Asian Motorcycle Adventures

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Began temples in front of ridgeline.
All 120 images in this Burma slide show were taken during a recce ride in May 2012.  The purpose of this ride was to set up guided motorcycle tours starting in the fall of 2012. (Photo of Bagan)

Five novice monks, grinning.
Many people are unfamilair with the word 'recce'. Recce is short for reconnoiter, which is an exploratory survey of a region.
George Migliorelli and Reed Resnikoff starting out on their recce ride.
George Migliorelli (bending over) and Reed Resnikoff (owner/operator of ASIAN MOTORCYCLE ADVENTURES) preparing to start their recce tour from Mandalay.
In Maymo old-fashioned stagecoaches take the place of taxis.
Not every image in this slide show will have a caption. They appear only if an explanation or clarification of an image is needed.
Stagecoach and horse made from flowers in Maymo.
George nibbling on a tray of condiments.
Burmese meals are usually served in small portions and are accomanied by many side dishes of condiments. Here George is nibbling from an appetizer tray.
Huge feast for two.
Our first dinner on the tour. We thought we ordered reasonably for two people, but this is what we ended up with.
George eating a bowl of noodles.
A bowl of noodles is the most common meal in Asia. Delicious and filling.
George having fun in a tea shop stop.
Local on loaded-down motorcycle.
Overloaded pick-up bus.
Overloaded pick-up bus-rear view.
Barbwire bush.
Barbwire bush.
When we pull up anywhere we attract a lot of attention - tea shop audience.
We garner a lot of attention wherever we go. Here we just pulled into a tea shop for a break. All eyes are upon us.
George with the restaurant staff.
Two monks in an internet shop.
George in front of a huge teak log collection center.
Teak is one of Burma's most important resources and a major export commodity. This is a vast timber collection center, one of many we passed.
River scene.
Burmese road sign.
One of the few English road signs we saw. Asking directions was extremely difficult because of the language barrier and also because many Burmese words are unpronouncable by foreigners, plus the correct pronunciation has no resemblance to how the word is written using the Latin alphabet. (Nice looking script, though.)
Old lady still life.
Switchback turns.
Sweet piece of road.
The Goteik viaduct.
Young Burmese ladies.
Grinning young monk.
Two young ladies holding flowers.
The Amazing Hotel in Inle Lake.
     The next 29 images are from the Inle Lake region. Our tours will spend 3 nights and 2 days here. The first day we explore the lake by boat. On day 2 we explore the lake area by motorcycle. There will be off-road riding involved.
     George and I stayed in this hotel during our stay.
Waitng horse carriage.
Sign: Are U tired of Rice? Inle Pancake Kingdom.
George enjoying his Inle Lake sightseeing cruise.
One-leg rowing on Inle Lake.
The Intha ethnic group live on the waters of Inle Lake. Their houses and gardens are built on stilts driven into the lake bed. Everyone gets around by boat. They developed a unique, one-legged rowing technique that frees up their hands to do other things, like fish.
Inle Lake fisherman.
Conical fish traps are another signature sight on Inle Lake.
Inle lake fisherman - close-up.
Long Neck hilltribe lady using a back strap loom.
This lady is from the Long Neck Karen ethnic group. They reside in various places in the Shan state of Burma and are not native to Inle. This lady is weaving on a backstrap loom.
Ancient Buddha heads covered in gold leaf.
This Inle Lake Buddhist temple displays these five ancient Buddha heads. For hundreds of years the devout have been applying gold leaf to them and today they are nothing more than amorphous blobs. They are considered extremely holy.
Fancy Inle Lake barge with giant bird head prow.
This fancy barge carries the five gold Buddha heads around the various lake communities on certain holidays.
A boat full of monks.
Wat Paung Daw Oo Paya on Inle Lake.
Riding on a canal on Inle Lake.
Notice the man standing in the middle of the canal. Inle Lake is overall a shallow body of water, mostly chest deep. Its level remains fairly constant throughout the year.
Horse cart in Inle Lake.
Bridge over a rice paddy canal.
Wat in Inle Lake.
Large Inle Lake Buddha - side view.
Two monks walking with a lady.
Two Pa-O hilltribe ladies carrying heavy sacks.
Surrounding Inle Lake live the Pa-O ethnic group. Here two Pa-O ladies are carrying heavy sacks of produce to market.
Partially-buried Buddha statue.
There are several antiquities spread around the Inle Lake region. We spend our second day here exploring some of these seldom-visited sites by motorcycle. The following twelve images were taken on this ride.
Partially-buried Buddha head - close-up.
Two motorcycles in front of some ancient chedis.
Motorcycle parked in front of anceint chedis.
Tilting chedi spire.
Unrestored temple cinthe.
Five ladies in an archway.
Scenic road to a Pa-O village.
Great off-road touring in the Inle Lake region.
Dirt roads across a flat plain.
Pa-O hilltribe elder.
Pa-O elder.
Broom still life.
Monk sitting in front of a statue of a monk wearing glasses and a robe.
I have no idea what the significance is of this crimson-clad, eyeglass-wearing, fan-holding statue of a monk.
Gold monk statue wearing glasses and a robe - close-up.
Looks just like the comedian George Burns, sans the cigar.
Giant Buddha towering over the treetops.
One of the largest Buddha statues in Burma.
Buddha statue wearing eyeglasses.
Buddha statue wearing eyeglases. It is believed a pilgrimage to this statue cures eye problems.
Temple ornaments made from paper.
Hand-made paper temple decorations for sale.
Two smiley laungyi sellers.
Laungyi stall. Burmese women all wear tube skirts and most men wear laungyis, which we call sarongs in the West.
Bawbawgyi Paya.
Baw Baw Gyi Paya, a huge antiquity outside Pyay. It is made from solid brick.
Bawbawgyi Paya - brick details.
Close-up of the Baw Baw Gyi Paya.
Work crew admiring our motorcycle.
Flower vendor.
Irrawaddy river scene - crowded ferry coming in for a landing.
The Irrawaddy River is Burma's longest and most important, linking Mandalay and Yangon to the Andaman Sea.
Irrawaddy River scene - cargo boats.
Bathing from floating bamboo logs.
Sunset over the Irrawaddy River.
Hilltop shrine complex.
We were heading back to Mandalay when we spotted this hilltop shrine in the middle of nowhere. No mention of it in our guidebooks. It was also deserted. And the road it was on was one of the nicest of the trip. A very pleasant surprise.
Hilltop shrine complex - close-up.
Close-up of the hilltop shrine.
Ngapali Beach.
The next seven slides are from Ngapali Beach on the Andaman Sea. It is scheduled for major development. Considered one of the finest beaches in Asia, but the infrastrucure is abysmal. As a holiday destination it is not quite there yet.
Another Ngapali Beach scene.
Two huts under a grove of palm trees.
Boat covered by a bamboo framework.
Processing fresh-caught fish.
Processing fresh-caught fish.
Oceanside village.
Stilt houses over a bay.
Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon.
The next ten images were all taken in the Shwedagon Pagoda, hands-down Burma's most important religious site, as well as its most famous tourist attraction. Endlessly fascinating. A must see. We have made a seperate slide show composed entirely of Shwedagon Pagoda images (click here to view it).
Elder monk teaching young monk how to pray.
An adherent lovingly cleansing a Buddha statue.
An adherent praying earnestly.
Monk meditating inside a giant bell.
Monk praying with prayer beads.
Red-clad people meditating.
Seven Buddha heads.
Neon halo surrounding a Buddha statue.
Monk eating an ice pop.
Tricky wooden road surface on an old iron bridge.
Crossing these wood-bottom bridges is tricky. Notice all the gaps in the planking. Not made with motorcycles in mind.
Bus has seen better days.
Pretty snack vendor at a bus stop.
Toll collector.
Toll collector. The entire tour I was never required to pay a toll and was always waved through. Tolls were only a few pennies.
Smiling man with a wispy beard.
Statue of Aung San on horseback.
     This is a statue of Aung San, considered the "Father" of modern-day Burma. He was instrumental in bringing about Burma's independence from British colonial rule.
     His daughter is Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize winner who actually became the democratically-elected leader of the country in 1990. This prompted a military junta into seizing power and they declared her election null and void. The country has been under authoritarian rule since then, until only recently. Reforms seem
truly to be taking place.
Aung San on horseback statue - close-up.
Close-up of Aung San on horseback in the middle of a traffic circle in Pyay.
Statue of Aung San - close-up.
Aung San was assinated by a bomb only six months before Burma was granted its independence from England.
The truck fleet in Burma is quite old and decrepit and slow moving.
Notice this ancient and decrpit truck climbing up the mountain. We had  to deal wioth slow moving vehicles like this all the time during our recce ride. At least the truck drivers were courteous and gave us enough room to pass.
Two ox carts.
In rural Burma, ox carts are ubiquitous.
Loading an ox cart.
Loading an ox cart. Animal-powered conveyances are widespread. Horse carts are used as taxis in all the towns.
Farmer with his prize-winning bull.
Proud farmer showing off his prize-winning bull.
Two ox carts plodding over a bridge.
Farmer on his ox cart.
Plowing a field using water buffalo power.
Ox carts on a muddy road.
Some temples in Bagan.
The next nine photos were taken in Bagan, Burma's most amazing attraction. Bagan, an ancient city founded over 1,100 years ago is Burma's most amazing point of interest. 2200 temples and pagodas are scattered across 22 square miles in a lazy bend of the Irrawaddy River.
Scene from Bagan.
Another scene from Bagan.
Still another scene from Bagan.
Tradional Burmese puppets hanging from a tree.
Red tree viewed through an iron gateway.
Bagan hotel pool.
Bagan hotel swimming pool. We plan on staying in a lodging such as this one when we begin offering Burma motorcycle tours.
Bagan hotel bed desorated with flowers.
Hotel bed decorated with fresh flowers.
Mandalay street scene.
Typical scene of Mandalay traffic.
An Islam chicken rice restaurant in Yangon.
Cauldron full of delicious halal chicken rice.
A cold drink vendor in Yangon.
Burma is a hot country. This vendor sells cold drinks by pouring water over a chunk of ice and catching the runoff in a cup.
Typical Yangon street side restaurant.
Typical streetside eatery in Yangon.
A serious-looking Hindu holy man.
     These final five photos were taken at a Hindu festival I fortuitously stumbled across. Never leave your hotel room or your get off your bike without a camera.
     This man was the head of the temple.
Hindu dancer at a Hindu temple festival.
Costumed Hindu dancers at a temple festival.
Hindu dancer with rope.
Ferocious-looking Hindu idol.
We hope you will join us one day an ASIAN MOTORCYCLE ADVENTURES Burma motorcycle tour.
The End slide


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