Myanmar getaway – day 3.Bagan

Update 1

Another early day. flight to bagan is at 8am, had to leave the hotel at around 6 to make it to the flight.. the lack of sleep and rest is getting to us…

check-in was easy.. no luggage belts and such.. we handed over our check-in luggage to the counter and a couple of guys came an took them away.. gave us some stickers to stick to our shirts for identification at the gate.. i guess it helps with the language barrier and to ensure people don’t get on the wrong flights…

however the local airlines seemed very efficient, whisking us away on a bus to the plane.. and leaving the tarmac full 15 mins before the scheduled flight time…  this was def a first.. we were warned about the quality of the airlines but the one we chose (Air KBZ) didn’t seem too bad…

Bagan Airport(Nyaung U) is as expected a tiny one, luggage was brought in by hand and  luggage tags checked and we were able to claim and move out… had to buy the Bagan Archaeological Zone pass for USD 20 from the airport. this pass gives us access to the area’s pagodas/temples etc. went out took a taxi for USD 6 to our hotel in old bagan… pretty hassle free.

Hotel turned out to be a pleasant surprise.. seemed like we got a very good deal and ended up in a pretty high end one for a lowish price… was nice.. decided to make this a day for recuperation since we really needed to pay our rest and sleep debt. exploring for later in the day.

Update 2

For lunch tried a Myanmar themed set.. was yummy reminded me of thai, indian sort of fusion… not bad at all.. not spicy.. mild balanced flavours.

Explore time… the area is huge.. so exploring on foot was out of the question. we rented some e-bikes which are easy to use and allowed us to do whatever we wanted on our own time… looks cute..

Had to turn in relatively early… was exhausted.. and tomorrow is a big day! proper exploration of the area…

related:

Day 2 : https://noodlydoodly.wordpress.com/2015/05/10/myanmar-getaway-day-2-yangonfor-di/

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Myanmar getaway – day 2.Yangon

Update 1

Day 2. Waking up is hard… specially if you wake up at 3 am and all the sleep You had in the last 2 days amount to less than 5 hrs combined… But we’re off to yangon! so Yay!

way too early for this..

tired but excited!

Update 2

Yangon airport it relatively small compared to other hubs in the region.. but thats no surprise. we had the e-visa papers so getting through immigration was easy and no hassles… changed money to the kyat from the airport which the lonely planet suggested had the best rates.. and strangely it seems to be the case…

Raniya’s friend Bon, arranged for transport and we met up with him and his family at his place…after a lovely breakfast at Bon’s place we dropped our bags off at the hotel and headed to Shwedagon Pagoda… “Shwedagon Pagoda was constructed more than 2,600 years ago, making it the oldest Buddhist stupa in the world” says wikipedia… so yes.. its gold.. so much gold.. so much glare.. hurts the eyes to even look.. but really an amazing place…

Tip : you have to remove all footware including socks to enter any of these pagoda’s/temples . it’s not a fun thing to walk around on a scorching hot surface baking under a 40 degree sun… maybe try to time your visits earlier in the morning or later during the day during the hot days… your feet might thank you for it… although inaz says this is purely a mind over matter issue… 

was so dehydrated by the time we were done with the pagoda’s we decided to break for lunch… went to a lovely spot called my garden.. think we overdid it with food…

after lunch we hit the bogyoke market, a colonial style building / area with tiny shops and cobblestoned streets with a variety of jewelry,fabric,clothes,handiwork,antique stores amongst others.

for dinner we went to my garden restaurant again…. the same place were we had lunch.. with bon and family… live music… great atmosphere… brilliant company… and most importantly good food… was a great way to end the night…

related  : https://noodlydoodly.wordpress.com/2015/05/09/myanmar-getaway-day-1-prep/

Myanmar getaway – day 1.Prep

I haven’t yet so far used my blog for anything other than tech related stuff but I’ve been traveling a lot recently and for some reason I haven’t been documenting any of it. And so why not… Something to look back at and maybe it will even help out someone later on..   Thoughts / suggestions are welcome of coz..

Day1 – male to KL

Update 1

Needed one day to hang out in KL, buy some much needed travel gear for the Myanmar leg of the journey which starts tomorrow early morning.

Managed to stuff all my stuff including travel tech into my workhorse.. The osprey atmos 65.

the atmos 65.. lots of room .. extremely comfortable on the back

This bag has been brilliant on so many trips. Local and overseas. But it’s drawback is that since it’s a hiking backpack it’s not the most ideal for airplane travel and is not carry on Size

So gonna replace it with something more suitable. Going out to look for one in a bit.

Update 2

Found a couple bags that looks pretty good. The osprey farpoint 40 which I’ve been looking at for a while which is also carry on compliant. And the osprey daylight daypack for well.. Daypack use..  I should be set for travel luggage with this trio… Yes a fan of osprey. Great products.. Will put some pics up a bit later. Way too tired. Almost 48 hours without sleep…

Early flight tomorrow to yangon. Have to wake up around 3 am ish…

related : https://noodlydoodly.wordpress.com/2015/05/10/myanmar-getaway-day-2-yangonfor-di/

My thoughts on Amazon Kindle Unlimited

kindle unlimtied

So i signed up just a few days back for the kindle unlimited trial account. I’d like to share my thoughts on the experience. first off i am a paying amazon prime customer, and by having that  i do get access to ‘borrow’ one book a month from their significant library. but its kind of restricted to my kindle device, yes..an actual kindle, prime customers cant use the prime libarary to borrow on an app on lets say the iPad or an Android device.

Kindle unlimited by comparison allows you to borrow up to 10 books at a time from their library of what looks pretty similar to the prime lending library, i don’t know if its the same or not.. Amazon does say 600,000 + titles but yeah 10 books at a time. and it does not have the limitation on the iPad or Android as Prime does. It also does not seem to restrict checking out books you already read or restricting how many books per month etc. Not that i’ve noticed anyway.

Borrowing a book seems pretty straightforward enough, Store on website, iPad and kindle itself seems easy enough..

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Photo Jul 21, 21 36 45

 

Whispersync for Voice

This is also an ‘unlimited’ option and included as part of your kindle unlimited subscription, i imagine the voice enabled titles do count towards your 10 book at once limit, but really its no big deal, its just easy to switch between reading and listening if you like audiobooks. the good thing about this option is that this is a proper narration. not the robotic dictation in previous kindles. Amazon does say its audible narration so no complaints there. Only problem is a minority by comparision (7000+) of the books are enabled for voice so don’t have too high an expectation

 

Audible Trial

You do get a 3 month trial to full audible services, which is basically 1 book credit per month for 3 months. this in itself is not a bad deal at all, there are no restrictions on any books that you can purchase using these credits and i assume they are yours to keep in your audible account. Audible may be owned by Amazon but it’s a different account separate from the kindle unlimited subscription. My audiobook choice for this month “Seriously…I’m Kidding” by Ellen DeGeneres, she narrates it and it’s hilarious! and yes i do love audiobooks.

 

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So.. is it worth it?

Personally for me … a resounding YES!, and YES even though currently the major publishers may not be on board, that doesn’t negate the fact that it still does offer some really good books in the library. and $ 9.99 a month is really just a coffee or a price of a single book that you give up to get access to a lot more of good books at your fingertips. If you do read, and love to read i don’t see how you can go wrong with this.

Yes i do wish this was included in my prime subscription which i already pay to amazon, but really this still is a great value.

And if you are someone who loves dead trees, move on, it’s time, i tried to hold on to that, but nothing can beat the convenience of ebooks.

 

 

Hello WordPress!

Posterous Shutdown

After  while away from blogging.. (again)…  and since posterous decided they had to dissapear. i decided it was time to move… well forced to…. 🙂

so yes. hello wordpress. i hope i can blog once in a while…

iPhone 4S I’ve got a confession to make…I’m thinking of leaving you for Galaxy Note.

Inline image 1

I’ve decided it’s time to move to a new platform… specifically the samsung galaxy note why?I currently have the latest and greatest phone from Apple. the iPhone 4S… so why the move… the iphone has a better camera, it’s got siri, its got an awesome app store and lets not forget the investment in apps over the years. i have been using iPhones since the 3G faithfully through 3GS, 4 and 4S now… why?

I’m in love with the huge screen of the samsung galaxy note. i know this is the very reason why a lot of people hate this device. like its clearly ridiculous to hold up such a huge device up to your ear… and lets not forget how hard it would be to put it into your pockets… but for me the screen is the sole reason why i would consider moving…  i’m not really drawn towards the smaller screen siblings of the note such as the Galaxy S II or other HTC android devices…

i had a lot of hands on time with the device as a few friends of mine are using it now… and they have a lot of praise for the device… granted that they are mostly techy ppl who know how to handle a device and they do less talking and more browsing, email, chatting and other tabletty stuff (for lack of a better word) than phone stuff on the device.. and i’m kinda one of them..

anyways.. will have the ‘phablet’ in my hands in a few days… should be able to see if i can bend the device to my will… with android should be easier…… will keep the blog updated with my thoughts… my first real android device… but i’m no stranger to android in my line of work 🙂

Testing out Netflix Streaming on 1mbps ROL connection

Follows on from my previous post which covers my new ROL connection…

 

been wanting to test out netflix from Maldives for a while but i was hesitant to pay for an account before i knew it would work.. as luck would have it Fizan (@fizaen) was wanting to see if it work out as well and was kind enough to let me test out on his account. thanks for that!

 

points of note:
1- you do need to have VPN access to a US server or another country where netflix has services..otherwise it wont work. .. i used a US account.
2- could not try out HD.. as HD requires a higher bandwidth than what i have… i could only test out SD.

 

 

 

as you can see it works generally good, i did a lot of intentional seeking and that does require some buffer time but once it starts its smooth and does not stop for buffering… Netflix is decent enough to use here. sorry about no audio and not so awesome quality video.. was in a rush and didn’t have time to get a good capture software.. but i’m sure you get the idea…

 

Netflix

 

Bandwidth requirement generally hovered around 1.3mbps to 1.9mbps for SD video’s…. but i’m not sure u can manage with a fixed 1mbps package.. the bursting on this package sure does help.