Malaysia: 402 kilometer to Kuala Lumpur

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March 2014

Malaysia has a tourist-friendly visa policy. With a German passport you don´t need a visa but just get a stamp at the border. I´m allowed to stay for 90 days in the country. Free of charge. This is very pleasant for me, because the 4 weeks I got in most other countries in South East Asia are often too short for me.

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Re-Cycle: Findings from the Road – Thailand/Myanmar

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December 2013 – February 2014

This time even 2 posts of beautiful and useful things (or only junk?) that I found on the road and couldn´t leave there. For example this beautiful sponge.

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Myanmar: The South – in unknown territory

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February 2014

(Thanks to Reed for reviewing this translation)

From Inle Lake, Anselm and I take a bus to the south. I don´t like to load my bike onto a bus. Not only is the ride stressful, it is important to me that I cover as many kilometers by bike as possible. But my 28-day visa has expired and any overtime will cost 3 U.S. dollars per day. Because my destination is over 1000 km to the south, I need to take a bus to Moulmein. This city is near the Myawaddi border, where Anselm and I arrived 28 days earlier.

Time to say goodbye at the bus terminal in Moulmein

Myanmar: Bagan and Inle lake

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January 2014

Bagan and Inle Lake

These two places are the tourist magnets of Myanmar and interesting for most of the touring cyclists, too. Bagan is an area with thousands of ancient temples and pagodas, the Inle Lake is an idyllic lake in the mountains of the Shan State. This time I don´t want to write as much as in previous articles, but rather show some nice photos.

Sunset in Bagan

Myanmar: Trouble with the police

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(Thanks to Reed for reviewing this translation)

Trouble with the police

22. January 2014: ? to Salin, 87 km, 230 hm, 14,2 km/h

We have become more cautious, waiting until dawn to find a place for the tents, and making sure no one sees where we are setting up camp. So today we wait until there is no traffic before we turn onto a dirt track into the harvested rice fields. Only a man on a bullock cart approaches us and asks where we want to go. I make a gesture like I had to go to the toilet, which seems to ease / amuse him and he continues his way. We find a nice and hidden place behind a large pile of straw and pitch our tents.

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Unwanted visit from the police

Myanmar: 10 days through the back country

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(Pictures marked with * are from Anselm)

10 days through the back country

January 11, 2014 : Yangon to Setkaw , 106 km, 99 highmeter , Ø 16.6 km / h

Anselm and I leave Yangon and opt for a route west of the Irrawaddy river. First the road is very busy but after about 20 kilometers the traffic dies down . We cycle over a huge bridge and then on a small, but still paved road near the river.

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Ox-carts are still used for transportation. *

Myanmar: On the way to Yangon

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(Thanks to Andy for reviewing this translation)

(Pictures marked with  * are from Anselm)

January 2014

On the way to Yangon

At lunchtime Anselm and I stop at one of the many golden pagodas. These temples are built throughout the country. Some function as a repository of a tooth or strand of hair of Buddha and are considered sacred. An ice cream vendor shows us where we can park our bikes and is willing to take care of them while we visit the pagoda.

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Children playing in front of the pagoda

Myanmar: Pilgrimage to the golden Rock

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Thanks to Karen for the help with the translation!

January 2014

The Golden Rock is one of the holiest pilgrimage sites in Myanmar. It is a round boulder which sits on a cliff and looks as if it would roll down the mountain at any moment.
According to legend, Buddha gave a strand of his hair to a Hermit who brought it to the king and instructed him to build a shrine for the sacred hair . The shrine was to be made out of a rock in the form of the hermit´s head . The king looked for such a rock on the seabed and fortunately, he had supernatural powers because he was the son of a magician and a sea dragon princess. He eventually found a rock and brought it to a mountain in a boat and balanced it on the strand of hair.

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Not the famous golden rock, only a imitation at the roadside.

Anselm and I decide to visit this special place and make our way to Kyaiktyio , which means ” pagoda on the head of a hermit .”

Myanmar: Bat shit and hot noodles

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 Thanks to Karen for helping with the translation

02. January 2014

We met two Belgian cyclists yesterday, Johann and Ils, traveling on folding bikes with minimal luggage . It gives them the flexibility to load their bikes (and luggage) in busses, trains even small cars easily, allowing them to cover longer distances. We cycle together for a day.

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Johann on his folding bike and Anselm

Myanmar: A car race and TV evening

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(Thanks to Karen for helping with the translation)

Introduction:

When I started my journey I didn´t think it would be possible to travel through Myanmar by bike. Although in the past years, reforms for democratic change were on their way, land borders were still closed to foreigners in 2012. Entering and exiting the country was only possible by plane and that was out of question for me.

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The national flag since 2010: yellow for solidarity, green for peace and tranquility and red for courage and decisiveness