Discovering Northwest Myanmar

Joko_Londo

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Nov 29, 2016
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There's a blog that goes into a lot more detail here.

I'm actually currently on Day 5 of the trip, but as I have some free time this morning, I thought I'd catch up with the video and blog creating process.

So far, things are going great! (knock-on-wood) The CRF250 I got from Mandalay Motorbike is chewing up these bumpy Chin State roads with ease. The scenery is spectacular. My concern at this point is that it's the first day of Thingyan, the Water Festival. I've been lead to believe that since Chin is predominantly Christian, they don't go at the water throwing as much as they do in other parts of Myanmar and Thailand.


 
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bsacbob

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Another great video, wouldn't want to spend too much time in that room zzz, out of curiosity how much did Zack charge for the CRF ?
 

Joko_Londo

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Another great video, wouldn't want to spend too much time in that room zzz, out of curiosity how much did Zack charge for the CRF ?
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. As for how much it cost, let me note that Zach puts the CRF at $60/day on his website. As for what I paid, remember we've known each other for years, I've sent him a bunch of referrals over that time and I'm renting it for 21 days. I will say the cost to rent the CRF for three weeks exceeded what I spent to outright buy my brand new Kenbo 125, which I happened to have just sold to a colleague whose just beginning her Riding Asia adventures, 2.5 years ago.
 

prince666

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Hi Bob
At $60 a day is still not bad when you consider that a "friend" of ours is taking about 10.000 THB a day all in rental CRF, fuel, tour, service truck, hotel (tent LOL), food.
 

bsacbob

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Hi Bob
At $60 a day is still not bad when you consider that a "friend" of ours is taking about 10.000 THB a day all in rental CRF, fuel, tour, service truck, hotel (tent LOL), food.
:naughty:
 

Joko_Londo

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Yangon, Myanmar
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I don't normally create videos out of sequence, but since it's the last day of the water festival, I felt obliged to create and share even though it has nothing to do with motorcycles...

 

Joko_Londo

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As I tour via motorbike through SE Asia, the most common comment I get from locals is "you're traveling by yourself?". Incomprehensible for me to be doing such a thing. But I prefer traveling alone! No one to tell you when to stop, when to keep going, when to eat or sleep or anything. It's the freedom of the road. But, in a ways, I feel like I'm not traveling alone because I have my video camera.You all are coming with me. Join me.

 

Lone Rider

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As I tour via motorbike through SE Asia, the most common comment I get from locals is "you're traveling by yourself?". Incomprehensible for me to be doing such a thing. But I prefer traveling alone! No one to tell you when to stop, when to keep going, when to eat or sleep or anything. It's the freedom of the road. But, in a ways, I feel like I'm not traveling alone because I have my video camera.You all are coming with me. Join me.


Yes, thanks for taking us along on your travels and by the way, I also get that question many times on my travels in Laos and just like you, I prefer to travel alone as it gives me all the freedom I like. Just plotted you trip on a map but not sure if this is the route you took.

Capture.jpg
 

2wheels

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Classic quote; "Where the hell am I?!"

And I fully concur with you and Auke " .... But, in a ways, I feel like I'm not traveling alone because I have my video camera.You all are coming with me. Join me. "

Good job J-L.
 

blackwolf

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Honda Sonic 125cc, 4 wheels, about to buy a 250cc dirt bike
As I tour via motorbike through SE Asia, the most common comment I get from locals is "you're traveling by yourself?". Incomprehensible for me to be doing such a thing. But I prefer traveling alone! No one to tell you when to stop, when to keep going, when to eat or sleep or anything. It's the freedom of the road. But, in a ways, I feel like I'm not traveling alone because I have my video camera.You all are coming with me. Join me.

I personally don't see anything remotely strange about traveling alone. Do people who ask this question not consider that it may be very difficult to find people willing to travel with you? Everyone has different life circumstances, some people are married and have kids to look after and lots of people have very limited holidays. So even if one could find a traveling buddy, they may be restricted to a much shorter period of time traveling than yourself.

Anyway, just a thought. Hehe.
 

Joko_Londo

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Yes, Lone Wolf, that was my route for that leg. For the next one, Gangaw to Hakha...


Leaving one of the few guesthouses in Gangaw, I was ready from some real mountain roads. Long, straight, smooth roads with gorgeous scenery around have their place. They can be enjoyable. But what every motorcycle tourist likes are windy roads - roads where you lean into your turn and accelerate out of it. Not to mention that the topographical attractions of mountains are nicer to look at.... more words on my blog.

 
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oldbloke

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Nov 13, 2011
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Man, you are really making me jealous heading up there.. did you have any permit issues?
Doing it on a proper bike ( even with the issue of getting the right fuel ) must make it a lot easier :)
Looking forward to your next installment
 

Joko_Londo

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Yangon, Myanmar
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Kenbo 125
Man, you are really making me jealous heading up there.. did you have any permit issues?
Doing it on a proper bike ( even with the issue of getting the right fuel ) must make it a lot easier :)
Looking forward to your next installment
Nowadays, Chin State is pretty much wide open. No permits or anything required. As for fuel, the only place to get 95 octane gas was in the station at the end off the video. I had to fill the tank with 92 several times on the journey, and to be honest, I didn't notice any difference in how the bike performed.
 

bsacbob

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Look's Falam is at best a lunch stop, strangely they appear very fond of painting houses green, hopefully your next port of call will have more luxurious accommodation.
 

Joko_Londo

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In part 7, we go from the furthest west part of Chin State on the Indian border, on a brutal road to the town of Tedim. From there, the road got a lot better as we descended into a valley and the city of Kalaymyo.



As always, there's a blog that goes with this featuring a bunch of words and pictures.

 

2wheels

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Very impressive; thanks J_L.
Was that a bit of Songkran water throwing I spotted on the side of the road?
 

Joko_Londo

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Yangon, Myanmar
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Very impressive; thanks J_L.
Was that a bit of Songkran water throwing I spotted on the side of the road?
Oh yes. It was day 2 of Songkran (Thingyan here) when I rolled out of Chin. The population being mostly Christian up there, I didn't need to worry about road attacks, but once I got to my destination in the multi-ethnic town of Kalymyo. Thhingyan was readily apparent. I didn't include this vid as it's not motorbike related, but they pushed forward the scheduled dance once I showed up the dousing-station in front of my hotel...

It's not the best synched dancing I've seen, but it was charming nonetheless...

 

bsacbob

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Another whimsically video, thanks.

BTW you mentioned in an earlier video of being unable to get accommodation one evening, Myanmar does have its challenges in that department, not sure if you have a GPS but co-ord's of the guesthouses you have stayed would be useful for our Myanmar Accommodation section if you have them.
 

2wheels

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Good stuff J_L
One cold beer for you :DD
So, did the mechanics from up the road come and repair your tyre (tire) or was it passers by?
Nail?
 

Joko_Londo

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Yangon, Myanmar
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Kenbo 125
Good stuff J_L
One cold beer for you :DD
So, did the mechanics from up the road come and repair your tyre (tire) or was it passers by?
Nail?
Nothing came from the first group of good samaritans. But a second guy driving a really nice pick up truck decided to stop. I kinda made eye-contact with him as drove by the opposite direction, thinking maybe we could load the bike in the back of his truck. Instead, he got on his cel phone and started calling people, and sat with my for half an hour or so until a mechanic rolled up with his tools. Zach had given me a spare inner-tube, but I was surprised to see the mechanic had brought one too - the correct size for a CRF 250! Anyways, after it was all done, the guy with the truck left with a smile, and the mechanic asked me for 1000 kyats (USD $0.75) for his labor. Myanmar people are so honest.

Yeah, I think it was a nail sticking out of the bridge I had just crossed. You know the kind. Wooden 2x4's bound together by metal bands... and the nails they use on those bands invariably work their way up and out.
 

2wheels

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Wow, that's impressive.
I also found that the Burmese I encountered seem not to be so money motivated as elsewhere.
Best wishes.
 

2wheels

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Great music!
Those humble little road-side coffee stops are a blessing eh?
And 'service with a smile' was another aspect of touring Burma that I enjoyed.
What do you think of the CRF250 for what you are doing J-L?
 

Joko_Londo

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Yangon, Myanmar
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2wheels, I loved riding the CRF250. Compared to my Kenbo 125, the extra CCs were nice, but not really needed. There were very few roads along the way that were suitable to drive at 90km/hr+. But what did matter was the suspension. Roads that would have been bumpy to the point of no longer fun on the old bike, were easy-peasey on the CRF.

In this next episode, I leave Sagaing Division and enter into the conflict-ridden Kachin State, off to one of the few places in the area foreigners were allowed to travel, the remote and beautiful Indawgyi Lake. Check out the blog for more words and pictures.

 

2wheels

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And those large diameter wheels help.
Impressed with your blog too J_L and 'yes' the aloofness of that bitch at the table is clear to see. She would regard you as a threat to 'her' domain. Her loss. Take care as things are getting nasty up there.
 

2wheels

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Ah, good to hear from you again J-L.
Knowing you were in a 'sensitive area' aka war zone and not having heard from you for 6 days
some of us were becoming a bit concerned. RA does send its correspondents to hairy places!
Take care out there.
 

Joko_Londo

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Yangon, Myanmar
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Thank you for watching, 2W, and I regret to inform you that you've misunderstood my timing on this trip. I hate to kill the suspense, but at the moment, I'm making videos about the journey I made last month, 8 April to 29 April...

It takes me about 3 to 4 hours in total to make a 6 minute video. Given that I also have to work for a living and have other interests (NBA basketball this time of year), 4 hours can take 4 days. I can't blog live while I'm experiencing it. Anyhoots, thanks for watching and appreciating my videos, but at the moment, I am safe at home in Yangon, making videos about stuff that happened a month ago.
 

2wheels

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Yes J-L I know.
You gave the actual date in your vid clip.
I'm just building the drama! :sipping
 

2wheels

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Nice touch that you found 'Burmese Days' J-L.
I'll try to find it somewhere in Chiang Mai.
 
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