Myamar Adventure : Mt. Popa

We had a whole before our bus to Yangon leaves so we decided to visit Mt. Popa.
Mt. Popa is a dormant volcano which is about 40-50 minutes by car from New Bagan.
Untitled The temple on top of Mt. Popa Untitled
Another one.

We paid about 22,000 Kyats ( $15-17) for 2 people. The taxi waited for us too so it was really a good deal.

Untitled A long and scenic climb. Just like any temple in Myanmar, shoes are not allowed. You need to walk at least 700 stairs before you can reach the top. There are no specific fee to enter but you are required to donate a specific amount 🙂 for maintenance. There are several locals constantly cleaning the stairs in specific area which is really great. There are monkeys roaming around also so be careful about bringing food. Untitled
Your friendly neighborhood monkey.

Untitled View from the top. Untitled

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One of the Pagoda on top.

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If you have a few hours left before leaving Bagan, I suggest to take a short detour to Mt. Popa.

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Myanmar Adventure : Bagan 

Bagan was considered to be the heart of Myanmar over the centuries. It burts of spiritual creativity which lasted for two and half centuries , beginning in 1047 and ending in 1287 when Kublai Khan raided the city.

One the main attraction is the “Bagan Archaelogical Zone” which occupies an impressive 26-sq mile area.

Sunrise and Sunset is the best part of the day to view the temples/ pagodas.

Untitled Sunrise Untitled

Getting inside Bagan is not free. We paid $15 per person to get into the city. Make sure you do not loose your entrance ticket for the duration of your stay.

We took a night bus from Yangon and arrived in Bagan around 4 am in the morning just in time for the sunrise and it was beautiful.
There are several ways to tour the site and we decided to rent a horse carriage for the day and it was a good idea indeed. Our driver and tour guide took us to a lovely place to watch the sunset.
Untitled Waiting for the Sunset at one of the temple. Untitled
Another Panoramic view of Old Bagan.

Untitled One of the many Pagodas you can around Old Bagan. I kept saying “Old Bagan”, since that is what most of the local refer to the archaeological site. New Bagan refers to where most of the local lives. Untitled

Our ride for the day. Very comfy and keep us out of the sun.

December is considered to be one of the Dry season and it can get hot in the day. There are barely any shades around till you get to the Pagoda.
Untitled Our very hardworking tour guide for the day. Untitled
You can also meet local selling this kind of art. They claim to be the one making it. Well technically they do paint it. It’s one of those do it yourself painting with already patterns on it and all you need to do is paint it. I got suckered into buying one and later found out that almost everyone is selling the same thing.

And in all pagodas, small or big, shoes are not allowed so it would be advisable to bring an extra pair of socks or wet wipes to use afterwards.

Bagan is an amazing place to visit. A place full of history. If not for invaders, I wonder how the city would have flourish. What kind of philosophies or philosophers or scholars have studied there.  If only those rocks, pagodas could talk, I wonder what kind of stories they would tell.

 

Myanmar Adventure : Shwedagon Paya (Pagoda)

I never really finished writing about the last trip to Myanmar, so please allow me to continue.

After we visited Botataung Paya, we walked all the way to Shewadagon Paya.

Same as Botataung, I was mistaken as one of the local and it would have been free entrance for me if I know some basic words. Unfortunately, as soon as the girl asked me about the tickets in the local dialect, I had a big question mark in my face and he basically said “ah foreinger” and got another ticket for me to pay.

Just like any other temple or pagoda in Yangon, you are not allowed to wear shoes or socks inside. You can bring it with you or leave it at the entrance.

Shewadagon Pagoda is located at the center of Yangon and no building must be taller than it.

Untitled En route , we had a short stop at one of the cafe located at the top most of this building and had a great view of Yangon city. (Sorry I totally forgot the name of the building). Untitled
As you get nearer to the Pagoda, the surrounding changes. You can see more smaller pagodas and more prominent houses.

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There are I think 4 main entrance to the Pagoda, one in east, west , south and north. Each of which is compose of a long staircase with shops along the way.  This part is still free although shoes and socks are no longer allowed. So if you just want to get trinkets, you can visit here anytime.

Untitled View from the top of the stairs. Let’s start the tour shall we? Untitled

Untitled A Panoramic view inside the Pagoda grounds. Untitled

Untitled Shwedagon Paya. Unfortunately,  since they were doing some renovations, the main Pagoda was covered.Untitled
A reclining Buddha. One of the many Buddha statue you can find inside.

It is a huge complex and lots of things to see.
Just be reminded that this is a holy place for the local citizen of Yangon and there are lots of people doing pilgrimage, so please be respectful and follow the rules.

It is a very beautiful Pagoda and a good place to see the religious part of Myanmar.

Retro Osaka Buildings : Arai Building

新井(Arai) Building was original a bank back in 1922. It then became a restaurant in 1976 but unfortunately due to some safety issues the restaurant closed.

In 2005, a patry shop , Gokan opened in the first floor.

The building has 4 floors and 1 basement floor. Currently the upper floors are now office space for rent.

After we left Ikoma Building, we walked about 5 minutes passing by Nomura Building and met the building manager of Arai Building.

Nomura BuildingNomura Building, Side Design Walked up to the second floor and check some of the offices there. No getting inside though, just a peek. Then we walked all the way to the top floor and got a short history and overview of the building. Arai Building, going up
Going up!

The hallway!
Arai Building , the hallwayA cat design in one of the offices Arai Building , the cat :)

Arai Building, taking pictures of people taking picturesA short description of the window (?)

I found yelp ! Arai Building and Yelp

Here too!
Arai Building and Yelp

It was a fun day. I got to see another side of Osaka’s Historical Buildings and get to checkout how it looks inside.

Retro Osaka Buildings : Ikoma Building

Hello hello , long time no hear or write. Had a few adventures lately and hopefully I would be able to share them with you.

Let’s start with the latest one.

Had the oppurtunity to join an event organized by Yelp Osaka to visit two of the historical buildings in Osaka.

Out first stop is Ikoma Building. Ikoma Building was built in 1930, so now it’s about 85 years old. It has fortunately WW II. Ikoma Building is a watch store. It has 5 stories and 1 basement.
Ikoma Building circa 1930Currently, the 2nd floor all the way to the top is now office space for rent. The basement holds some of its historical artifacts. One of which is the very first signboard. Some old clocks and even the thing that is used for fixing clocks. The building is not open to the public so I felt really fortunate to be able to see inside and walked along the corridors , stairs of this building and felt walking back into 1930 Japan. Very thankful for Yelp Osaka for giving me the opportunity to join this amazing event. Let’s take a short tour.   Ikoma Building : Looking up
Looking up.

When I got to there, I saw Yelp Osaka Community Manager in 1930’s Fashion, could not help myself and took a picture of him
Yelp Osaka Community Manager in 1930's FashionFirst stop is the basement, where we met the building managers and listen to short history of the building. I got curious about this thing and found out later that this is used to repair watches. Ikoma Building : Used for watch repair

Some old pictures of long ago:
Ikoma Building 1930's//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsIkoma Building : The Past

Then we continued to the rooftop where we could see the old clock tower. It has undergone repair and the inside has been modernized but it has retained it’s original form.

Ikoma Building : Clock TowerOld and new. Ikoma Building : Our Hosts for the day.
Osaka Yelp Community Manager and Ikoma Building Managers.

From there we slowly made our way down and found this really beautiful stained glass. This was used to be in the front but to preserve it, they move it here
Ikoma Building : The Stained GlassDown we go.. Ikoma Building : Looking down

Yelp Members
Ikoma Building and the Yelpers OsakaIkoma Building Going Down

Almost there.

From Ikoma Building we moved to the next one and will be on the next post 🙂