Today we made the long (and very slow) route to Magway (Magwe) to make a stopover before heading to Bagan Temples tomorrow.
Why did we stop here of all places you might ask? Well firstly buses from Pyay don't go direct to Bagan and secondly we heard some information about there being some Mud Volcano's nearby in Minbu. The journey from Pyay takes roughly 6 hours because the roads are single track and the buses constantly stop to pickup people along the way.. Not to mention the Ox and Carts littering the roads.
Across from Magway is a small town called Minbu which you can get to by Motorcycle taxi. We wanted to explore the little known but cool sight that is the Mud Volcano's. Locally they are know as Naga Bwet Taung which loosely translates to something about Dragons breath. More comes to light as you get to the sight as it is in fact turned into a Buddhist attraction. Upon entering you will have to perform some offerings to the stone dragons which is meant to tame the mythical beast from which these mud volcanos apparently originate from, located in the depths of the earth.
The mud volcanos themselves are not actually formed from anything remotely volcanic, they are simply trapped methane gas trying to escape from deep below the surface. With the heat and pressure they rise out of the earth and along with mixing with water from below bubble to the surface through mud vents. It's a pretty spectacular landscape that looks very lunar. Worthwhile to visit as it is one of the only attractions of this very small town on the way to Bagan.
We managed to find some friendly locals to take us across and back on motorcycles for just 12,000 return in total. That's just $6 each return. You will only need an hour or 2 as after walking around and taking a few photos there is little else left to explore. Anyway below are some photos..