After seeing many temples in Bagan, we rode a very slow train to Mandalay – the train took eight hours to travel only 200 kilometres (125 miles) across flat land!  The train stopped in many stations where people sold food and drink through the windows of the train. I even bought something to eat!

A friendly man sells me food at a train station

Mandalay used to be the ancient capital of Myanmar, so there were many things to see. We travelled to the world’s longest teak bridge at a nearby town called Amarapura.  The bridge  is called U Bein’s Bridge and it is almost 1.2 kilometres long (1,300 yards) and it took a long, long time to hop across it all!

Polly hops along U Bein's Bridge at Amarapura

After this long time hopping, we travelled to a place called Inle Lake – I will tell you more in my next post!  While we were in the area, we visited a place called Kakkua where they have built 2,478 Buddhist stupas – there were so many stupas, I could not count them all!

Polly in front of a fraction of the 2,478 stupas at the Kakku Buddhist site

We went on an overnight hike with a local guide into the hills behind Inle Lake. We were lucky to hike to an area where few foreigners travel.  Many people looked at Shane, and me even more – I do not think that the people here have ever seen a hiking frog before!

We walked through many farms and saw the local people working very hard.  They did not own machines so they had to complete their work by hand.

Separating rice in rural Myanmar

Shane told me that there are many different ethnic groups in Myanmar, and the area we were hiking is home to the Pa-O people.

Farmers working in the fields in rural Myanmar

We visited a place where they make treacle.  They put sugar cane in a big tub, boil it for a long time, and after a lot of mixing, they let it cool so that it thickens to become treacle.

Making treacle in Myanmar

I ate some of the fresh treacle and it was very, very sweet.  Even Shane who loves to eat sweet foods could only eat a small piece at a time. The kind workers gave us some to take travelling with us, so we ate fresh treacle as a dessert for the next week!

Polly with freshly made treacle

After a long day of hiking, we climbed some hills to a village called Hti Ne (pronounced Tee-Ne). Only 800 people live here and there is no electricity, so people must use other ways to cook and to light homes.  There are only two televisions in the village, but with no television reception, people watch DVDs – with the most popular being South Korean soap operas!

The children and people who live here were very shy, as they only see few foreigners and even fewer foreign frogs!  They hid for a long time before they came closer to us.

Polly in the village of Hti Ne

Shane and I had a wonderful day hiking through the Pa-O region of Myanmar.  During the whole day nobody (except for our guide) spoke to us in English, tried to sell us anything, ask anything from us, and we saw no souvenir shops!  Shane loved this hike because he does not like places where the local people forget their traditions and try to change their community just to make visitors happy instead of following their culture.

We stayed in family’s house that night and slept on the floor.  It was very cool in the hills, so I crawled under the blankets to keep warm. Shane and I sleep very well after a wonderful and special day!

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2 Responses to “Polly hikes in hills where no frog has hiked before!”

  1. Polly #7 has got to be the most traveled frog in the world! Another great post–thanks for sharing.

  2. Great post! The treacle looks good. It looks a lot like caramel.