August 2014 photo report

Lode

Active Member
Aug 1, 2012
37
2
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This is the route i took :

August 7 Arrive Mandalay - to Pyin Oo Lwin
August 8 Pyin Oo Lwin to Naungshwe along 41/43

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August 9 Pindaya - Kalaw - Naungshwe

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These teenagers fixed my puncture in no time

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August 10 Inle Lake - Naungshwe

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August 11 Taunggi - Red Mountain estate - Naungshwe

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August 12 Naungshwe to Meiktila

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August 13 Meiktila - mount Popa - NyaungOo

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August 14 Bagan - NyaungOo

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August 15 Bagan - NyaungOo

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August 16 NyaungOo - Monywa

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August 17 Monywa - Mandalay

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August 18 Mandalay
August 19 Mandalay -Mingun - Mandalay

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August 20 Mandalay

i rented a bike from Zach at http://www.mandalaymotorbike.com, who also arranged a myanmar driving permit for selfdrive - a service that has now been suspended according to his website.

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Lode

Active Member
Aug 1, 2012
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One of the highlights of this trip was road 41/43 that goes south from the Maymyo-Lashio road to Shenyaung near Inle Lake right across Shan area. This road was officially not open to foreign travellers but I decided to give it a go anyway. I wasn't checked once but got a lot of surprising looks from villagers on the way. A truly great road, with long offroad stretches and beautiful scenery.
 

Lode

Active Member
Aug 1, 2012
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Goran Phuket;304778 wrote: Well done, love Burma!
I agree. Wonderful country, most friendly and welcoming people. And though tourism has grown (a little) since my last visit in 1999 it is still very much unspoilt and there's plenty yet to discover. In fact this country has so much to offer : historical sites, minorities, a thriving Buddhist practice, national parks, himalaya in the north and coral reefs in the south. Not much happening after 9pm though... But the cultural mix is great : in Taunggy e.g. there was a mosque, both catholic and protestant church, theravada Buddhist temple, chinese mahayanabuddhist temple and Sikh temple all within walking distance. Superb.
 

phuketrichard

Ol'Timer
Dec 23, 2007
70
18
8
great ride.
we just missed each other as i was up in Mandalay in July 2014, rented bikes from Zach but headed to Hsipaw and Mogok
than boat from Mandalay to Bagan and train back

http://phuket.zenfolio.com/p542381057

I just came back friday night from a trip up north to Myitkyina an than took the boat down to Mandalay. Fantastic area,
saw 3 other tourists in 7 days only.
 

Lode

Active Member
Aug 1, 2012
37
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phuketrichard;304848 wrote: great ride.
I just came back friday night from a trip up north to Myitkyina an than took the boat down to Mandalay. Fantastic area,
saw 3 other tourists in 7 days only.
Thanks. Yes, I remember Zach talking about your adventure in Shan country. I'm curious to see your pictures and report on the trip to Myitkina ! Sounds exciting.
 

brucegsrider

Ol'Timer
Jan 9, 2010
48
0
6
I just came back from a few days in Yangon.

Their Songkran is incredibly "full on", much more intense than Thailand from what I've seen.

They clearly have not had a lot of interaction with foreigners. A good thing.
 

blackwolf

Active Member
Mar 7, 2014
41
0
8
Lode;304767 wrote: One of the highlights of this trip was road 41/43 that goes south from the Maymyo-Lashio road to Shenyaung near Inle Lake right across Shan area. This road was officially not open to foreign travellers but I decided to give it a go anyway. I wasn't checked once but got a lot of surprising looks from villagers on the way. A truly great road, with long offroad stretches and beautiful scenery.
I have heard this too, but in late June/early July this is exactly the road I want to go on for my trip by car from Thailand (I'm going on an official tour, with guide and all). I've talked to Diethelm Travel and apart from some comments about how the road is in bad condition, no word yet that it isn't officially "allowed", although a permit could be organised in case it isn't. I'm assuming route 43 is OK though because Lawksawk has some minor tourist attractions, besides Pindaya is considered to be a major trekking/hill station I thought?
 

Lode

Active Member
Aug 1, 2012
37
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Blackwolf,

the triangle Lawksawk-Pindaya-Kalaw-Schwenyaung should pose no problem by car and is open to foreign travel. However the road from Nawnghkio to Lawksawk (41) has some pretty nasty offroad stretches which are - during raining season - in my opinion not feasable by normal car, a 4x4 pickup or jeep might manage to get through if you've got an experienced driver.
 

blackwolf

Active Member
Mar 7, 2014
41
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8
Lode;305121 wrote: Blackwolf,

the triangle Lawksawk-Pindaya-Kalaw-Schwenyaung should pose no problem by car and is open to foreign travel. However the road from Nawnghkio to Lawksawk (41) has some pretty nasty offroad stretches which are - during raining season - in my opinion not feasable by normal car, a 4x4 pickup or jeep might manage to get through if you've got an experienced driver.
I've got a 4x4 so that's why I thought Naungkhio to Lawksawk should be OK. I'm a consultant in agricultural machinery. Heard there were some coffee plantations of interest in Lawksawk but probably more in nearby Ywangan, which is on route 411 and much closer to Mandalay. Therefore if I do travel along route 41 from Naungkhio to Lawksawk, I don't expect to see much except some nice scenery and some possibly bad roads. It's simply intended as a short-cut rather than re-routing via Mandalay. Unless the roads are so bad that it might be quicker that way. Do you have any pictures of road 41?

BTW thanks a lot for your quick response. Was very useful!
 

blackwolf

Active Member
Mar 7, 2014
41
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8
Lode;305121 wrote: Blackwolf,

the triangle Lawksawk-Pindaya-Kalaw-Schwenyaung should pose no problem by car and is open to foreign travel. However the road from Nawnghkio to Lawksawk (41) has some pretty nasty offroad stretches which are - during raining season - in my opinion not feasable by normal car, a 4x4 pickup or jeep might manage to get through if you've got an experienced driver.
Thanks very much for your prompt reply. It's very useful!

Anyway, I indeed have a 4x4 and am quite experienced with twisting, winding roads, including gravel and mud roads requiring 4x4 having driven extensively in Laos. As an agricultural consultant in the machinery business, I'm quite interested in Lawksawk since I heard there were some coffee plantations there, though probably not much compared to Pyin Oo Lwin, where I'm also heading and have previous contacts. If Lawksawk isn't worth going to, nearby Ywangan, which is located on route 411 and much closer to Mandalay reportedly has much larger plantations. I'm assuming there's nothing along the Naungkhio-Lawksawk road along route 41, so would simply use this as a faster way of getting to my places of interest. If the road is so bad that it would be faster to go via Mandalay, then I'd do that though.

Do you have any pictures of route 41?
 

Lode

Active Member
Aug 1, 2012
37
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The first 4 pictures are taken along this road. The roughest section is between Taung Hkam and Loi Lum. You might want to check local conditions once you're in Myanmar, because if you get stuck at this point, there is no alternative but to backtrack all the way to Mandalay and then down towards Inle.