i mentioned before.. that this trip to Myanmar is an impulsive one. it took me a few websites surfing and a 130bucks offer from Jetstar. all within.. 10 mins.
why so impulsive? i have to be very honest with myself. i wouldnt have gone Myanmar without a catalyst.
i went because of someone i fell in love with. who sent me photos of Myanmar’s sunsets when he was there for his SEAsia trip. (things didnt work out of course. because.. distance and.. okie no grandmother stories….) so in a moment of spite and “loved and lost” i decided to go on my own venture to “relieve” his Myanmar sunset moments..
(which is why… there’s sunset in alllll the posts but this wasnt the best season to go for sunsets. it’s cloudy… )
so i read up on the places for the most beautiful sunset in Myanmar. and i was directed to Mawlamyine… (almost a birds no lay egg place for most singaporeans)
it was so out of my way. i was planning to go Bagan after Mandalay. which is one of the most common routes. and also because that was his route. and i only decided to scrap Bagan one week before the trip. (and thus impulsively booked another trip to Myanmar in dec for Bagan….
so basically i was doing this central to east to north then to south then to central route. haha it actually forms an infinity sign.
you see Mandalay? around it’s 5 o’clock is taungyi. and it takes 10 hours to travel between T and M.
sooo yes. it was a 15 hours ride from Mandalay to Mawlamyine… arrived around 9.30am
it was also here that i felt that non-asian travellers dont really talk to asians. at my GH there were about 7-10 other travellers. and all of them were non-asians. i tried talking to them but only this Israeli girl Shir was more responsive. and she was very nice to tell me her plans (with two other girls from britain) for the day. and i asked to join in. since it was something i sorta planned to do too.
SOOOOOOO we went to this WWII memorial place. if you know about the Death Railway in Kanchanaburi, then yes this is the Burma side of the railway. we took a bus to Thanbyuzayat. an hour away.. and walkeddddddddd to locate this.
and it was a little difficult to come because the locals around dont speak much english. almost zero.
English Girls:How do we get to the Death Railway Memorial?
the locals : (smile smile) hello. (smile somemore )
EG: do you know where is the death railway?
locals: (smile smile) shake head
HERES WHEN THE ASIAN SINGAPOREAN STEPPED IN
me: mingalabar, siam, burma, japan, *bang bang bang* (gesture: point different direction)
locals: (smile with understanding) ooooo (some burmese words then point to a direction)
locals: tang jew (their accent when saying thank you)
YOU SEE YOU SEE. being a singaporean is really a blessing. because we often have to speak in broken english/singlish. makes us damn kiang.
anyway.. all the effort just for.. this.
nothing much really. especially if you have been to the one at Kanchanaburi, this one is really “wah lau you make me come here see simi sai”.
but ya la. better than nothing.
then we left this deserted place
and went on the next search for the War Cemetery also a long walk.
teared uncontrollably as i read the messages left on their stones.
peace really isnt something to be taken for granted of and it isnt free…
didnt spend a lot of time there because we had to catch the last bus (at 2.30pm) back to Mawlamyine.
steady la. got ‘glass lift’ some more. can see nice view on the way up also.
okie did a little experiment with phone camera and nikon.
WAH SEH. NIKON you good. (cant deny i ps a little. but wah you see, one sky one… ground)
okie.. i waited for sunset
then quickly headed back to meet Shir for dinner.
but not before she went for a haircut!!
the stylist SPEAKS A FAIR BIT OF MANDARIN !!!!!!!! and thus i was able to help shir translate
SINGAPOREANS ARENT YOU PROUD OF BEING IN A MULTIRACIAL/MULTILINGUAL COUNTRY!!!!
(this is what i always tell my students who ‘hates’ mandarin.)
the SHOCK came when she was done and opens her wallet to pay. 2400kyat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
okok. 1000kyat is 1USD. and 1USD is 1.25SGD. so 2400Kyat is.. WAH SUPER CHEAP. yet the stylist had that “is it too expensive?” look when Shir and I repeated his words in utter shock before breaking into crazy laughter.
(okie i need to learn to stop typing in english. SINGLISH SINGLISH!!!!!!!!)
wah lau eh 2.4 USD for a haircut is damn shiok la! some more not just wash and cut hor. is got head and shoulder massage one okie!!!!!!!!!!!
the stylist suddenly had halo on his head lor.
okie then we headed for dinner. no photos sorry. cuz too hungry and very dim lighting. but it was a tofu feast.
then we went back to the GH. machiam prison. must return by 10pm. wifi accessible only at lobby and off by 11pm…
and room small like cell.
oh also forgot to mention, the corridor makes me wonder…
had a quick skype session with my very good friend Jae. it made things so much better. until they switched off wifi.. then i headed back to the room.
i was writing my diary in the tiny room with walls so thin I COULD HEAR THE NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOUR SNORE..
it was as if he was sleeping right beside me!!!!!!!!!!!! (RA note: definitely not a red light district cuz i think people will be able to hear their neighbours tear open the condom wrapper)
and then.. i started missing Mandalay…
YOU SEE HOW BIG MY ROOM WAS.
then i felt an instant sadness. and i started missing my friends in Mandalay… ;(
off the lights and slept.
and sekali.. i felt something jumped on my pillow NB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
got sound one. a thud.
i shirked and that thing jumped onto the floor. switched on the light and it was GONE.
it was either a tmd cockroach or a si gina rat. FKKKKKKKKKKKK and the room was so bloody small. i really is no horse run (no way to escape)
then okie lor. i slept with the lights on… and that bugger didnt appear again. tmd.
had breakfast and then headed to Hpa An with a whole bunch of people.
while waiting for the pick up to come, a monk walked pass and had a short chat with me.
before he left….. he gave me a bag of spring roll!!!!!!!!
wah the norm is people offer food for monk. for me.. i was blessed by a monk!
(this myanmar trip really spoilt me bad. received blessed offering from Nat and Monk!!!)
hopped on to the tuktuk
transfered to a long tail (we were told its a 3-4 hours ride…. )
they were all heading there but i was only going for a day trip.. (all thanks to booking my room for 2 nights in advance. paid liao. bo bian. otherwise sure go stay in Hpa An)
very nice and serene views along the way.
it rained and stopped, rained and stopped, the boat had lobang at the bottom, the boat man had to stop the boat to repair under the hot sun 3-4 times.. and then get drenched again by the rain..
i am full of respect for him and people with laborious job. without them we really cant get much done.
and while enjoying myself on the boat ride, i also had to take care of the welfare of my friends..
(but really still cannot beat my sunset dude)
after 3.5 hours we finally arrived Hpa An. accompanied them to their GH in Hpa An and when everyone saw their rooms they were like “Wow This is finally a room!! the previous one was so bad!” honestly, the GH in Mawlamyine is okie. they had good breakfast, nice people and view. its just the room and the “10pm” rule..
but ya la could see the relieve on everyone’s faces. probably except mine because i have one more night thereeeeeeeeeeeeee *omg*
while they checked in and settled down, i went around the town and saw this!
guess what place is this. (answer is revealed at the end)
then met them again for lunch.
this was the spread. we had so much food on the table. and that round of silverware in the middle?
it’s paste to go with the food. complimentary. (ahhh singlish singlish!!!)
it is like our chap chye png la. you orler orler then they one plate one plate serve. then you see what taste you like from the selection of their home made paste and you take. some are nice some are… weird.
had my chance to speak a little french with my two other lunchmates. J’mapelle Cio Bu. J’taime Le Petit Prince.
then i left to take bus back to Mawlamyine.. was a really really short stay.
wah the bus i tell you ah. is frigging old.
a bit the urghs la. but the scenery wasnt half as bad.
green green grass and mountain. so nice hor?
back at GH after a 2 hour ride.
and i noticed i was scratching a lot… then to my horror..
there were more on the back of my arms, my upper and mid back.. fkkkkkkkkkkkk
ANYWAY on the very HAPPY note
I witnessed an AMAZING SUNSET.
the book was right. and this wasnt even the right season for sunsets.. it was really really beautiful..
met two Spanish men at the GH who arrived only that day. joined them for dinner
then i went for my haircut too!!
he even curled the ends. 555 fantastic service once again!
walked back in the dark thank goodness for torchlights. yeah there was no street lamp!!
had another chat with my new Spanish friend Mario then just before heading back to the room, a guest came out to the lobby and looked for the gh assistant saying there are bed bugs in his room!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAH LAN EHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
so the manager changed a room for him.
two minutes later, the guest came out again and said “this one also has bed bugs”
Mario and i exchanged glances and mouthed the f word.
anyhow, i went back to my room, and spotted a dead spider on my bed. NNB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! now i dare not even lie down on the bed!!!!!!!!! arghs. so that night, i slept in raincoat. like SERIOUSLY. oh yes and with the lights on too.
the bug bites got worse. i was so uncomfortable. the bed was fine. it was the bus i’m sure now.
so i asked for some medicine and the big manager’s wife (they actually live in the same building, upstairs) applied some calamine lotion for me and it felt much much better.
met the Spanish Duo for breakfast
they heeded my advice to go to Hpa An instead. 555
ya la i know i tiptoe la. they are like how tall can.
said bye bye.. still had some time to spare. so picked up this Myanmar travel magazine at the gh and wow it was a very good magazine!
asked the GH owners where i could get it or if i could buy it from them.. and the counter boy said ‘oh no no..’ (he knows very little english) so i thought the story ends there.
then a minute later the big manager came down and told me ‘it is my magazine. you can have it. for you 🙂 ‘
dont ask why blurry photo. i’ve explained in previous posts.
then i headed to the bus station, ready to bid farewell to the amazing sky..
and on the street, i saw…
they were waiting to get free sim cards. wow!!
look! despite this being a small and less visited town, they have GIORDANO and BOSSINI (further down) wah atas sial
with that, i left Mawlamyine..
a place i grew more independent and less afraid of the unknown…
a place where i saw lovely sunsets and learnt that i had to let go of certain things/people if i want something better. (if i had gone to Bagan i wouldnt have seen the amazing sunset and taken a path less travelled)
a place where i had my first (hopefully last) bed bug bites and will now be more careful
a place where i had my first tear this whole trip (at the war cemetery)
Thank you =]
motor bike taxi to gh – 1000k
Bus to Thanzabyat and back – 200ok
drinks – 100k
bun – 400k
late lunch – 1000k
motorbike from Kyaithanlan to gh – 500k
snacks for boat ride – 800k
dinner – 2100k
room – 10 USD
Boat ride to Hpa An – 10000k
tuktuk to town – 1000k
lunch – 2000k
bus back – 1000k
dinner – 3000k
hair cut – 2400k
room – 10 USD
Bus to Kyaiktiyo 6000k
taxi to bus station: 1000k/ 1USD
TOTAL EXPENDITURE FOR MAWLAMYINE: ~50 USD (65sgd)
so do you know what place that was?
yes it’s the Hpa An Post office!
next post on: Kyaikityo
find out about The Golden Rock and 3 new Thai friends i made! and why i cried for the first time in this trip.