7am came while typing yesterday’s blog. The breakfast was ready. I walked up the stairs and reached the roof top terrace. The air was still cool, and the sun was soft behind the varying thickness of clouds. The girl came out from kitchen and asked me how I’d like my egg. I was caught off guard as I was not expecting this.

Mandalay - Myanmar 2016-2017

Mandalay - Myanmar 2016-2017

Helping myself to fried noodle and sour-flavoured salad with a cup of warm water, I sat down in a corner and wondered if I would be the only one eating here. I saw a few pairs of sandals outside a closed door on my way up, but I had not seen any other guests.
I ate slowly and considered the guidebooks for options. Surely there are many well-known highlights in surrounding towns, but it seemed to me that they were paintings on the wall. Rather than taking the same photos as guidebooks, I was keen on meeting people and having a glimps of how they lived. So that settled it. Renting a bike from hotel cost 1,000 kyat or $1 a day. After I brushed my teeth, I checked out and took a bike.
I got a rough bearing of the town after walking for a few hours the day before. Plus the boy at the hotel gave me a tip on which street to take. Soon I got to the train station. Seat61.com is a great website for anybody traveling on the ground, and I referred to it several times in the past. One kind individual who ws hovering about told me which counter to go to, and quickly I got my ticket. It costs 1,800 kyat, and you need to show your passport to book it. The train is all reserved seats.

Mandalay - Myanmar 2016-2017

Then I enjoyed the 2-wheel freedom and covered a famous temple at the south edge of town, a couple of monasteries (where I was offered some fruits), chat with young novice who is courageous enough to approach me to practice his English, and then, one of them told me I was free to go up the top of the 6-storey building and enjoy the view. I took his sugvestion and took the steps up to the rooftop. The view was pretty good. Another monastery nearby included historical 100-year-old teak building. Unfortunately it was in need of repairs. It has some beautiful details. I hope everyone donates a bit when you visit so they can restore this lovely structure and its Budha images to its former glory.

Mandalay - Myanmar 2016-2017

Mandalay - Myanmar 2016-2017

Mandalay - Myanmar 2016-2017

Cycling up the river side, I took a break and saw what it looked like. A river boat was parked at the foot of steps that led straight down. It reminded me of the river trip from northern Thailand to Laos. But it also looked like one of the stops on Sanxia cruise in China. No river boat on this trip. Or will there be? I don’t even know where I go from Bagan. But let’s worry about it when I got there. Tonight is a hard seat of overnight train to Bagan. Then expensive shared dorm bed in Bagan for a couple of nights. Yeah, it will be okay.

Advertisements