Kachin Tribal Village Trek, Burma/Myanmar - Hiking in the Jungles of Burma
The next day we played tourist again. We arrived at the docks in Mandalay to catch a sightseers’ ferry as we weren’t allowed to ride the local one. The docks swarmed with kids begging for money. However, once we were headed downstream, it was the river itself that took center stage. It was a wide, muddy affair that merged with the shallow shore. Rice paddies and small shacks lined the river bank that seemed nearly devoid of settlers.
Our destination was Mingun, a gargantuan ruin of a partially built pagoda. Over 50m / 164’ high, it was called King Bodawpaya’s Folly, as he planned it to be the largest temple in Asia. By the time of his death, only the brick base was complete.
After our day trip we checked out of our hotel and then headed to the train station for the next leg of our travels, a 25-hour train ride. Although the outside looked modern, the station was just a concrete façade, no more substantial than a Hollywood set.
Morning brought amazing landscapes — local villages, rice farms and oxen-drawn vehicles. Eating turned into a major event. When the train stopped at a town, masses of people selling food swarmed the windows. Bargaining was mandatory. We were restless and ready to get off the train; enough was enough. Fortunately, by 8:30 pm we got to Myitkyina where again our hotel was clean and quaint.
The story continues...