As all the good weeks do, this one began on a multi-day trek – what an adventure!
All up, I tackled the 3-day trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake. I’d say it was definitely my highlight of travel around the area. The whole hike was stunning. The local people we met were friendly and amazing. And the best bit? The food and accommodation provided me with a really authentic experience in this country.
Read more about it, along with all the stats, in this post.
Following the trek, I had some pretty high hopes for the next couple of days I’d be spending in Nyaung Shwe (the gateway to Inle Lake). Unfortunately, as it turned out, they were probably a little too high.
Waking up exhausted the next day (walking nearly 60km is a tough business), there was no time to rest. Mark (my travel buddy for the time) was leaving for Mandalay the following morning, so we needed to do a boat tour immediately.
Given our disconnection from the world wide web for the previous days, we had little knowledge of what to see and just where we should get our boat to stop, so we left it all up to our boat driver (who didn’t speak English anyway). We were taken around the lake, which was nice enough to look at (if a bit hazy), and dropped off at basically every store that makes something. Following each little demonstration of their goods, we were directed into their shop where we felt pressured to buy something – not exactly my idea of a relaxing afternoon seeing how the locals live in the area…
Although we were both ready for a nap by the time the tour was over, we weren’t ready to give up yet. Mark was intent on seeing the sunset, so by 4:30pm we were back on the boat and heading out once more. This turned out to be a much more enjoyable experience on the water.
After a little rest the following day, I moved on to Yangon (the former capital).
As it turned out, there was little to do here (that I was interested in anyway). I wandered the streets for a while, melting into the sidewalk in the 40+ degree heat on my first day. For the second day, I opted for an early (pre-dawn) wakeup and headed to the very popular Shwedagon Pagoda for sunrise. It was amazing to see this place – definitely worthwhile even though I’m completely pagoda’d out after Bagan. With a quick stop after this at the reclining Buudha, I decided that was enough for Yangon, and I escaped once again to the air conditioned bliss of my hostel.
I’m now in Hpa An enjoying a few more adventures which I’ll share with you next week!
Read More at: Myanmar Travel
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