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Postcard 3 - From Myanmar (Burma)

 Our itinerary, christened “The Pagan–Mandalay Packet” by our operator, Pandaw River Adventures, travels a roughly 150 mile stretch of the Ayeyarwady River, (also known as the Irrawaddy), from Bagan (Pagan) to Mandalay and beyond to Nwe Nyein. This river, rising in the eastern Himalayas and emptying into the Bay of Bengal through a vast delta, is considered the life blood of the country. Ancient capitals line its banks. It has long been a thoroughfare, and transportation artery, immortalized by Rudyard Kipling as “the Road to Mandalay.”

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   A modern Chedi/We tour Pakokku by tuk tuk

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Postcard 2 - From Myanmar (Burma)

   From the end of the third Anglo-Burmese War in 1885 until independence in 1948, Burma was a British colony. That legacy is still apparent even though Burma (now Myanmar) has clocked more years since independent than it did as a colony. The fairly common use of the English language, numerous examples of colonial architecture, hill stations where colonial administrators once escaped lowland summer heat, and the decrepit, but still functional railway system, are all part of this legacy.

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    Our Riverboat, RV Kindat Pandaw and river traffic on the Irrawaddy/Ayeyarwady River

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Postcard 1 - From Hong Kong and Myanmar

     The results of last week’s Parliamentary elections in Myanmar (formerly Burma) are very encouraging but didn’t really surprise us. We traveled in that troubled land just prior to the historic vote, and formed the impression of a country firmly rooted in tradition and Theravada Buddhism, yet seeking a more responsive, benevolent and honest government–one more characteristic of the people themselves.
     Whether these elections can lead to such an outcome remains an open question and was definitely a matter of debate among many of those we encountered during our journey. Still, hope seemed the dominant political sentiment, and the enthusiasm evidenced by the supporters of the National League for Democracy, the party of Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, foreshadowed their electoral success.

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