Burma

Exploring Rattanakosin: Bangkok walks 1

Thammasat University and Pridi Statue

Thammasat University and Pridi Statue

Rattanakosin is an island and comprises the area of the old walled city created in 1782 by King Rama 1. A few of the old building of various eras since then remain, together with a sample of the defensive works and canals which were built by slave labour to protect this new capital, replacing the city of Thonburi  on the west side of the Chao Phraya river as the capital of Siam. Thonburi was deemed to be less easily defended. Many visitors to Bangkok visit the Grand Palace,  the very centre of Rattanakosin, and we have arranged a few walks surrounding the palace which describe the buildings and their history, which are often missed. One of the best ways to arrive at the Grand Palace is the old way – by the river, and so our walk will start at the commercial jetty where the river taxis arrive.Movie All Is Lost (2013)

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Japanese cemetery in Yangon – a place for reflection for all

Japanese Cemetery Yangon

Japanese Cemetery Yangon

It was bravery rather than the cruelty of the Japanese which was stressed by two prominent British opponents, British Field Marshal Sir William Slim and  Lt. General Arthur Percival at a joint conference after the war.  They had different experiences in dealing with the Japanese; the former initially defeated in 1942 and  then becoming a victor in 1945, the latter defeated in 1942 in the greatest defeat suffered by the British army, which led to his incarceration in Manchuria until release in 1945.

Slim and Percival agree

Slim and Percival agreed that the Japanese enjoyed an audience for their actions – such as officers exhibitions of swordsmanship at the expense of prisoners, military or civilian, man,woman or child. Read more

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Hsin Gyone Fort near Mandalay

The entrance to the Hsin Gyone Fort, Innwa.

The entrance to the Hsin Gyone Fort, Innwa.

The following is the engraving on the stone epitaph “The fort, also called the Innwa Fort was built in 1874 A.D. during the reign of King Mindon, under the supervision of Crown Prince Kanaung, Minister U Kaung and minister U Pho Hliang, Lord of Yaw and with the assistance of Italian engineer Commotto. It forms a third in the triangle of three forts, the other two are Asay Gan fort (Sagaing Fort) on the western bank of the river Ayayarwaddy and Thabyaytan Fort on the eastern bank, a few miles below Amarapura. These forts were built to defend against the invaders via the river.”  Read more

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Thapyaytan Fortress at the side of the Ava Bridge, Mandalay.

Thapyaytan Fortress, Mandalay

Thapyaytan Fortress, Mandalay

The following is a precis of the insuction tablet found in the fort. “The Thapyatan fortress is located at the east of the Ayeyarwady River, and north of the Dotehtawadi River, where there were two villages, Thapyaytan Ywa-ma and Thapyaytan Ywa-galay. Built on the orders of King Mindon, construction was assisted by Comoto Peree (sic) and Mole Nari(sic) of the Italian Navy and the cooperation of Myanmar engineers. Construction started in 1874 and finished in 1878.
The fort is 400 feet long from east to west, with a breadth of 352 feet at the south and 492 feet at the north. It has three tiered brick walls with the inner brick wall being 20 feet high. The northern gate is 16 feet 6 inches wide.

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Sagaing Fortress or Asaykhan Fortress

Sagaing Fortress entrance

Sagaing Fortress entrance

This is a translation of the stone tablet inside the Fort which gives it’s history

“It is located at the Asaykhan Quarter of Sagaing which is on the south west bank of the Ayeyarwady River. It was built during the reign of King Mindon under the direction of Comoto Peree (sic) and Moie Narie (sic), the French and Italian engineers assigned to assist Myanmar Engineers and the labour force.The King gave express responsibility to Minister Kinwong to oversee the  propject, designed to protect the kingdom from both domestic and foreign enemies. Read more

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The Shwenandaw Monastery – formerly the Golden Teak Palace.

The Golden Teak Monastery Mandalay

The Golden Teak Monastery Mandalay

Shwenandaw Kyaung  Monastery was constructed during the completion of the Mandalay Palace between 1859 and 1860. It is the only surviving wooden building from the original palace at Mandalay, most of which were destroyed during the Japanese bombing of 1942.

As was traditional, when the capital was moved to Mandalay on the orders of King Mindon, most of the existing palaces in the former capital were dismantled and re-built, and this was the case here. It taken from Amarapura Palace and re-erected as  the northern section of the King’s private apartments – the Glass Palace. Read more

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The Golden Rock – The Kyaik-ti-yo

The Golden Rock

The Golden Rock

It is situated about 200 kms. east  of Yangon, on the road to Mawlamyine and has now become one of the most popular pilgrimage sites and therefore tourist targets in the country. It’s present  popularity was not always so. It is 1100 metres above sea level and until recently it as reached by pony or more usually by a stiff hike up the mountain.  This used to take at least two days.

The previous military government decided to build a road ( another is now being constructed to avoid the present queues of truck going either down of up, which have to wait in passing places for whichever has the right of way).

 

 

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Pyin oo Lwin

The former garrison church , All Saint's Anglican Church

The former garrison church , All Saint’s Anglican Church

This town was made famous as the summer capital of the British to escape the the heat of Rangoon and Mandalay as it lies over 1000 metres above  sea level. The route from Mandalay is just under 50kms long, over goods roads which rise steeply, and many make a day trip from the old royal capital, while others make it a base to travel further on, possibly by slow train over the Goteik Viaduct  towards the old Shan capital of the Shan saopha of Hsi-paw.

When the British were advancing on Mandalay during the 3rd Anglo Burmese war in 1885, there was a plan for King Thibaw to escape to Pyin oo Lwin or Shwebo, but he decided to stay in his palace.

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Watch Movie Online Hacksaw Ridge (2016) subtitle english

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Director : Mel Gibson.
Producer : Terry Benedict, Paul Currie, Bruce Davey, William D. Johnson, Bill Mechanic, Brian Oliver, David Permut.
Release : October 7, 2016
Country : Australia, United States of America.
Production Company : Icon Productions, Permut Presentations, Pandemonium, Cross Creek Pictures, Vendian Entertainment, Demarest Media.
Language : 日本語, English.
Runtime : 140
Genre : Drama, History, War.

‘Hacksaw Ridge’ is a movie genre Drama, was released in October 7, 2016. Mel Gibson was directed this movie and starring by Andrew Garfield. This movie tell story about WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people and becomes the first Conscientious Objector in American history to win the Congressional Medal of Honor.

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Exploring the battles of Pakokku, Nyaung – U and Bagan 14th – 19th February 1945 Part 2.

The dry roads of Nyaung U and Bagan. When the allies landed they were in almost desert conditions.

The dry roads of Nyaung U and Bagan. When the allies landed they were in almost desert conditions.

Unknown to the Allies, Pagan was the boundary between the Japanese Fifteenth and Twenty-Eighth Armies, and the the area north of Nyaung U was given to the Indian National Army to guard. As well as giving heavy resistance to the South Lancashire Regiment, here at Nyaung U they were fighting against 1/11 Sikh Regiment.

The 9th battalion, INA 4th Guerrilla Regiment was made up mostly of Tamils recruited from Malaya and there was heavy fighting in the sandy lanes surrounding and at the rear of the cliffs. Read more

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