Wednesday, October 3, 2012

a day of travel in myanmar

traveling from city to city in myanmar was
to start with, the taxis within bigger cities
are- if you're lucky- old toyotas 
that are being held together with ducked tape and wires.
the roofs leak water when it rains
and it wasn't uncommon to see the ground moving 
through holes beneath your feet.
if you weren't as lucky
the taxi was a little motor bike 
which costs nearly the same as a car
but was putting your life in much more danger
as the driver weaved in and out of the chaotic traffic.
for longer rides we usually 
ended up on a large passenger bus 
with reclining seats and tv's 
for watching burmese music videos at full volume for 13 hours.
there was no such bus to take us from mandalay 
to our next destination of inle lake so we had to get creative.
we first took a three hour train from mandalay to thazi.
it was one of the best travel experiences,
not due the comfort of the ride (as it was absolutely not comfortable)
but for the incredible scenery we got to witness as we slowly passed by.
we got to thazi much sooner than we had anticipated
so instead of spending the night and catching another train in the morning
we hopped on a horse drawn carriage that took us to "the bus station"
where "the bus manager" arranged for a "bus" to pick us up and take us to inle lake. 
this "bus" turned out to be a truck, it's bed covered and packed with burmese travelers.
the roof was piled high with luggage and food (think ikea volkswagon bug).
we got the "special front seats" (we were crammed in the front of a manual truck with the driver)
and spent to next seven hours vowing we would never ever ever do this again.
but when we got to inle lake and saw how beautiful our surroundings were,
we stopped complaining...


our train. we paid $7 for first class seats

leaving the city of mandalay

riding the train

rice fields from the train window

once you get to the smaller towns in myanmar, this is a major form of transportation 

the "bus" we spent 7 hours in

the view from our window at inle lake...

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