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Myanmar Round 2: Inle Lake and Mandalay

http://thecrescenthotel.com/motyzka/3464 The second portion of our trip started out much as the others had, at a very small airport.  I want to take a minute to describe these airports, because they are definitely a different experience.  They should really be described as large houses.  They are very small and have little to no actual gates in them, it’s more of just an open space.  My favorite part is that when you check in, they place a sticker on your shirt.  This is how they identify which westerners go to which plane.  From there you walk around the corner to the only security line,  where you walk through a metal detector and proceed into said open space, filled with rows and rows of seats.  Before each flight departs someone makes an announcement, which is hard to hear and then they proceed to walk around the room, motioning to anyone wearing the correctly colored sticker. It’s a fairly basic concept, but it actually works quite well.  We were never left behind! 😉  They also never lost our bags, so they are better than Thai Airways!

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http://www.comitesdepistagecancers.fr/ployka/2803 We had our hotel set up a taxi ahead of time, so were able to walk straight to the car when we arrived,  I should say that getting a taxi at every airport we went through was very easy.  You must pre-purchase your tickets at the taxi stand inside the airports, but its all very easy.  From the airport to Nyaungshwe is a good hours worth of driving, but the views are spectacular.  Everything is green, and lush, especially after being in Bagan, which is almost the opposite.  There is really just one major road that goes into town, and it only has two lanes, one in each direction.  Depending on the time of day, you can see a variety of vehicles and people heading in to, or out of town.   My favorite is a little hard to explain.  It would be like taking  the front of a tractor and attaching it to the bed of a pick-up truck.  The driver sits on the tractor seat, but instead of it having big back tires, its the truck bed instead.  They are very slow, bouncy and they make a ton of noise.  The noise is only ideal when riding a bike near them, because you can get out of the way in plenty of time.  Sadly, I can’t find the picture that we took of it, so you’ll just have to trust me that it was strange.

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