Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 77 – Waterfalls and Pagodas in Pyin Oo Lwin

I rented a bicycle to explore the small city again. While researching some of the sights to see, I decided to take a 4 mile ride northeast to see the Pwe Kauk Waterfalls and the Aung Htu Kan Tha Pagoda. The bike sucked. It was so difficult to ride up the slightest incline in the road, and this was probably the biggest workout I'd gotten this whole trip.

It took about 30 minutes to reach the pagoda, with random stops to ask the locals if I was headed in the right direction. According to legend, a 17-ton marble Buddha fell off a truck that was headed to China. After failed attempts to retrieve the Buddha, the pagoda was built and the Buddha raised because locals believed it belonged in Myanmar.

I reached the Pwe Kauk Waterfalls by around 1pm. It is a popular spot for locals to take a swim in the waters and is situated in a nicely forested area with a couple of trails to walk through, a couple crossbridges to walk across, and a water-powered carousel to ride.

The most painful part of the day was heading back to the hotel, as the sun decided to peek out from the clouds while I sweated my ass off riding a bike with a loose handle bar. I stopped a couple times to grab a beer and some ice cream to cool off and rest my legs.

While I planned to see the Botanical Gardens, I got lost trying to locate it on my Lonely Planet map, so I decided to skip it since it was already so late in the day and the gardens closed at 6pm.

Tomorrow I head to Hsipaw by train. Apparently, there has been fighting on the main road from Pyin Oo Lwin to Hsipaw in the past 5 days and the receptionist at the hotel had advised me to either take the train or head back to Mandalay by bus.

Pwe Kauk Waterfalls

Aung Htu Kan Tha Pagoda

Shan Noodles

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