2 LANDSCAPES: BURMA AND BANGLADESH

MYANMAR (BURMA)

BAGAN

1 Bagan 9140

If you think what happened in Bangkok was a disaster (even if you haven’t heard the story), what happened in Bagan was…well, let’s just say I’ve earned my red badge of tourage.

2 Bagan 2+White 9088

The white pagoda in the backgdround is Ananda Pagoda, one of the prettiest in Bagan, if I’m judging. The stupa in the foreground may have a name (but I don’t have my notes handy).

 

3 Bagan Wall

Lesson learned: don’t hire a rickshaw to ride around Bagan when it’s dusty and hot season. Don’t visit Bagan during dusty-hot season. It’s all brown. And dusty. And we’re talking hot here.

 

MANDALAY

4 Mandalay Hill 9168

Mandalay Hill as seen from below. However, photographing the U Bein bridge was my main goal in Mandalay.

 

5 monks phones 5858

Again, no notes. But what a frazzled brain might remember is this: it’s the longest wooden bridge in the world. Or something like that. It actually looks better in photographs. Better still in silhouette. And there’s a circus of sales hawkers leading up to it.

 

6 MDL Wall 9308

Turns out, the mote and wall around the ancient Palace was the actual highlight of my stay in Mandalay. That, and just saying “the road to Mandalay” over and over in my head.

 

BANGLADESH

DHAKA

7 Dhaka street 9447

This is pretty much what Dhaka felt like to me: crowded, congested, crowded, congested. Parts of this, parts of that, parts of people, sweat. People. Traffic. Horns. Did I mention congested?

 

8 Dhaka River 9464

The main port in Dhaka. It felt the same: crowded, congested, a little rancid. Sanitation is not a concept held in high esteem around here.

 

9 Rickshaws 9481

Lesson learned: set the price of your rickshaw ride before getting into the thing.

Today in all this heat, I realize I have brought no fleece jacket…and I’m going to Bhutan—that’s in the freakin Himalayas, you know. What happens to your brain when you reach a certain age? Turns to jelly? Sure, crap happens, but stupid mistakes are just, well, stupid.

 

You can find other entries to DP Photo Challenge here: Landscape

You can find other entries to Lucile’s Rehab here:   Photo Rehab

88 thoughts on “2 LANDSCAPES: BURMA AND BANGLADESH

  1. Really colorful, Badfish! Great landscapes.
    Sounds really extreme – way hot and way cold. I hope you got a new jacket.
    Peace
    Mary

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  2. We were in Bagan in March – yeah hot and dusty. We travelled around the temples in a horse and buggy so we could be out of the sun while trotting from place to place. Loved it. Also a wonderful sunset from the top of one of the temples. The second photo of Bagan is beautiful, and the monks with cell phones is classic. I remember loving U Bein bridge for the colourful boats and their reflections among other things. And yes, we walked to the end and back. You’ll find something to keep you warm in Bhutan. Stuff like that happens to anybody of any age when a trip is planned in a hurry.
    Alison

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    • Bagan in March…so you know what dust and heat mean then? Yeah, horse and buggy sounds better than bicycle or even e-bike…because of the direct sun and heat! Who doesn’t love a photo of monks on cell phones? And thanks for the encouraging stuff about any age mistakes! I don’t know what I wasn’t thinking.

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    • Yeah, that port in Dhaka. And DHAKA itself! When they say Dhaka is crowded, boy do they know what they are talking about. The guys in Bhutan remember you well!! Were you traveling with another Kelly?

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      • Oh, that’s nice to hear. Yes, we were Kelly x 2! She’s a friend I met in Singapore. We spent the first day or so with Fin, then our guide was Kinga and we had a really nice driver as well. I’ve referred so many people to Fin and Lotay. I hope their business is doing well.

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        • Yeah, Kinga said he called you K2. My driver is Sonam…quiet but cool. I’m trying to figure out how much to tip them! Their business seems to be doing very well. I’ve stayed in some really nice places. One had a coffee shop next door that made real brownies!

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          • Is Kinga your guide? Tell him I said hello!! The other Kelly was a red-head and I’m brunette — I can’t remember who was K1 or K2. I guess I was K2. Can’t remember how much I tipped either. Can’t wait to hear about your trip!

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          • Yeah, Kinga is my guide. Not the most jovial fellow, but knowledgable and steady and sturdy (in case you fall down the mountain or need carrying down like some older lady did!). I told him you said hi! He knew exactly who you were! I think I may have over tipped…all those zeroes in their bills is scary and what a name for their currency: Ngultrums.

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          • Ha ha, exactly how I felt about Kinga, too. Reliable, solid. He’s got your back. I enjoyed asking him questions about life in Bhutan because I think he responded honestly — not with usual tour guide enthusiasm. Oh well, if you over-tipped just know that you made some people happy. Nothing wrong with that!

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          • I figured if I couldn’t make it back down the mountain, Kinga could carry me. I was out of shape, and my feet hurt, but I made it down! I used to be a waiter, so I don’t mind over tipping…

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  3. Yikes Badfish. It doesn’t sound like you have had much fun. Go buy yourself a jacket in Bhutan. As you get on to this planning thing you will find a nice light puffy jacket that folds up into a pocket. 🙂

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  4. Hope the rest of the trip gets better for you. Great pictures. And the Monks on their phones… made me giggle!
    And yes… stupid does happen more as we get older. Hope you find the perfect jacket.

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  5. Lex, I know…monks speaking directly to…who, exactly? But you know…temperatuere-controlled rooms have their upsides sometimes! But I’m glad you’re gaining something from the landscapes! And yeah, Bhutan and Katmandu…coming up!

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    • Uh oh – did my comment say something inappropriate? It has disappeared. Or did you and your jelly brain accidentally hit Trash Comment? No worries either way – hope you are loving Bhutan and can’t wait to hear what you think of Kathmandu.

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      • Oh, I’m so glad you checked back. I don’t know what happened. I was replying…and it was a good one…and then BAM…something happened and you and me were both disappeared. For an instant, there was a red sign saying something about getting the deleted stuff back, and as I went to push it, it disappeared.

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    • Thanks, Gilly. I’m trying not to worry and allowing things to flow as they go. I just don’t like the idea of buying another jacket…of which I have numerous!

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    • Thanks. Sometimes if you just point your camera in some direction, it’s quite difficult not to take a good photo. I like that reflection of the temple, also…it was early morning and the wind hadn’t rippled the water yet. One fleece coming up!

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  6. Oh my, Bagan does look brown and dusty, so different from when I went. Mandalay was my least favorite place in the country, and the only redeeming thing about the city was Mohinga — considered Myanmar’s national dish. I had the best Mohinga I’ve ever tasted not too far from the southeastern corner of the moat.

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    • Bama, I missed Mohinga!! Dang! I did see a bunch of very young novitiates being abducted…or is it inducted…into monkhood, though. I generally don’t like big cities, and especially not big dirty cities…so Mandalay was no hot spot for me either. The U Bein bridge was a let down too.

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  7. Living the dream/sometimes nightmare, Badfish? I seem to’ve lost you in the past few weeks. Must be you cos I’m still here in the UK with my April showers. 🙂 I shall attempt to catch up, if WP doesn’t spirit you away again. 🙂

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    • Hey Jo…I’ve been on the road for a couple weeks and have not been commenting on other people’s blogs because of time, and very poor wifi! But I’m still here…some times.

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          • Sounds promising. I’m Algarve bound late Wednesday so won’t be around much online after this week’s walk but I’ll accompany you if I can. Still rainbow hunting. 🙂

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          • Cool, have a good trip…to Portugal, is it? How long will you be there? I bet you’re going to do some walking, eh? You may even find a rainbow or two. Will you post on the road, or will you be staying there a while in one place, or what?

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          • Yes, the Algarve. I usually disconnect entirely when I’m there. My little haven from the world. But it’s only a 9 day visit because I’m taking Dad to Poland and family almost immediately after that. Funny I’m just finishing this week’s post and was going to come looking for you to see if you had a new post up. See you in a tick! 🙂

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          • Portugal is one country that I have always wanted to visit, but never made the effort. You’ll have to tell me where to go in the Algarve…to mellow out. I need that right about now. I may be heading in that direction this summer. Maybe I can finally get there, see what’s what. Buy a fisherman’s sweater.

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  8. You know, I love reading about your travels, good bad and ugly, but mostly I enjoy the comment/reply section. What a kick. You have some lovely friends!

    That said, my favorite form of art is photography, and you are terrific at it. I don’t know what “baited breath” actually is but I wait with it, for each and every new installment!

    Beautiful.

    My favorite this time is the color and composition of the Dhaka crowd. There is so much in that photo I can’t stop looking…attitude, movement, color, emotion, weird steps and chairs……oh wait, maybe it’s the rickshaws!

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    • You know, it’s funny…I love the comments people make, too. It’s actually more fun, and time consuming, than doing the post some times!! And these guys are so funny and fun and witty and street smart and insightful and erudite and most of all, forgiving!

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  9. The red badge of tourage!!! Yes you have earnt it in triplicate (Google doesn’t seem to know either earnt or tourage!!!). How do those blokes manage to tuck their legs up on those narrow benches. I hope the Bhutan segment is not too cold, or you manage to find a cheap yak wool jacket, don’t forget to bargain hard for it.

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    • I know…and I understand now why the word travel comes from the word “travail.” I think I may have invented that word: tourage.
      The monks, and people from SE Asia, sit like that their whole lives. It’s easy for them. I didn’t buy a yak wool blanket, but did find some…as well as the Hard Yak Cafe.

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      • I think “tourage” could become an inclusion in the next dictionary new word. I know about the flexibility of Asians. At one stage Jack was going to throw out all our chairs and just sit on cushions, he reckons it would be good for us!!! I thought we would soon have no friends visiting… (we still have chairs!!! and friends)

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  10. I stopped by here the other day, but we were having internet problems, so had to wait for the ‘clearing.’
    What a wonderful post! And either I never read, or I blacked out on the Bangkok, but I will search for it in your archives. I’m LOL @ “Red Badge of Tourage” That’s hilarious! And very clever 🙂
    I must say (I’m writing this as I keep reading) these picture are particularly gorgeous. But I must say that I find the Mandalay picture STUNNING to my senses. There’s something about the palm trees. I don’t know what, but something.
    I also found the picture of the Monks quite compelling, in a rather humorous way. I know you were photographing the bridge, but I didn’t seem to keep my focus on that so much.
    I’m laughing now, reading that you said saying “the road to Mandalay” was a highlight! The moment I saw a certain picture, recently, that is just what went through my head, and I might think, oh there’s that spooky stuff again, yet I know that anyone who hears the word Mandalay, will more than likely hear that phrase directly after.
    I’m thinking the word congestion, crowded, and etc, goes hand in hand with a city. Does it not? But I wonder if you noted how the people seemed in relation to being amidst all the crowd and congestion? Something tells me that they may have taken it in stride. I don’t know.
    And thus you have realized that important lesson for travelers. Visit only the places for which you have the proper clothing. Go to the other side of the coin the next time. Easy peasy.

    Ah, sitting back in the aftermath of your post, I’m feeling sated, relaxed, and happy to have your words dancing around in my head, and your photos to entice me.

    Hoping to see you back here, soon agiain!

    Fim, sending you hugs and hopes you love just going with the flow like you used to.

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    • Ugh…internet problems…been there, been doing that. I think I caught a virus, I got a message stating I was being invaded. Who knows the damage.
      The people who live in Bangladesh seem to take it all in stride, they drive and walk by weaving in and out of each other, seamlessly. It’s outsiders who get carried away with the hassle and hustle of daily life in this kind of humanity.
      Yeah…good advice. Go where your clothes work for you. Got it, thanks!
      And I’m actually doing fairly well with the flowing thing on the road. There were a few snags, but hey, snags will snag you where ever you are in the world, or life, won’t they? That’s why they call them snags.

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      • Ouch @ the virus. Hope that it can be easily vaulted. Hate that though. Once was… but I guess we can no longer live in ‘once was land,’ can we?
        I guess having been a New York City gal for 36 years has given me the ability to take the hustle and bustle in stride. But I do admit to wanting to live out in the sticks these days.
        A snag a day keeps nothing away. But the good thing about snags is the ability to really appreciate a snag-free day!

        Happy trails!

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        • I know…why would a god allow a virus in this world? Once was…oh, right.
          NYC? 36 years! You know Hempstead on Long Island? I got born there.
          Snag of the day: can’t think of one. It must be a good gd day?

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  11. What a trip! I hope to visit both places someday and am now more prepared with your humorous wisdom. Every photo is a winner, but I especially like the one with the white pagoda (both buildings are gorgeous), the monk on the cell phone (#streetperfection) and the mote with the wall around the ancient palace (I am a sucker for a good reflection).

    Hope you manage to score a fleece.

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  12. Very interesting as we were recently in Bagan over new year.. You might not be happy with me when I tell you this but the weather then was PERFECT. Not too hot, not dusty and it was pretty green everywhere as well. We walked and we went around by electric bike. So glorious we stayed a full week! ( Sorry 🙂 )

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    • Peta…I’m sort of jealous of you for having the perfect stay! A couple other bloggers have said they were there when it was green and wonderful, too. What’s really sad (not sad, just odd) is that I had time off at the end of Dec and beginning of January, and could have gone then, but chose the Maldives instead. I’m not sure I’m sorry or not!!!

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  13. I have always wanted to visit Burma. No interest in Bangladesh. Since I love India, that will have to suffice for me for now.

    Great photographs. Hadn’t read about your other mishaps to which you alluded at the outset, so going to rush over and read about them.

    You’ve saved me a lot of hot, dusty traveling!

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  14. Well – stupid mistakes are just, well, stupid – pretty well says it all! Going from HOT to COLD is probably not the best idea from a packing perspective.

    Given a choice, I would skip the HOT! 🙂

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