26.11.2013 - 26.11.2013 32 °C
Today it's the side trip to Pyin Oo Lwin.
First stop though takes us to Mankala Primary School which caters for years PP to 3. The kids are fantastic and greet us in English all in unison. Stationary is offloaded to the kids, who are so grateful, even the cheeky ones who line up for extra stuff. We started to run low as we didnt budget very well and the kids towards the end didnt get quite as much, but it didnt matter they were all excited in any case. We saw the children in the classrooms learning and spoke to the headmaster who talks about the new schooling structure since the military are not controlling everything. Things are looking up for the future of Myanmar.
The drive to Pyin Oo Lwin is around 90 mins and we stop at a flower market along the way to see motorcycles being loaded up with flowers piled higher that the rider - I have no idea how they see anything coming.
The rest of the drive is windy as we arrive at our first stop Anaskin Falls - one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Myanmar. I trek downs the sloping hill to get to the bottom it takes about 30 minutes and we are accompanied by a few local girls as guides that fan you when you stop to rest and carry drinks and stuff too. They tell us that they take the trip once per day. Instead of making the climb back up I deceive to take a motorcycle ride back which is quite a steep journey. It's not until half way up when the bike slipped that I realised no helmets are required - nothing major is wrong but a bit of a scrape on the leg. Arriving at the top the guide has run to the car to get some traditional Burmese medicine - toothpaste! And smears it on the cuts. She explains that it keeps the dirt and infection out and seems to form a nice hard plaster over the wound which I found very interesting.
Continuing on we have lunch in the town - again not feeling so well so haven't rated and just opt for some water and lime soda.
After lunch a visit to the Kandawgyi Botanical Gardens is in order. The place is so green and a lake and fountains garnish this beautiful place. Walking through the orchid gardens and butterfly museum is nice but no live butterflied it's more like a butterfly funeral home and they are all open casket.
We see a traditional Burmese wedding for one the generals children - and it's interesting that there are all photos of the parents instead of the bride and groom on display - maybe to show who is paying for the wedding?
After a bit more of a walk we return to Mandalay for the evening. They are setting up for a festivals the next night and we have a look at the few market stalls selling nice greasy food and grab some to try! It's pretty nice and we eat enough to not need dinner.