Bangkok-Yangon the day before yesterday; Yangon-Mandalay and Mandalay-Manywa yesterday; crater lakes and banana fields today and tomorrow; no Internet and no phone connection; dust and heat; roads hardly manageable with a 4×4 jeep; snakes and mosquitoes; hundreds of monasteries, hundreds of monks and some nuns; friendly and curious villagers; modest dress code; bicycles and motor bikes everywhere; not really understanding what is going on and how to behave. This basically summarizes the first two days in Myanmar – a place so different from neighboring Thailand and yet so close.
Our target during these few days here are the many crater lakes, which extend in a southwest – northeast direction west of the city of Mandalay. Google Earth shows these lakes and the extinct volcanoes very clearly, and now we are exploring them in more details, together with members of the Myanmar Geosciences Society. Alongside the search for suitable coring sites, we also experience the small towns and villages, see some of the local industries, the agricultural fields and taste the food.