Mandalay: All Good Things Come to and End

Our last destination in Myanmar was the second largest city of the country: Mandalay. Located in the geographical center of the country in the low plains made this the hottest place during our trip. While we did see the mandatory sights, the real treasures lay tucked away in small alleys far away of the main stream tourism, even though some of them were highlighted in the guide books.
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Monywa: Big, Bigger, Biggest

While Bagan certainly had a few more things to offer, we had had our share of pagodas for this visit after one day of cycling through a large part of them. We decided to spend our last days in Myanmar in the cities of Monywa and Mandalay. Following another bumpy bus ride of around 4 hours, we first got lost in the dusty streets of the town. The next day we planned to explore the surroundings of this not so well visited city.
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Bagan: Brand New Old Pagodas

After 3 days of hiking our first long-distance bus ride in Myanmar was scheduled. Well shaken we eventually reached one of the most celebrated tourist attractions of Myanmar: the ancient city of Bagan, the city of thousands of pagodas. We were getting really anxious to finally see the pagodas, however we had to go through one thing first, before we were allowed to see that constructions originally from the 11th through 13th centuries: pay 15 US$ entrance fee to the archeological site. Following a lengthy search for accommodation, we could enjoy the beautiful sites from close up the next day. Once again it was interesting to observe how differently visitors approach such site: while we chose to explore by bicycle, others opted for the more convenient e-bike or horse cart and yet others let themselves drive in large air-conditioned tour buses to the biggest pagodas and miss all the rest.
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