En route from Yangon to Bago, we stopped off at the Taukkyan War Memorial and Cemetery. Over 30,000 people from Commonwealth countries died in service during World War II; the memorial shows the names of 27,000, while 6,374 are actually buried here.
It is a beautifully designed cemetery and memorial, and the place is immaculately maintained, with lovely frangipane trees.
We arrived in Bago in time for a quick lunch at a small place at the side of the road, and then we all took out the hotel's bicycles to see a few of the local sights. Not being a regular cyclist, I can't say that I felt overly comfortable on a bike with a hard saddle, only one gear and some pretty lousy brakes, but thankfully most of the way the traffic wasn't too bad, so I survived - though I had an incredibly sore bum by the time we got back.
Our first stop was the Shwemawdaw Pagoda, which looked OK from the outside, but whilst some went in, we found a cafe. We also found a few puppies, which kept us occupied for a while.
The next stop was supposed to be another pagoda, which I forget the name of, but that went out of the window when I mentioned that I had read that Bago had a snake monastery, where they had a huge Burmese python. With a few directions from locals, we made our way up the quite bumpy track, where we were greeted by lots of the people who lived along it.
We reached the monastery, and sure enough, there was the snake. The monastery keeps the python because it is believed to be the reincarnation of a former abbot. It is said to be around 120 years old, and at over five metres long, it may well deserve its claim to be one of the biggest snakes in the world. It takes five monks to move it.
From here, we went back to where we were staying, with the intention of going just a tiny bit further up the road to see the Kyaik Pun Paya, with a huge Buddha facing out in each of the four directions. However, by the time we got back to road, my backside hurt so much that I couldn't bring myself to do that final bit, and turned into the hotel and got a head start on the beers instead. Nic carried on to it, but didn't take a camera, so no photos.
P.S. very sad to see the recent flooding here
Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.
Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.