We have the crazy idea to bike all the way to some sights around Mandalay. None of us has a lot of experience with motor bike, but the craziest is definitely the traffic: the streets are organized like a grid in Mandalay, so they cross every 500m. But most of the time, they don’t have any lights and everybody is crossing together!
As we both run out of money, we need to get some Kyats, and actually have to wait for the bank to open their exchange service, a service opened only between 10:30 and 15:00!
We spend a big part of the day on and around the U Bein’s Bridge, the world’s longest teak bridge! We help some farmers close by, get lunch on the other side, and enjoy the views of the fisher life on the river. On the road again, we climb the Sagaing Hill and though our motorbike will die the way up! You get there a splendid view of hundreds pagodas built on the hill.
We decide to go back to the U Bein’s bridge for the lovely sunset. Just one stop on the bigger bridge close to Sagaing, we saw some crazy people climbing the bridge!
The sunset in U Bein’s is stunning. And so much touristic as well!
We drive the way back to Mandalay by night, and partially on the highway Yangoon-Mandalay. We are happy to give the bike back, we can say now: we survived Mandalay by motorbike!
This 17th of December is the day of encounters: while renting the motorbike in the morning, Fernando, the Spanish guy I traveled with during 2 days in Jordan 6 months ago is getting a bicycle at the same place! Later in the middle of the U Bein’s bridge, Marc S., a German guy I haven’t seen for more than 3 years just stands there! Marc is a friend met during my last months in Regensburg in mid 2009.
I celebrate the diner with Fernando and Aurélien. A farewell evening since I am flying the next day to Bangkok, while Aurélien go to the Inlay Lake. In that very restaurant, I meet again a group of 4 French tourists I met in Kalaw 1 week before: in Myanmar, you often see the same tourists…