Wind Horse and Fish Sauce

traveling between the Himalayas and the Pacific

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Mawlamyine မော်လမြိုင်မြို့, – die verschlafene Hafenstadt mit morbidem Charme

26. July 2015 Es ist die erste Station in Myanmar. Die drittgrößte Stadt mit rund 325.000 Einwohnern zeigt sich von ihrer grauen und nassen Seite. Seit unserer Ankunft gießt es nahezu jeden Abend in Strömen. Viele Bereiche werden minutenschnell unter Wasser gesetzt. Wer trocken bleiben möchte, bleibt lieber zu Hause oder wagt sich mit einem Regencape bewaffnet nach draußen. Doch schnell merken wir, dass die dünnen Capes das Wasser nur minimal von der Unterwäsche fern halten. Immerhin waren sie günstig.

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Hsipaw သီပေါ – Zwischen Tempeln bei Sonnenschein und Fieber im Dauerregen

12. August 2015Der Weg von Mandalay Richtung Nordosten bis ins kleine Örtchen Hsipaw führt auf holprigen Straßen durch eine tiefe Schlucht, die sich plötzlich vor uns eröffnet. Rechter Hand bestaunen wir das 250m hohe Goteik-Viadukt, über das der Zug aus Mandalay tuckert. Die meisten Touristen nehmen die 12stündige Fahrt extra auf sich, um die höchste Brücke des Landes, um 1900 erbaut, To see. Wir hingegen sitzen diesmal im Bus, um Zeit zu sparen.
Hsipaw ist zwar bei Wanderfreunden beliebt, aber nicht überlaufen. Das Besondere des Ortes liegt in seiner Ruhe.

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Mit dem Nachtzug von Yangon nach Bagan

03. August 2015 – Wer mit dem Zug durch Myanmar fährt, der sollte eines mitbringen: Zeit und Sitzfleisch. Mit rund 20 kmh tuckert die Bahn mit einer Stunde Verspätung am Nachmittag im Bahnhof von Yangon ein. Wir merken schnell, dass wir die erste Klasse gebucht haben. Kaum wird der Zug aufgerufen, wird unser Gepäck auf einen Kofferwagen gewuchtet und zum Gleis gebracht. Auch unser überraschtes „Nein danke, wir können das selbst tragen.“ stößt auf Unverständnis. Wir sollen bitte folgen und betreten als erste den Bahnsteig. Mir ist die viele Aufmerksamkeit unangenehm, da alle anderen Mitfahrenden noch geduldig warten müssen. Was haben wir da bloß gebucht?

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Advent stories from the Philippines – The light from Manila

Christmas is coming up and we meet in time for the beginning of Advent in the Philippine capital Manila. Already at the airport welcomes us a golden angel in front of a decorated Christmas tree. The steps of the little Malaysian girl in front of us slow down. look here, Mama! Prompt the mother pulls out the phone and takes a picture of a child and angels. Scenes, as we know only too well from around the world. Outside us schwallt warm humid, stickige, by exhaust gases against smelly air. We're back in the smog. Welcome back! A short time later we know why: tightly packed clog black sooty jeepneys, the main means of transportation in Manila, big cars (SUV) buses and the routes through the town. Compared to other Southeast Asian countries are in the fray little scooter on the road. In return, a solitary cyclist with masked face fights quickly past the droning traffic. Respect! Pass us by construction sites and chic new buildings for luxury apartments with pool directly at the Airport. Manila, a juggernaut? What is behind the description? We are curious.

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Between Thailand and Myanmar - entry via the "Friendship Bridge"

What has happened in the last two months since China?
Time to Make a note of the impressions is hardly, we limit ourselves to observe and discover. Many experiences in my head yet want to be held. From the tropical city of Jinghong (Süd-China) We are in early July on the bustling market town Luang Namtha in northern Laos in the Golden Triangle to Chiang Rai (Northern Thailand) traveled, before it went on the popular university town of Chiang Mai to the Burmese border into sleepy village of Mae Sot. Here we feel for the first time “burmesischen Wind”, see obvious differences between Thais and Burmese…

From Mae Sot on the border with Myawaddy
In late July the time has come. A new country is calling us and is just a few meters. Myanmar, which many still know as Burma and call it as many locals as, is within your grasp.

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have time.

The trip goes on, ever. Who or what drives us? Sometimes it is pure curiosity about the next target, times the current location, of but no longer invites us for various reasons to linger. In addition, the precious travel time must be used yes, hammering a little devil in my head. But what does it matter, Optimum use of time?

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Jinghong 景洪 市 Tropical border town on the Mekong

If you pull out at night off the bus in Jinghong, schwallt the contrary hot and humid air. Welcome to the tropical region of Xishuangbanna, in south-western tip of China! The tropical temperatures are noted the city, not only in terms of temperature. She looks more colorful than other cities in China. Han Chinese, From- and other minorities live together. The building facades have a colored paint, in the streets palm trees and other flowering trees have been planted. Obststände, mobile food stalls and barbecue stalls line the sidewalks. The smell of grilled chicken is in the air, Dressing for papaya salad is mashed and served noodle soup. Our anticipation of Laos and Thailand grows. Between all the “tropical dream” then stand here and there, faceless, monotonous high-rise complexes, the flashing colorful night. We are simply still in China.

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Between Hani villages and rice terraces in Yuanyang 元阳县

Lush green rice fields as far as the eye can see. We ride in the hilly landscape of Yuanyang, 80 km southwest of Jianshui. Over the centuries, the Hani minority terraced rice fields created. It is not only about a valley, but an area of ​​ca. 12.500 ha with a distinctive topography. At the top of the mountain slopes, the villages have settled, while the rice terraces to extend deep into the valleys. A direct bus from Jianshui from there is not, so we or several times the bus. Must change Minivan. Our accommodation, das „Timeless Hostel Yuanyangʱ??, located in the village Pugaolao and offers a wonderful wide view down to the rice fields. From the rooftop terrace, we can see, go up as fog and clouds in the snail's pace of the Valley. Night dive the large moon behind the mountain ridge on. Even a few stars are visible. There seems to be no better place to relax..

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Jianshui 建水县, a bustling market town and touristy Swallow Caves

After the big city Kunming Jianshui is at first glance a boon. After brief 200 km southward and three and a half hour drive, we will be met at the bus station small town of Songtheaw similar vehicles. The driver sitting relaxed on her car in the afternoon sun and provide us with their services. As so often we go with a “bu schischié” (no thanks) past them, to give us space and air. we are lucky, on the other side of the road just keeps a city bus, the direction Altstadt drives. As simple as it may sometimes go. We pass old, partly rundown small wooden houses, whose color is faded on the facade has long. The car-free old town with its narrow lanes Jianshui looks comfortable at first glance and is not quite as highly polished as Lijiang and Shangri-La. We see tourists barely. But appearances are deceptive, because it is the middle of the week.

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Kunming 昆明 , A short stroll through the provincial capital of Yunnan

So far we have traveled five weeks through China, seen and have discovered much, by bus, Overcome several thousand meters of altitude train or on foot. The industrial city of Kunming is, after all, “just” yet on the 2000m high Yunnan level, so year-round mild temperatures prevail. It is very pleasant, not too hot, not too cold. Also, the long-term travelers need a break from time to time. We are mainly from the long bus rides “reisemüde” become and are longing for a relaxing place to stay. Although sounds a town of about seven million inhabitants less than ideal for, but the many parks in the city, we are optimistic. Can finally be with a book on the grass and the sun on the belly seem…

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