Burma 2013. Day 10. Tuesday Nov 5. Monywa to Aung Moe Junction.

Tuesday 5th November 2013 07:12

On Road Biking track by Bruce Singleton

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Day 10. Tuesday 5th November 2013 (Guy Fawkes). Cycle to Aung Moe junction. Bus to Pakkoku. Irrawaddy Cruise to Bagan. We cycled over 39 miles from Monywa to Aung Moe Junction. Cycling out of Monywa, we soon left the main road and cycled through fields of rice, sesame and peanuts giving a unique close up of rural life. We visited charming wooden villages, with beautiful people smiling and greeting us with min-gala-ba (hello). The paddy was being harvested by hand using a scythe. The harvesters were happy for us to take their photos. Sally spotted a small green snake in a tree. The landscape of paddy fields, mountains and trees was beautiful. We visited ancient buddhist temples with preserved calligraphy on the inner walls protected from the sun over the centuries. We were made very welcome by monks at the adjacent monastery built from wood and corrugated tin roofs. Our next stop was the historical Say-di-type pagodas, some dating back to the 11th Century. The brick red pagodas were topped by flaming gold with bells ringing from the wind. After stopping for tea we cycled across a long bridge over Chundwin River. After an exhilarating 39 miles cycle ride, we ate vegetable soup in a cafe at Aung Moe Junction and took the bus to Pakkoku where we took a local ferry on a 2-hour cruise down the very wide Irrawaddy River to Bagan. After a short bus ride, we checked into The Floral Breeze Hotel, then ate at a local chinese restaurant. I ate Thai-style squid and shared Myanmar beer with Simon. The meal was the most expensive I had eaten in Burma, $13 (13,000 Kyatt), but still very cheap by western standards. See photos at www.ascotphoto.co.uk (Travel | Burma 2013).