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Along the muddy roads of the Sagaing division

We spent the day in Bagan with visiting individual stupas, making use of the hotel's swimming pool and undertaking a river cruise on the Ayeyarwady in the evening.

Refilling
Stupas
On the way to Monywa

The next day, our convoy began to move again. The next destination was the small town of Monywa and the nearby Phowintaung caves, a Buddhist temple complex, consisting of hundreds of small caves containing Buddha statues carved into the sandstone. Although this day's stage with less than 200 km was one of the shortest on the tour, the trip took until the early evening, as roads and traffic again did not fast driving. On the way we stopped for lunch and for example have had some Burmese curry or "Laphet Thohk", a Burmese tea leaf salad with peanuts.

Phowintaung caves
Monk procession
On the way to Kalay

The stage between Monywa and Kalay in the northwest should have been the most time consuming. With full tanks, we left Monywa around 8am and went west via Gangaw to Kalay. An alternative more direct route is available only in a very limited (the driest) time of the year and so we ultimately had a distance of 340 km ahead of us.
On the way we had to cross two mountain ranges after after there was rain in the morning. Many sections of the road were unpaved and covered with deep mud and slush. While we passed nuermous trucks wo got stuck, and classic cars as well as our leading guide's vehicle had significant difficulties on some sections, we felt even more confirmed in the choice of our vehicle. Pure driving pleasure for the drivers of the three 4WD!

Burmese lunch
On the way to Kalay
On the way to Kalay
On the way to Kalay
Landscape south of Kalay
River

The road north of Gangaw - meanwhile paved again - runs through a valley fringed by lush green rice paddies, which to the west and to the east is bounded by mountain ranges and allows us to see a beautiful sunset. Previously, our guide's vehicle got another flat tire.

The next morning we moved further north to the border town of Tamu and passed the Tropic of Cancer on the way - after we already crossed both the Tropic of Capricorn in Australia and the equator in Sumatra (Indonesia).

The small town of Tamu is relatively quiet with the exception of a few scooters on the streets. One reason may have been the fact that power is only available between 6.30pm and 10pm. So we could save ourselves the question for a public WiFi.
After a walk through the market in the hot midday sun, we enjoyed our last evening with some more Myanmar beer. After 7 days and about 1650 km across Myanmar, it was already time to leave Myanmar, and thus Southeast Asia.

Tropic of Cancer
Typical village
Tamu border bridge

For all of us it was clear that we would love to have spent more time in the country. But the question of costs in this country is different one compared to the eastern neighbouring countries.
We will remember the very friendly locals and can now count Myanmar among the highlights of our trip despite the still difficult situation in the country. We say "cè-zù tin-ba-deh" (Thank you very much) and consider another visit in the future possible.