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News: Amelia's Travel Diary

Recce’ing in Burma

February 2014

Flying out of Rangoon, the golden pagoda pinnacles dot the cityscape, I peered through the murky plane window – that must be the empty 20 lane highway leading to the new capital, but I was bound for the empty shores of the Andaman Sea: I went to the Andaman Isles in 1998, so knew I was in for a treat.  We bumped down at the tiny airport and ten minutes later I was on one the most empty and spotless beaches I’ve ever seen.  This was my treat after a splendid but exhausting trip up the Irrawaddy leading a lively group to distant hill villages, golden pagodas and bustling markets (see Burma in January).  Now I had two blissful days of clean, warm sea and empty beaches while ensconced in a relaxing teak beach-front villa.Ngap hotel W  Fully restored, I moved on to remote Mrauk Oo with its temples, rustic villages and slow rural life: just getting there was an adventure with a six hour river voyage, much of it in the dark thanks to the delayed flight. The next morning, I set off in an open very bouncy jeep past rice stacks and beetle-nut plantations, to join my private boat for a journey up river to check out markets, have tea with Chin village chiefs, bargain for colourful blankets and meet the famous tattooed ladies.
Lemhro W

Chin lady W  Day 2 was in and around the town, starting with breakfast in a street cafe of sweet Burmese tea and strange but delicious pancakes, I jumped onto a bike to follow my two cheerful guides. Nervously, with no brakes, I negotiated the market traders, wobbled over little wooden bridges and followed along dusty roads to the magnificent temples, some literally stuck with stupas!

AD Mrauk Oo W

Mrauk Oo W
  Buddha lined passages, deeply carved with elephants, crocodiles and birds disappeared round corners into the dark, time to find that torch app I had so carefully downloaded!Mrauk Oo carvings W It was fascinating, delightfully relaxed with no one much about , so it’s on the list and I’d love to take you there. The tour will be early in 2015 and details will be available shortly, but please enquire meanwhile.