the crappiest bikes we could find. In Pathein we found 2 old Chinese 110cc motorcycles, made sure the blue and red book matched the bikes and started our ride to Chauntha and Ngwe Saung beaches.

    The main purpose of our trips is not go as fast as possible on big bikes, but rather go as slow as possible and interact as much as possible with locals and get to see as many places as possible.

    We have spent the night at locals anytime we got lost in remote places. We have had the opportunity to shoot loads of interesting pix but also a lot of footages with different cams, so I will also post day by day documentablogs vids with some useful information in them.

    One of the only issue we got with the police/immigration was in Bokpyin. We planned to stay again in some village on the way, but got lazy and thought we would rather sleep in a real warm bed again. So we stopped in Bokpyin at this hotel that accepts foreigners and few hours later the police and immigration were here to ask what we were doing here with motorbikes! They confiscated our passports and after an hour of very uninteresting conversation,
    they just left with our passports!
    I kind of expected that as we had met a Spain/German couple in Palaw who also got their passports confiscated in Kawthoung and only got them back once there were on the horrible 16 hours bus to Myeik with their bicycles tied on the bus!
    Anyhow, the next morning they came back and said that we have to go by bus. We told them that there is no way we will seat a second on a bus when we have our own motorbikes that we will resell in Kawthoung. So they proposed to put the motorbikes on the bus but then that option didn’t seem to work. In the end one guy who seemed to be the head of Bokpyin immigration just angrily said, ‘You drive to Kawthoung QUICK and don’t stop on the way, don’t go to Thailand and register at immigration when you get there! (I didn’t really understand the ‘don’t go to Thailand’ part, but we didn’t ask further questions and just drove off.
    They escorted us the first 30-40 Km until the paved road ends.I guess the fact that we have temporary Burmese driving permits helped.The weird thing is that we haven’t seen any check points on the way (We’ve heard that they do check foreigner’s passports few times when on the hell bus from Kawthoung to Myeik).We did stop few times to rest and get snack/gasoline and also took a little dip at the Maliwun waterfall then arrived at Kawthoung immigration at 6pm and they just told us that they were closing and we should come back tomorrow anytime!! Nobody seemed to care about 2 foreigners riding motorbikes in the city.

    So my tip is to stop as little as possible at registered hotels on
    the way (to avoid immigration) and take advantage to stay with local Kayans who are lovely people (as everyone in Myanmar J )
     
  2. cybercisco

    cybercisco Member

    Hola!
    Here is the approximate route we rode.
    I'll try to post some pix soon

    Cheers! [​IMG]

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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Cool thanks for coming back. I look forward to the photos for what must have been a fantastic trip.
     
  4. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Wow, Quite a Ride. Well done and I look forward to Your Full Trip details!
     
  5. cybercisco

    cybercisco Member

    As usual, far too many pictures taken... I will post a bunch for every day of the trip starting from the end (Kawthoung).
    Is there a way I can upload several pix at the same time?

    The following few pictures are from: Bokpyin to Kawthaung

    Bokpyin town, early morning: hours of arguing with police, army, immigration.
    There was no way they would let us ride to Kawthaung and they refused to give us our passports back until we would be sitting on the bus

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    After some time, came this guy wih an immigration cap (seemed like the head of Bokpyin immigration) and miracle happened. He spoke few words of English and angrily told us that we can exceptionally drive to Kawthaung, but should not stop on the way neither cross into Thailand!

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    Obviously people here hadn’t seen many foreigners around!

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    Stinky place for stinky business…

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    Not so easy to find petrol along the way. We had to buy from locals own stock and they were really curious to know what we were doing there!

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    A LOT of palm plantations from south of Hti Mei village all the way down to Kawthoung. We have talked to a local who worked in the palm oil business and he said that there is about 500,000 acres already planted!

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    Not much food available on the way, JJ was happy to get some areca nut and betel leaves :-(

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    Sad reality in Southern Myanmar. More and more forests are being destroyed to plant palm trees. There are a lot of talks to move to a sustainable palm oil model in Tanintharyi region, time will tell…

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    Yuzana seems to be one of the real evil of Myanmar. The company is being accused of having illegally seized land from farmers as well as destroying natural habitats to plant lucrative mono-crop plantations

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    Maliwun waterfall.
    The lower part of the waterfall is more like a Disneyland, but if you walk up for 10mn, you’ll reach this pretty, peaceful area.

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    The ubiquitous Bogyoke Aung San

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    Beautiful views over Kawthoung bay, savouring the last Kilometers of this amazing trip

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    Friendly muslim community in Kawthoung

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    After what happened in Bokpyin and all the promises we had to make to be allowed to ride on, we thought that the immigration in Kawthoung would wait for us and confiscate our bikes to avoid us to ride around the area. Seemed like the phone signal was not good that day as the local immigration were not even aware of us and didn’t care at all! ;-)

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    No comment :lol:

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    Most if not all scooters in Southern Burma are from Thailand (or Vietnam). We almost haven’t seen any Chinese-made scooter. We were quite worried that it would be hard to sell these 2 cheap Chinese bikes, but actually we just had time to grab a bite to eat and a drink and the 2 bikes were sold cash :thumbup:

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    These are the papers you should get if you buy a bike in Myanmar
    If I understood right, the bluebook is the owner’s book, the laminated sheet is the motorbike license card. The pink book and the paper are about premium insurance.

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  6. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Nice Photos. Fairly Remote looking Roads You were on! Palm Oil and Deforestation have been the Curse of S.E.A. Terrible to See!
     
  7. cybercisco

    cybercisco Member

    Myeik to Bokpyin

    This is one of the most exciting sign we have seen during this trip; Just before arriving to Myeik. We just could not wait to go down this Kawthoung road

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    6:24am, beautiful misty roads


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    This picture really reminds me of my trip through North Korea. Of course with different roofs and without the church! :mrgreen:

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    7:19am shower time at the village well

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    Areca nut, Burmese national food! ;-p

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    Well … Any time I saw those words on army camps I wished that they would communicate first before shooting!
    That also made me think I should consider avoiding wearing South Korean army clothes when I travel through remote places in Myanmar :silent:

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    Not sure how this wicked long rusty nail got into my tire!

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    Beautiful scenic Tanintharyi town

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    Very dusty roads

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    Rider’s hell on the left and rider’s paradise on the right :-o

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    JJ’s bike was leaking fuel, but we never expected anything like that!

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    Aung San Suu Kyi and General Aung San still very very popular in all areas we rode in Myanmar. The minorities all around Burma have definitively found their heroes

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    We spent the night in a small village on the road (Htin Mei).
    First thing as usual when staying in local villages is the traditional meeting with the chief of the village and giving of the gift. Then we ate together and watched that movie they were playing that night in the village.

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    They were showing the famous Indie TV drama ‘Buddha’ featuring Himanshu Soni. Villagers seemed to be pretty bored at watching it, so we wondered how many times a year they get to see these episodes! he he :geek1:

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    Our room for the night was in the teacher’s house. Simple wooden house with one room for women and one room for men. The beds are a mat on the floor. We do travel with our sleeping bags so it’s never really an issue to sleep anywhere.
    My last task of the day, full backup of all pix and vids.

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    Mr Zaw Aung (teacher) in a night meeting with the 2 lady teachers on the other side of the wall !

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    'Late night' 9:04pm: Teacher correcting homeworks in the “office”

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    Early morning student gathering and singing under the flag

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    Back on the road!

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    Can't imagine how many areca nuts this woman has been rolling in betel leaves to create such a huge calcium hydroxide mountain over the years !!

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    Cheap and organic means of transport!

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    Very old house with a very old poster of the beloved General

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    Exit 2014, Enter Bokpyin


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    Bokpyin town

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    Strange Bokpyin beach

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  8. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for coming back.
    You've got some great shots.

    I loved these

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    sort of gave me an impression of timelessness & remote adventure.

    Thanks again for posting. Wonderful trip - well done.
     
  9. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

    great stuff thanksyou
     
  10. phuketrichard

    phuketrichard Ol'Timer

    Fantastic report, THanks
     
  11. Ticino

    Ticino Ol'Timer

    Thoroughly enjoyed this lovely report; maybe time to switch from Laos to Burma for a change :thumbup:
     
  12. cybercisco

    cybercisco Member

    Finally had some time to work on the videos of this trip.
    The first one is available here:

    It is about the last day of this trip (22nd) from Bokpyin to Kawthoung

    Tried to keep it short but still wanted to show enough roads and landscape so viewers can get a good idea of how the rides feel there.

    Make sure to watch in HD ;-)

    Cheers!

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  13. cybercisco

    cybercisco Member

    This second video is about our rides on days 20th and 21st from Myeik to Bokpyin

    It is available here:

    Make sure to watch in HD ;-)

    Cheers!

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