This is a Chinese Buddhist temple, built by immigrants from Yunnan. It has a lucky Buddha, stucco dragons, ponds, a six storey pagoda . . . anything that a Chinese temple needs lol. Next picture shows a mosque which is next to Purcell Tower, in the very city centre. That changes a little bit from the classical Myanmar Buddhist temples!more
After sunset another market occupies Zeigyo Street, the night market. There are dvd stalls and so on but most of the stalls sell food, which is cooked "sur place". There are many locals having dinner there in those “improvised restaurants” so it’s almost impossible to resist the temptation :-) I bought some of these “salty cookies” on the picture...more
If you are looking for British Colonial Architecture, Multi Office Road is your place. This shady road is lined with grand colonial administrative buildings, many of them used today by schools or the government. It is like a trip back in time! Don’t miss other impressive examples of colonial mansions not far from this road : Thiri Myaing Hotel...more
This is an unique place in all Myanmar! After 2 weeks of eggs + jam and banana for breakfast it was a pleasure to find a bakery with a long choice of teas, coffees and pastries. Organic coffee from the Shan Hills is also sold here. I really enjoyed my exotic tea and croissant, it was like a dream. This café and its nice stuff made my day lol.more
This is one of the most interesting markets that I have seen in Myanmar, with different spaces for fish + meat, fruits and spices. It is a good opportunity to see a little bit of local life as well. I took a quick look very early in the morning, before 8.00 am and it was already very busy. It is opened until 5 pmmore
The rebaptised Candacraig Hotel, immortalised in Paul Theroux’s The Great Railway Bazaar, is the most impressive colonial building that I found in Pyin Oo Lwin. This hotel, which once hosted good British families looking for some fresh air, is today abandoned. There is a special atmosphere of “enchanted place” since the moment that you cross the...more
Created in 1915 by Alex Roger, a Forester Officer, the National Gardens feature more than 480 species of flowers, trees and shrubs. Inside, there are also a lake and a pool where people can bath. Green + shade are expensive for tourists in Myanmar: we have to pay an entrance fee + a camera fee to enter any park in the country. This money goes, of...more
This is a nice half day trip very easy to do from Pyin Oo Lwin. The best way to go is by taxi. Once there, you can arrange with the taxi driver to pick you up in 3-4 hours. Usually he stays there waiting for you. There is a 45 minutes hike down to reach the falls. The path is steep and very slippery with beautiful flowers. There are few signs so at...more
Purcell tower is like a Queen Victoria’s label as she had the (nice?) habitude to send this kind of present to her colonies. You can find similar towers in places like Cape Town or the Seychelles. The tower is in the main intersection in Pyin Oo Lwin so it’s a kind of meeting place in town. You cannot miss it.more
Pyin Oo Lwin is the main centre of flower and vegetable production in Myanmar and you will notice it as soon as you arrive there. Everywhere is full of colourful and beautiful flowers, some of them very exotic, which offer lots of photography opportunities. In addition, Pyin Oo Lwin has a large research centre of indigenous medicinal plants.more
A little later after its foundation, Maymo became the headquarters of the Indian Army, with both a large Indian population and strong Anglo-Burmese and Anglo-Indian communities, still very present in the town. This military tradition went on with the current government and nowadays Pyin Oo Lwin is home of the Defence Services Academy (DSA) and the...more
This 100 year old mosque serves the high number of Afghani and Pakistani Muslims in Maymyo. I did not ask to go inside, and am not sure if it is allowed. The locals seemed very devout - Hajis with their red beards were about, taking me back to Saudi Arabia...The Call to prayer can be heard five times a days.more
This is not the fastest way to go to Pyin Oo Lwin but man, what an adventure! The 131 Train Up Mandalay - Lashio which crosses the hills of Shan State has few stops, Pyin Oo Lwin included. Landscapes are gorgeous with mountains and thick jungle, giving many photography opportunities.
Before climbing the hills the train stops for 5 minutes and then it starts running backwards for 1 - 2 kilometres. I thought that I was going back to Mandalay, lol! It seems that the train needs to do this operation to adapt itself to another kind of rails. But the most epic (or dramatic) moment is after Pyin Oo Lwing, when the train stops before crossing Gokteik Viaduct. Many people had told me about the viaduct - crossing freaking experience but only when we stopped and that huge steel monster appeared to us from the mist I started to be scared. This 689 metres long and 102 metres high viaduct was built in 1900 by the British Empire to cross the Gohtwin Stream. Due to its technical and natural condition it was considered at that time as a masterpiece of the world standard but knowing also that since then it has never been restored, now you can understand my apprehension. The atmosphere that day (rainy and foggy) did not help a lot. And then the train starts running again veeeery slowly and you can hear the viaduct creaking under your feet. I was not very relaxed but at the end we arrived to our final destination safely. Later I learnt that we were the last passengers to take this train for a while because only few hours later the strong rain damaged badly many kilometres of the railway. Uff I feel very lucky, lol!
I used the Myanmar Railways three times, to go to the North of the country and to the Delta Region in the South. My experience with train schedules is that you always leave on time but you never know when you will arrive. Wagons have lost its buffers long time ago so expect a “jumping trip”.
Beware of dogs! My friend was attacked by them near monastery at Anisakan village and he had to look for rabies vaccination for several weeks after the bite. They can be quite agressive if they're in group and you're alone.
Some British reminiscences can still be seen today but Pyin Oo Lwin is far away from hedonist Maymyo. Although some colonial houses have been restored to attract tourism, most of them are empty and forgotten. However it is a smiling city with a busy market and colourful old carriages in the morning and an interesting and lively night market after...more
At the beginning of the XXth century, Maymo was known to be a lively town. British officers working in Mandalay went up by motorcycle to play golf and have dinner and came down to Mandalay before dawn. During summer time, the British Administration moved from Rangoon to Maymo and with them all the people who wanted to be “somebody in the colonial...more