Burma

first still only later discovered Grüsschen from Cambodian Knabber Hare :-)

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Yangon, about 4.5 million inhabitants
Almost twice the size of Germany, is Burma (Burma or Myanmar also) extends from the Himalayan foothills to the Malay Peninsula and borders on the following six countries: India, Bangladesh, Tibet, China, Laos and Thailand!
After the 3rd Anglo-Burmese War, the last king of the country was forced to abdicate and Burma in 1886 officially downgraded to a province of the colony "British India". In WW2 the Japanese proved to be a brutal and arrogant occupiers who so even the British colonialists in the shade! But thousands of people lost their lives and much of the country were destroyed. Only in 1948 Burma was declared a sovereign state. In the 50s, however, the then president was a dubious way with its synthesis of Buddhism and socialism. He had distributed lands by large landowners to landless farmers and nationalize businesses. The consequences were mismanagement and corruption. 1962, there was a military coup and General Ne Win took power. Foreign firms were expelled from the country, and Burma was kompett isolated. The economic situation was poor and today Burma is one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world. 2010 Thein Sein was elected 1st civilian president for 50 years and since the same year is also the opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is no longer under house arrest.
The changes in recent years led to increased foreign investment and a boom in tourism. In many areas, however, the old structures of the military still operate. Corruption dominates everyday life, poverty is great and it lacks so much. The most profitable areas of foreign trade, such as gas, oil, timber, minerals and precious stones are still subject to government control. Often government or parastatals are involved in it, which inevitably have close links with the military.
The complicated and sad past as the current problems are also reflected in the street scene:

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a few extremst renovate colonial buildings

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We spent hours trying to march at 38 degrees in Yangon around, but we do not want to complain about heat and sweat :-) !

Unlike most other Asian countries, the tourists are not (yet) serves great here. The choice of restaurants and lodging is very manageable. So there is hardly any competition exists, prices compared with neighboring countries are rather high, but often at lower quality. Also public transport, there is little, and the dilapidated buses are all angeschriben in Burmese. Unlike other cities that we visited here, no motorcycles are allowed in Yangon. There swarming all over the country by Toyota, all full of "Earl", only they are called here "Caldina" and not "Carina" :-) !

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Is also very interesting that the government went to the colonization in the 1970s from left to right-hand traffic. However, most cars have the steering wheel still on the right side! Thus, the driver of a vehicle has to rely on an attentive passenger, especially when overtaking !!!

Our accommodation in Yangon:

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…behind the house…

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The highlight in Yangon is undoubtedly the Shwedagon Pagoda. This holy place was built around 2500 years ago, then it was 10 meters high. Over the years, however, was constantly on and expanded, so that this important religious building in the country is now 100 meters high and decorated with thousands of diamonds, rubies and sapphires. The total weight of the pagoda is 149 tons and of which more than 10 tons of gold !!! Currently, the masterpiece is precisely wrapped in a cloak-Renovations, impressively, however, it is always:

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Although much is not up to date in Burma, at the Shwedagon Pagoda's WIFI :-) :

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Andy gets a Longyi-wrap lesson:

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Our second highlight in Yangon was a visit to the cinema, which was built at least 50 years ago. When we saw the promotional poster of "Hunger Games III", we could not resist, and certainly not at an entry price of just 2 USD yet in its original language. After about 30 minutes of commercials for condoms, pimples Wonder ointments, cookies, American Sunglasses and preview of what felt like 15 other films, appeared on the screen, the Burmese flag with the text "Please show respect to the national flag", and from the speakers sounded the national anthem. Schwups all stood in front of their seats, including two Swiss confused. Once that was done, finally began the film and it was fantastic (sorry Schwö, Esch wörkli so :-) ). The cinema is not just surprised us with an impressive Dolby surround sound system, only had the Burmese stendig something important to discuss or frantically smacking popcorn and nuts (was ev. Also, remember that there was no Burmese subtitles, and therefore probably most of the guests have understood much). At the end of the performance all left the room in a flash and we saw 2 rows in front of us flit past a rat :-) !

So saw it after the presentation of:

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After three days in Yangon, we sat at the largest bus terminal, which we have ever seen (it was actually more of a bus-City), and were waiting for our overnight bus. Hardly were all seats occupied, the bus was cooled to pleasant 15 degrees down, but there were for each a cuddly blanket:

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Something squashed we arrived in the morning by 5 clock in Bagan, where we were immediately greeted with a beautiful sunrise.

The Temples of Bagan were built between the 10th and 13th centuries by various kings. The whole temple complex is about 40 qm2 large and counts 2230 listed buildings. If the first or last sunrays cases this unique temple landscape in a warm light, then you will feel in another world, really mystical.

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Although Bagan is a very belibtes destination for foreign tourists, we were in some temples, the only "other", which partly already degenerated almost into right Shootings :-)

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To the temple a move to another, there are three eco-friendly options: carriage, bicycle or new e-bike:

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However Bikes on the sandy and rocky roads actually absolutely inappropriate, so we collected a few scratches and bruises, as well as an upset foot. The turn led to the fact that we could not take a planned 3-day hike and it traveled directly to Inle Lake.

Nyaungshwe at Inle Lake, 875 meters above sea level

We drove for hours by bike through the lively town and the lake, where we always laughing and waving people met and enormously many dogs, especially puppies.

Again and again we saw the ...:

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... And that's why so many cute Puppy:

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The Burmese are really an extremely friendly and curious people, and most ready for a chat or a photo:

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Of course, we did a boat tour on the Inle lake, passing many stilt houses and fishermen who are world famous for its unique "Intha leg rowing technique":

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Within the Inle Lake and lakeside there are a total of 17 villages, where about 70,000 people live.

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From Nyaungshwe we took our last ride in the night bus in attack! After we have been waiting at a junction on the right bus for two hours, came just 20 clock still right over and we were "on board". Again at cool 15 degrees, but this time unfortunately without ceiling. Funnily enough, there seems to be no buses that daytime drive from Inle Lake to Yangon or Mandalay and so it was that we were in the morning by 3 clock in Mandalay at the bus station. The logic of the Burmese bus schedules so we have not yet fully understood, but the nice people from the hotel also left us early at 4 clock in the morning in our, really only for the next night, reserved room (maybe they wanted us just not for the next who sit for hours in the lobby because they were already asleep :-) Had) luck!

Mandalay, 1 million inhabitants

For 25 years, the 1857 on the banks of Ayeyarwady founded Mandalay was the capital of Burma and residence of the last king. The 4km2 large palace grounds presents itself as a kind of city within the city, protected behind 8 meter high walls. During the 2nd World War the palace was built of wood but completely destroyed, so that today only replicas can be seen from the 1990s. Of course, also in Mandalay and the surrounding area is lacking in no way to beautiful stupas, monastic schools and Buddha statues.

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Also, I was able to meet with a ride in the sidecar of a motorbike-taxis a long-awaited childhood dream to me in Mandalay :-)

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To see some of the town's surroundings, wi have also ventured again himself on a motorcycle. Andy is meanwhile a real "Easy Rider"! However, two pale-faces are on a motorcycle until now a fairly rare image on Burma's streets. Once we stopped somewhere, we were stared at by the astonished Burmese as if we had just landed with a fligenden carpet :-) !

We were not in the cinema, but. At a fairly oblique performance of "Moustache Brothers" who are so courageous, and to make fun for years as comedians on the condition of the country and the government's behavior Like so many other Burmese talk too much or participate in demonstrations, remained the "Moustache Brothers" not spared a Gefängisaufenthalt. One of them died 2 years ago even from the consequences of this captivity.

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In front of a temple we came up with an old woman this week who has perfect English gesprochet. She was a teacher for many years in the city and spends her days now in order to sit on a bench to get into conversation with tourists. They can speak English one hand, on the other hand they obtained in this manner have enough money, or as they prefer to call it "donations" to buy food themselves. After I have angesrpochen on Aung San Suu Kyi, the opposition leader and the most famous woman of the country, the old lady looked around nervously and immediately pressed her index finger to her lips.

Even the prospect of a golf course in the middle of the city suggests that the priorities are not quite right in this country and just so much not so runs as it should.

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Few countries have opposing to Switzerland can be as our last trip destination. The deep Buddhist faith with all temples and stupas, the scenery and the friendly people have extremely excited us. The clean streets, fresh air and the choice of everything in the home is determined blow us for the last two weeks all the more.

Summary Myanmar

Population: 60 million

Duration: 12/07/14 to 12/21/14

used beds: 5 beds 2 night buses

Our last day in sheer freedom we spend tomorrow in Bangkok, where we are looking for a warm outfit for the trip home! Our emotional worlds are moving currently between nervous vorfreudig, anxious, moody, overjoyed and slightly confused! So much we have experienced and see wonderful new friends we have made, some nice people from home and we were able to meet at all, we are incredibly grateful that we had the opportunity to make a trip like!

I could write for hours about the benefits of travel, but most of you have probably already heard or read somewhere. Yes, we also learned a lot about ourselves, we felt time and again our roots and we were in our opinion, tolerant and open. The statement "Travelling is the best school in the world" so we can definitely confirm.

Ultimately, however, I always think back to this a spell that for me really says it all:

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And for all those who have actionable dreams, but do not dare to realize this right, here again is another favorite:

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Summary Traveluttis trip around the world:

Duration: September 9, 2013 to December 23, 2014 = 15 months and 2 weeks or au 470 days!

countries traveled: 25

used beds: 169 (with love Grüess a mini masseuse Jutta :-) )

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