On the way to Burma ...

After another day on sea, we arrived in Yangoon, Burma on 6. April ...
 

Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). On our way to Burma, we had stress at the pool again ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... had to cope with fantastic dinners ... here a seven-course sushi and sashimi special in the Restaurant Oriental ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). On Sunday, 6. April,  we left the ship in Rangoon and took the bus to the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most famous in Burma ...
On Sunday, 6. April,  we left the ship in Rangoon and took the bus to the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most famous in Burma ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... we were shocked about the poverty (more in the photos of Bagan) ... here a street in Rangoon, photo taken from the bus ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... a restaurant (if we remember correctly ;-) on the way ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and here the two of us at this 78m spectacular pagoda, covered in gold ... unfortunately here already we were permanently surrounded by beggars, just looking for our best ... the US dollars ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... nevertheless it was absolutely amazing, how the people of this poor country donate so much money towards their temples and pagodas ... here the sundown, before we left for the airport ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). In the evening we flew with Never-Come-Back-Airlines (Bagan-Air) into the country centre of Burma, to Bagan, the valley of approx. 2300 pagodas and temples ...  
... here a photo of the plane on the way back ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and the airport of Nyaung, where we landed in the night (photo taken, when we left) ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... we arrived at the 5-star hotel "Aureum Palace" at night (here the restaurant) and - to be perfectly open - it was pervert luxury amidst all of the poverty ... dinner buffet was first class (with a Polish cook) ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... as were the rooms (or shall we say the bungalows?) ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... next morning we could see the full beauty of the resort ... here the pool with the valley of pagodas in the background ... can you imagine swimming there towards these ancient monuments?
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). After breakfast, we took the bus to several pagodas and temples, here the Shwezigon Pagoda under restoration, very impressive ... you had to take off your shoes and socks at every temple ... lucky for you, that we do not post a photo of our - black - feet ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... as soon as we left the bus (at every stop), we were surrounded by beggars and sales people, sometimes young kids (see photo), that spoke the important sentences in five languages (guter Preis!) ... it was annoying and depressing at the same time ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... we had a lot of impressive insights into the normal life, like here the buses, sometimes just pickups with crowds of people ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... we visited a lacquer ware factory (Burma is famous for that) and could see the people engraving the things ... by the way we could negotiate like Hong Kong ;-) ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... we had lunch at "Sunset garden" restaurant at the river, very nice, enjoyed Myanmar beer ... even Cynthia drank it ... first of all because the wine was awful, secondly because it was the only refreshing liquid in the heat ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... here a view of the restaurant with the river ... it was bloody hot this day, maximum 42 degrees Celcius ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... after lunch we had a two hour break (due to the heat) and in the afternoon we visited the gubyaukgyi temple ... dark inside, no photos allowed ... you needed your torch ... but when the guards were at the other corner, I placed the camera on a fence, shot for 15 seconds and tried to get some light with the torch ... ... here the result: thousand year old wall paintings ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... at the next temple stop we saw the modern side of Burma (if it is ever true ...) ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... then we were brought to a "sample" village, which was very sad ... everything was artificially made and you could see so easily, that it just didn't fit the reality ... ... photo shows a family, whose wife was very friendly ... they make these armbands and pots, etc. from bamboo and we bought a nice gift from her ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... from that village we took a bumpy 20-minute coach ride back to the hotel ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... where we went up a tower built within the hotel, to have a look over the valley of Bagan during the sunset ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... here the two of us on the tower ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and another view from the tower with the "hotel" ... or is it more a science-fiction city amidst the poverty ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). The last night we had a candle-light dinner by the lake ... tables and a huge buffet were built up for us ... lit pagodas in the background ... incl. a folklore dance show with approx. 50 people ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... here one of the pagodas lit at night ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and we finished that day off with a drink in the bar.
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Next morning, we visited a local market ... but we ended up in the bus again after 10 minutes, because the beggars there we so pushy ... you just couldn't walk a metre without being pestered ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... then we drove to the airport (see pictures above) and flew back to Rangoon ... picture of Bagan valley taken during take-off ...

To summarise ... it was an absolutely fascinating two-day trip to a completely unknown country, it was extreme and pervert at the same time ... extreme poverty and extreme luxury ... we'll not forget this adventure!