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Horse cart ride around Pwin Oo Lwin

 After my whole day tour of the ancient cities of Mandalay, I was wondering what to do next. I have a few extra days to spare. Xandy told me Hsipaw was cool. There's a train going over a deep gorge, so literally 1 step from the train ledge & its a thousand foot drop below you. He said people are technically not allowed to take pictures, but they stop the train anyway for about 20mins so tourists can take tons of pics, lol. That did sound awesome. Unfortunately, going there would mean I would spend my whole time commuting. I skipped Hsipaw for Pyin Oo Lwin, a 2 hr drive from Mandalay.

Highlights: What is in Pwin Oo Lwin?! The only thing I liked about the place is the horse cart ride & the beautiful gardens.
Cast of Characters:  Just me
Logistics/ Links: meh. Not worth it.
When: I went around mid-February, 2012. Pyin Oo Lwin is up north so it was cooler here than in Mandalay. Pleasantly cool. I needed a slightly heavier jacket than the one I have.
Location: Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar
Cost: I think the horse cart tour cost about $8-9 or about 7000 kyat. The guide took me around the city & to the gardens & waited for me. I think the whole thing took about 4 hours or something.
Trip Report: It was soo weird. I booked a ride through my hotel- AD1 hotel. They called a shared cab to take me from Mandalay to Pyin Oo Lwin. They pick me up at my hotel too which is nice. There were 4 of us so far, the cab driver & a Burmese couple touring Myanmar. We went to the bus terminal to pick up the last passenger. Everyone was all chatty & getting along pretty well. We waited for like half an hour when this guy wearing a military uniform breathlessly approached the cab, got in & breathlessly apologized to everyone for being late. We said some quick hellos then I swear- the whole cab fell into silence. The guy had a lot of buttons or 'flairs' on his uniform. The normally chatty fellow passengers were just so unnaturally quiet. I did not really research much of Burmese history but I can tell there's something not quite normal between civilians & their military. Oh well.

I went to Pyin Oo Lwin because Lonely Planet said there's some good architecture around town- pssh! Not true. Skip Pyin Oo Lwin. I saw some better architecture in Mandalay city. Pwin Oo Lwin has a big military base. I can tell that town has some money. Its probably the wealthiest place I've seen in Myanmar. The gardens are nice but doesn't make the trip out worth it. There's also very few tourists around. Seems like I'm the only one who has not heard that the place isn't worth it.

Drive to Pyin Oo Lwin

Main road at Pyin Oo Lwin

Homosexuality is fine in Myanmar.

Horse carts! I love these!

Road construction around the country. I quickly noticed the lack of machinery in Myanmar- from their kitchens to their infrastructure. Here's a pic of women sorting out aggregates for road work.

Houses at Mandalay. I thought I was in Philippines for a sec.

My horse cart driver for the day.

Yeey!! Notice how my horse is not even moving? lol

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