Thursday 3 February: From Mandalay I'm heading north on a shared pick-up truck to the old British hill station of Maymyo (now called Pyin U Lwin). The town's Purcell Tower was a gift from Queen Victoria and the clock chimes are said to match those of London's Big Ben. I wander to the outscirts of town to see the stately colonial mansion of the Candacraig Hotel, made famous in Paul Theroux's Great Railway Bazaar, but at US$36 a night it's slightly over my budget. Walking back to town I climb the six-storey Pagoda of Chan Tak Buddhist temple with views down to the temple's ornate gardens.
In the evening, after a few glasses of strawberry wine, I have a fitfull sleep, the Purcell Tower's chimes, just opposite my bedroom window, do match Big Ben's in frequency if, not quite, in volume.
Friday 4: Pick-up truck to Mandalay, local bus to overnight at Monya with sunset the river.
Saturday 5: Bus to overnight at Pakokku for downstream ferry to the temples of Bagan.
Photos of Pyin U Lwin.