Thursday, November 22, 2018

Myawaddy Final - New Built Old

So on my last full day of my week off, up in the town of Taungoo, I wasn't quite sure what to do. 

I had seen on the Google Earth images of stuff that Google Maps didn't show. Namely, the amazing lake at Pakaung. I saw that. Similarly, there was a golf course in the military extension of Taungoo, a few miles north. 

Knowing how protective the military is here of their facilities, I didn't even attempt to go there. Instead, it was off into the countryside east of Taungoo to  visit a couple of remarkable pagodas.  

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Myawaddy 6: Kabaung Lake

The mystery behind the secret lake has been solved. It exists. It is not in some secret military zone. It is a jewel of blue in the otherwise brown and arid Bago Hills. It has a name - Lake Kabaung. How did this place come to my interest? Jimmy Grant noticed it first.

Here's what the start of the road from Taungoo to Pyay (a road I've traversed before) looks like on Google maps. Not much detail, befitting the rural, featureless road that it is.

Look now at the same are on Google Earth


Wow. What is up with this extensive lake that otherwise isn't recognized? This isn't the first lake I've encountered heree in Myanmar that doesn't exist in  Google Maps.  There be a communication breakdown somewhere along the line. See, it's not that Kabaung Lake is secret or restricted or anything.
Sure, there was a gate, but I could have gone through the village and avoided it.  Kabaung is completely unspoiled. It's a nugget of Yoma Hills that is beautiful, but entirely unvisited. 

This beautiful mountain lake is but a mere 100 miles from Yangon - a few hours by car. Might this be the undeveloped place I build my retirement job of expat guesthouse owner? I may be the first to have made a video of the place. Music by Matisyahu.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Myawaddy 5 - Taungoo the Fifth!

I said goodbye to my girlfriend, got on a late night train and ended up in Taungoo. What is it about Taungoo? This was my fifth time visiting this small city, by far the most frequent visitation spot outside Yangon.

Well, on this instance, my purpose was clear: I wanted to visit my motorbike. As much as I enjoyed Myawaddy, I was frustrated by having to rely on taxis and such. I wanted to go where MY Kenbo 125 was located. I say my, but I’ve somewhat sold it to Barbara, a fellow teacher in Yangon who makes a couple visits a month to Taungoo, 175 km north of Yangon, as a volunteer English teacher to students at the Taungoo Education College. I’ve agreed to sell it to her, but we’ve never agreed on a price or anything, so it’s still mine. 

Again, this was my FIFTH time in Taungoo, but the first time I’d be spending more than one night there. This meant I could dig into themes I hadn’t before. Namely, I wanted to see the walls of ancient Taungoo. See, for a while, from about 1700 to 1780, Taungoo was the Rome of Southeast Asia. The  biggest of many Burmese empires over the centuries was the Taungoo Empire, reigning over all of Thailand and parts of India, Malaysia and Laos, and Taungoo was the capital. This little getaway from Yangon had an old history… 

Along with the old city walls, I also wanted to look for a new lake up in the Bago Hills. This lake is not on Google Maps, but it is on Google Earth… I wanted to go find it. Gosh… I found it. But the lake deserves its own blog and video…   

Monday, November 5, 2018

"I'm giving you head," she said whilst repeatedly headbutting me in the forehead. This was her idea of a response to my infrequent requests for head. Oh.


I mentioned a few blogs ago about how Nicki makes me feel young again. It's not just in who she is or her age or anything, it's about the playfulness. Even though I'm occasionally annoyed by it, on the whole, I really enjoy our play...

Enjoy Part 4 of the Myawaddy trip. 


I thought I was going to retire there. I was the senior staff member. I'd been there longer than anyone. It. Is. Not. Fair.  But on the ...