Bagan by Morning

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Sunrise on a pagoda in Bagan is supposed to be as good as sunset so one morning we woke up bright and early to experience it. What we learned for this experience is that we don’t really understand sunrises. We climbed up on top of the pagoda exactly when the sun was set to rise which was about 5:30 AM. We sat there for an hour and thought it must just be a cloudy day and decided this was fun and pretty but it was time to go home because there wasn’t going to be a killer sunrise. When we got back to our hotel the sun was rising and beautiful and we had left too early, as you can see from the pictures—we need to work on our patience.

One thing we did get to see since we left early was the young monks getting their serving of rice for breakfast from the locals on Nyaung Oo road at about 7 am.

You win some you lose some!

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Our awesome hotel!

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Inle Lake – Biking Around

Part three for Inle Lake

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We had a overnight bus (standby for blog post that explains what that experience was like) pick up at 5 pm on our last day in Nyaungshwe so we almost had a full day to explore. We got up and enjoyed breakfast on our roof at Inle Star Motel and had eggs and what I called Swedish pancakes. In the research that I had done on what to do in the city I had found that there was a vineyard, yes you read that right, a vineyard in the area as well as some hot springs. So we mapped out our day and got bikes from our hotel to ride to the hot springs then make our way over to the vineyard for lunch and wine tasting—we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to bike back for our pick up. One thing that we didn’t budget for in Myanmar was any wiggle room time, we planned everything back to back to back and if any of our transportation went wrong we would miss a city.

We headed out on Inle Lake West Corridor Road, which is the main road that we took coming in that led you out and around the lake. I am not using the term main road literally but figuratively. We made it maybe a 100 feet up the road and realized this journey of 8.7 kilometers was going to be more difficult than we realized. The road was so bumpy and rocky—between getting on the side for a softer ride, trying to avoid the cars, or the oxen pulled carts it is amazing we made it at all and didn’t fall into the water that was on either side of the road. I am also shocked that none of our bikes had flat tires. We made it the 4.5 kilometers up the road and had to stop at a convenience store for water and a break. We realized holy moly if this is how the roads will be the entire time we might not be able to fit everything in that we wanted that day. What we had read had been that the round trip we were attempting to do took people about five to seven hours. We caught our breath wiped our sweat and carried on and quickly realized that the road into the city was not fully paved but the road around the lake was, which meant for a much smoother ride—aka a much happier butt. We arrived at the hot springs in about 15 minutes and that was much easier and quicker than we hoped for.

We enjoyed beers and the hot springs and made friends with fellow travelers. We heard about their travels and experiences. They told us about their over night bus experiences and it really prepped us for our very near in the future bus.

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We then took a boat from the dock on the west side of the lake where the hot springs were and cut across the lake to get to the east side which had the Red Mountain Estate Vineyard. I had read that the vineyard is up on a hill and the road leading up to it was brutal on a bike. The people were not lying. We had to get off and walk our bikes; so hot and sweaty.

The vineyard was beautiful and it was so weird/not fitting to be drinking wine in Myanmar. I had a flight which consisted of Savignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Rose, and Shiraz. I enjoyed drinking the wine on that hill but I will say it was not my most favorite wine. The vineyard is owned by a Burmese man and the winemaker is French. We had multiple flights and for lunch I enjoyed the local shan noodles. We left typsy and so happy. We had just experienced the most relaxing and amazing day. We were so proud of ourselves that we figured out how to get everywhere without a map (its not hard, not many roads or turns to get confused by) and that we had enough time to see everything.

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We prepped ourselves for the bus and packed up and left actually excited for our overnight bus. Yes, I’m sure you are already predicting our expectations for our overnight bus were not properly set. Standby for the next post…