Thursday, February 23, 2017

Myanmar Motorcycle Epic: Part 12 - Pyin Oo Lwin

The friendly hotel security guard
My three nights in Mandalay were over. Time to get back on the road for what turned out to be a really nice ride. The road up into the hills east of the old city was wonderful. A divided highway, 6-lanes at points and very well paved. This was the kind of road that you live for when you're motorcycle touring.
The gentle curves, the wild, scenic hills and just inhabited enough that you don't have to worry about finding gasoline or a cold drink. And at 65km, it was one of the shortest legs of the journey as well.


My destination was Pyin Oo Lwin, a place as beautiful as it hard to pronounce (pi-YIN OO L'win). It's also know as Maymyo, which is much easier to say. This was yet another former capital of Burma, sort of. It's at elevation, a bit over 1000 meters (3500 ft), so the climate is cooler than the valley of Mandalay or sweltering coastal Yangon. 
The British were big fans of erecting clock towers.  They're all
still here. Only half of them work.
Maymyo was the "summer capital" of colonial Burma. I don't know the exact dates of evacuation, but "Summer" AKA the hot season, in Myanmar lasts from early March to early May. During those months, the imperial British would flee Yangon and Mandalay for this cool hill station. 


Nowadays, Pwin Oo Lwin is a popular tourist destination for both locals and foreigners alike. There's plenty of things to see and do up in Maymyo. There's a famous botanical gardens, which I missed because I ended up at the Landmark Gardens.
I've seen these types of parks in Thailand, Indonesia and now here in Myanmar. It's like a mini-Myanmar with smaller scale reproductions of the famous landmarks around the country. It just so happens that as I've now traveled extensively here, I've seen most of the original landmarks being reproduced at this park. I wasn't impressed. 

About 15 miles west of town, there's a waterfall worth visiting. The road down to the falls was pretty tough. It was one of the only times on the trip that I wished I had carried through with my original plan of replacing my little Kenbo 125 with something better. 


Enjoy the video. 


5 comments:

  1. I was surprised to see cars driving on the right side of the road, despite the British being there in the past. Another great video I enjoyed.

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    1. Funny story there. For decades, Burma drove on the left, like the British. One day in the 70's, the military dictator ruling the country at the time decided that the country was moving 'too far to the lft' politically. So, to combt this, overnight, Burms became a right hand drive country. I can imagine the chaos at the time. To this day, because most of the cars here have had the steering wheel on the wrong side, the vast majority of cars (used) imported into the country are from Japan, where the steering wheel is on the right. The wrong side for a right hand drive country.

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  2. I must admit, you make wonderful videos! Thank you. Blessings, Lynn

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Lynnie. Knowing people enjoy them helps to inspire me to make more videos.

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    2. Praise God! Hallelujah! :D Blessings...

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