It's all part of the experience!May 23 in Myanmar
They do say that travel is as much about the journey as the destination, well today was. We got picked up by the bus at just after 10.00am, the bus was bigger that a minibus but smaller than a coach, one of those ones that has about 20 seats with a row of double seats one side and a row of single seats the other. We had booked in advance and had seats allocated so even though we were one of the last pick ups we still had seats together. On the way out of Mandalay and amidst much tooting of the horn we picked up another couple of local passengers and then, about 45 minutes after we were picked up set out on the main road. Despite a couple of stops to see if we could squeeze more passengers in we were making good progress until after about 40 minutes we pulled off the main road and started down what I would call a minor road, that was only just two lanes wide in places, and we stayed on this kind of road for the rest of the journey, picking up and dropping off people as we went, until we arrived in Bagan about 3.00pm.
It did mean though that we got to go through lots of small villages and settlements, seeing more of rural Myanmar than we otherwise might have. One of the really interesting things is that there are still a lot of buildings I would describe as traditional in use and being built. Of course there are quite a few buildings using modern materials as well but they are not as prevalent as you might expect.
I also found out that drivers over here love using their horns: as a warning - a general warning, a warning that they are behind you, a warning to get out of the way, a warning that they are coming through any way, a warning at a blind bend or hill especially when they are overtaking; to see if anyone wants picking up, to say hello to someone they recognise, to say goodbye, to say thank you or *****, sometimes even just for the hell of it.
Anyway I didn’t think the bus journey was too bad, especially for about £5 or 220Baht each, I’m not sure Tanya agrees with me though and I’m not sure at this time how we will be returning to Mandalay.
As for Bagan, we haven’t really seen enough to form an opinion yet but the hotel is lovely, we have a rather splendid room, there is a pool, a gym and a spa. We have already been for a swim and have sorted out an electric bike for exploring on tomorrow and a couple of trips for the day after and the hotel are trying to find us a boat trip to go back to Mandalay. The food looks good here so we might eat at the restaurant tonight and get an early night as we have an early start tomorrow to try and beat the worst of the forecast 40 degree heat.Read more