Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Myanmar Motorcycle Journey 6 - Pinlaung

Christmas 2015 was rare in that it landed on a full moon. Well, at least that's what I thought as I stared into the clear skies of the Shan Hills. Sure looked like a fool moon. I imagine it's hard to pinpoint exactly which day the full moon falls. I mean, at the moment, it's one day here, but on the other side of the planet, it's still yesterday. There's probably some council of astronomers somewhere who make this decision.

The term "towel head" is a racial slur, but not against these
Shan women who literally wear towels on their heads.
So, actually, the full moon was on the 26th. As full moons are always holidays in Theraveda Buddhism, and the one for this month particularly so, I saw lots of celebrations and ceremonies on the roads of Myanmar as I made my way from Inle Lake to Pinlaung.

At the end of the video for Part 5 of this series, I ended it by showing a remarkable procession playing haunting, mystical music. What was the procession for? You'll see in the video.
The best reason to visit Pinlaung is to go up to Loi Maung Taung Pagoda. The view from up there, wow, even the locals who go there every day to pray are amazed by the vistas. 
Local kids are just as impressed as anyone

Near the top, the road becomes bad, but it so worth it. 

Another thing I did in Pinlaung is gather information. See, one of the scary parts about going there is that there was absolutely no tourist information about the place online whatsoever. No page in any travel guide. No reviews of any sort. My friend had told me there was a hotel, and as you saw, I found it just fine. One thing I am going to do now, however, is to create a Wikitravel (the travelers version of Wikipedia) page for the place. I found out about buses, trips up to the pagodas, I can review two restaurants there and as you'll see late in the video, I stopped at the other hotel in town to inquire about rates. I think of it as doing my good deed for the internet. 

Enjoy the video (have you noticed a theme in regards to the music?)



  1. Joko.. You should sell that one photo to National Geographic.. The one with the locals looking down from the mountain upon the vista views.. Amazing photo.

    1. This message, by the way, is from John, Seattle.


Discovering Northwest Myanmar 16: Kataung to Mandalay

I call them "Burmese Doughnuts". They've got another name, but essentially, it's fried bread. The three-week adventur...