Trekking journey

I survived the night bus, and how!!! It was a VIP bus(we paid for a normal one) and I had two chairs that could move so I could lay back. And best thing: a goodie bag! 😂But before getting on the night bus we experienced the first rain in Bagan since November. It was a big honor, especially because it wasn’t that bad and it was done in 20 min. The rain and storm was paired with a power down(my first one in south east Asia) and Simone and I had a good laugh about it because the hotel people had a little panic attack trying to put the generator on.

The next day we started our trekking tour, our big backpacks were shipped to the hotel at the Inle lake and we only took our (3!!) day(s)bag. We had the sweetest guides and a really nice group. We made so much fun together and had the best time laughing about the older French guy who was hitting on us younger girls and his girlfriend making fun of him. At the lunch place, which was a home stay with lovely people and the best lunch, I discovered a blister😫. I put a plaster on it and was hoping it would get better(it wasn’t). At the end of the beautiful first trekking day we arrived at the place where we would sleep. The shower was a bucket and was in the middle of the houses, which was a bit weird. After asking the girl guide she showed us a little more covered shower, still a bucket. I’ve functioned as a shower curtain while someone else was standing at the other side and one of the girls was able to shower. I wasn’t brave/dirty enough to take such a shower. So we got “some” beers at the local shop and had a good night together.

Cows on the way
The people who made the best lunch ever
Dinner at candle light

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We woke up early to, again, an amazing meal. The guides also functioned as cooks. When we were halfway, we got at a river where we could have a shower according to the guides, which they told us with the biggest smile. So we did. Got some shampoo and washed our hair in the river. After another 2 hour walk we arrived at the next home stay. There was a cow in the garden so I was the happiest person, for a bit. Just before dinner the cow disappeared, but the woman ensured us that the cow was just sleeping 😂. All the food was vegetarian btw so we trusted her.

Because of my personal nurse, Simone, my blister got cleaned and taken care of. Felt good to walk on flip flops for the evening. At this home stay we also had a bucket shower but luckily a little more covered. Burmese heights, so I couldn’t stand up straight while taking a “shower” because all the people who were walking by on half a meter distance would have seen me😂. But I can at least check “bucket shower” of my bucket list.

Normal sights in Myanmar
The bucket shower
My blister😫
Nurse Simone working on her holiday, luckily I wasn’t the only wounded person.
Selfie before he went to “sleep”

 

Dinner!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next morning everybody forgot to put an alarm so we got woken up by the guide saying: “excuse me, good morning, bonjour(for the French people) breakfast is ready!!” When we got down there was a big stack of pancakes waiting for us! 😱🥞

After again a couple of hours walking, and changing to flip flops as soon as we reached the town, we got on a boat to go to the town we were sleeping. I had one of the most amazing showers of my life and was so happy!! I got a traditional massage, which extended the soreness of walking for 12 hours, and went to a Burmese puppet show. After that we met up with the young part of the group at the night market and had some drinks. A Burmese guy was joining us and when we left we noticed that he was driving a bike taxi. I, of course, wanted to try for a bit and even with my long skirt I managed(and no the film is not in slow-motion, that is just the speed we were going in). When Simone and I arrived at our hotel the gate and door were closed and the bell, which we had to ring with a piece of bamboo, was not working. I thought I saw the door being unlocked and we climbed the fence, still in my long skirt. We had so much fun, especially when we noticed that the door was locked. We had the bounce on the door and wake up the whole family to get inside. 😂

IMG_1323   (Click the link for the video)

Cruising on the lake

The next day we got a organized boat tour. We saw so many things around the lake and it was really nice. Especially when the boat driver told us: “do you wanna eat at my house? My wife can cook for you.” It was a good lunch and we were able to talk with the people and even got Burmese sunscreen on our faces. But then we had to pay 2,5 times as much as what we should have paid at a restaurant. We felt bad but couldn’t bargain because the boat driver still had to bring us around the lake. The afternoon was still nice though, we saw the Myanmar Karen long neck family and we visited a factory where they make scarfs and skirts of silk. We also got to see how they make Burmese cigars.

Family of the boat driver
Fisherman on the lake
Long neck tribe
Silk factory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We ended the day with a happy hour cocktail and a dinner close to the night market. There was a big podium at the market and one of the young waiters got really excited about the band that was playing. When he came back after about an hour, he came to our table to tell us that the band was coming to his restaurant to have a drink. We wanted to see where he was all excited about and when I paid a little to much interest the mom of the little waiter pulled me to their table and I had to sit with the band. No idea why and no idea what I had to say to them. So after 2 minutes I was back with my friends again. When we told the boys at our hotel later that we saw the band they told us it wasn’t such a famous band and it was only famous in the area. While we thought we met the most famous Myanmar pop band.☺️

IMG_1322    (Click the link for the video)

This morning Simone left for the beach and I changed from the hotel to the most funny hostel ever. The rules they have are brought in such a funny way and I had to laugh for 10 min reading the form. Also the check-in form had some good point: “sex” this is not a yes or no question, “age” please be honest and “name you would like to be called aka artist name”
Now I’m sipping at my cocktail at the rooftop bar after a long day of relaxing.

Sunset cocktail at the rooftop bar

Xxx Elisabeth

Another bus journey

That terrible way back to Pyay was even more terrible then I could immagine. Halfway on the road our bus driver didn’t brake for a truck that was coming up on a small mountain road. So we crashed into the truck. Luckily nobody got hurt and we all got to enjoy the view for almost an hour with some Burmese shouting(from the bus/truck driver) on the background. After an hour the police came and made them both get out of the road so all the other vehicles could pass. We asked the local bus to stop and take us to Pyay, and with a note of the police man(because tourists are normally not allowed on local busses) we could continue our drive.

Bus meets truck

When we arrived at Pyay the bus to Bagan already left. We got pushed into another local bus which was not comfortable at all. We had to spend another 10 hours in there. The bus guy charged me way to much and when I went to him and asked some of my money back, because this was not the luxury I paid for, he almost got angry with me. But when I threatened to ask the locals what they were paying for the same bus ride he quickly gave me some money back. This is the problem in Myanmar at the places where a lot of tourists come, they always ask double (if not more) for meals, transport or accommodation. We slept on the ground(which were actually big bags full of who knows what) and tried to make it as comfortable as possible. The locals kept laughing at us because fitting two tall Dutch girls on a small bench was impossible.

When I arrived at Bagan I got to the hotel where I would meet the danish girl I got in contact with on Facebook. I dropped my backpack and rented a e-scooter to look at the sunrise. It was amazing. So many temples and when the sun was about to get up there were almost 20 hot air balloons which gave it an even more magical look. Back at the hotel I had a really good breakfast and got to know the danish girl a bit. After that I fell asleep and woke up not feeling too well. 😫 The rest of the day I took it a little easy and had another nap 😴.

Foggy sunrise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This morning I rented a bicycle and watched the sunrise again from another temple. The only problem was that the clouds were really low and we only saw the sun 15 minutes after sunrise. So not the best one but it was still a nice view. After breakfast and a nap again I visited some temples by daylight. Ended up at the river where I got a Myanmar beer in a Heineken holder. Always weird to see that “our” beer reaches all over the world. After a lunch at a really good vegetarian restaurant in the old town of Bagan(with probably the cleanest toilet in whole south east asia😂) I biked back to the hotel to chill a bit. Tonight probably going to bed early, because tomorrow I’ll get a night bus again(wish me luck).

xxx Elisabeth

Another sunrise 🌅
Temple
Myanmar beer 🍻
Just hoping my clothes didn’t get washed like this yesterday
Normal way of taking a shower here
Tomato curry, rice and a mango shake 😍
Pathein parasols at the restaurant

The journey of busses in Myanmar

The second day in Yangon I went to a snake temple. Had to take the boat to cross the river and then sit in a tuktuk for almost an hour. The boy who was managing the tuktuks wanted 9000 Kyat for an hour which is about 6€. In total it would have costed me 12€. I got it back to 12000 Kyat which is 8€😱 the guy from the tuktuk even waited about 1,5 hour at the temple. I’m getting better at bargaining but I sometimes feel so bad about it😫

Bus friend😊
This kid was pushed into my arms by his parents in order to make some pictures with me😂😍
Snake protecting the Buddha at the temple
Hiding close to your feet😫😱
This cutie showed me around

The next morning I got an early bus to Pathein. After 10 min the cute 10-year old next to me fell asleep on my shoulder. The guys next to him woke him up and told him he was not allowed to do that. 2 min later he slept again and when the guys wanted to wake him up again they got an angry look from me. The little guy looked so tired and he wasn’t drooling so I just let him. About 30 km before Pathein there came a lot of smoke from the bus engine and we all had to get out. 30 min later another bus stopped behind our bus and we could drive the last part of the bus journey with that bus(which was already packed). With more than 100 people in a bus, it was a nice experience. I was standing next to the driver and noticed that non of the meters on the dashboard was working(oil, fuel, temperature and speed) cause yeah, why would you need something like that😂. In Pathein there were almost no foreigners(I’ve seen 3 others to be exact) and everybody was so amazed to see me in my loungi(the Burmese skirt, here worn by both men and women). I got a lot of advises about how to tie it, cause they saw me struggling with it every 10 meters while walking the streets.
The next day I visited a Pathein parasol workshop. Where they make parasols from bamboo and cotton in the most amazing colors.

Colorful parasols of Pathein

After the workshop I got into the bus to Pyay. I responded on a Facebook message of a Belgium guy to drink a beer there. We met at the huge pagoda in the middle of the city(had to go up with the elevator 😂). After eating at the night market we found a bar with a stage where we sat down for a beer. We didn’t really figure out if the stage was a cover for “selling” the girls or if they were really there to sing. After a while the girls made a kind of show where they all stepped to the front for a while and turned around a bit. After that “show” we saw some girls brought to tables with guys. Still not sure what to think about it. The next day we went to a local swimming pool where I had to buy swimming clothes before being allowed to enter the water. A pants (size XL, still tight) and a shirt. When I came back my Korean roommate just bought a ticket to the beach. She showed me some pictures and I couldn’t withstand buying a ticket too. Our hostel owner was gonna arrange it for us. When he came back he said: you have to pay me more and then they come pick you up at the hostel. The price was too high and in the end there was no bus. So we asked our money back and took a local pickup to the bus station. The bus ride was the worst!! The chairs were moving even if we were driving on a straight road. But the whole road to the beach was curvy and there was almost no asphalt, which made it impossible to sleep. 90% of the people in the bus had to throw up(not me luckily, think I have overgrown my carsickness in Italy). After sleeping in a terrible hostel at the beach(constructions at both bathrooms so almost impossible to find a working toilet, not to mention a shower) I’m at a better hostel now. In a bit I’ll go chill at the beach again, because tomorrow morning I have to make the same terrible journey back to Pyay.

Big pagoda in Pyay
Moon behind the pagoda(can someone please send me a good tripod😫😂)
7 am walk at the beach. For monks and people who just arrived with the night bus

 

 

 

 

 

 

🌅

Xxx Elisabeth

Relaxing journey

After a really good inspection and some washing and showering I haven’t found any bedbugs. So happy about that! Also no more bites(except for mosquito bites). Because riding a scooter 600-700km in one week isn’t too good for your back, I got a Thai massage. It was definitely the most painful massage ever. (Like my uncle Berthold and my mom squeezing my neck at the same time, and that times 10😫😵) my neck was sore for another 3 days, but I survived. Continue reading “Relaxing journey”