En Route Myanmar Sept 2014: Inle Lake

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the journey to Inle wasnt an easy one.
we alighted from the big bus at this small little town. and changed to a pick-up van 20140909_062639 20140909_065619

30mins on a bumpy ride and i arrived at another place which i later found out was Taungyi…. where i WAITED again for another pick up to take me to Inle.

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  and it was here i met a kind provision shop boss who spoke pretty good english. (his wife is burmese chinese)

waited for almost an hour before the pick up truck departed… 45 mins later i arrived at yet another town.. it was too early in the morning i didnt even bother asking where i was. i was on the bus for 10 hours, then 30 mins in the van, then waited and then 45 mins on the truck. too hungry and tired!! but i later realised the other town was NyaungShwe. but i want to get to INLE LAKE!!!!!!!!!! then i was told to take a boat… AIYOH… in a span of 24 hours i was on a plane, car, tuktuk, bus, van, truck and now.. BOAT.

to enhance your enjoyment, listen to this song as you read. =D

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okie  a lot of people will choose to stay in Nyuangshwe. esp backpackers la. but i decided i want a more balanced trip. since i will only be there for a night i decided to splurge a little on the accomodation.

I WAS RIGHT. it costs about 55USD but it was WELL WORTH EVERY CENT.
the following photos were all taken using  my Samsung Galaxy S3 and iPhone4 camera phone.

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 PRETTY RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
the only drawback was that they didnt have free shuttle boat ferrying service. i had to hire their boat to get out and per trip to NyaungShwe is 12USD. (my ride in was only 4USD…)

but of course i was smart. i hired a boat at Nyaungshwe to pick me up for my next morning boat ride around the lake and to take me back to mainland in the noon next day la. that saved me a lot really.

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with the help of Walter, the 2nd kind soul, who overheard my conversation with some boatmen trying to fix the price. he took me to this petite lady. i think he wants to help her also la. but her price was very reasonable so i hired her boat.

i spent most of my time there resting, sleeping, taking photos and simply taking in the scene and breathing……. it rained in the noon. much appreciated rain since it was getting really really warm…
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  hahah yes. it was mid autumn. so i brought this all the way from sunny red dot.

went to this nice cafe in NyangShwe.
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really nice decor and I LOVE THIS caramelised tofu. it’s sweet. then it’s salty, then its spicy and tangy. wow. all in one! A MUST EAT. i am salivating again.

went for a sunset ride.
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if you followed me on instagram you would have seen the rainbow that came after the rain.. 🙂

had a very early night after my private mid autumn session
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and went out early in the wee hours to catch sunrise..
unfortunately it was too cloudy.
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so the best pic i had on my nikon is…….

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THIS!
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can you see how shiok i was? 555++++

it was really cool. to lie down on the boat, watch the sky slowly brighten up, listening to the calm water.. breathing in AIR and do nothing…

 

 

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went back for breakfast..  haha typical singaporean.

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see egg and toast… first thing is… ask for pepper and.. soya sauce..
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 oppa yakun style. hehe

 

said bye bye to the beautiful but touristy lake.. (i didnt see much tourists but the things you see and do there is all touristy..)

headed to Nyaung Shwe still had some time before the truck leaves for Taungyi so i visited… the school..
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such a lovely girl!

 

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the one in front is the older brother, 10 years old and behind him is his younger bro, 8.

 

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this boy is SO adorable! he posed for a lot of photos for me!

according to the principal, there’s only 60 students..

headed back to Taungyi… the VERY NICE provision shop boss’s wife was in da house. she was the 3rd kind person i met. (her husband is nice also la)
told her my plans for the day. >> buy bus ticket to Mandalay  >> visit the vineyard >>take bus to mandalay

so she arranged a motorbike taxi for me for 7USD (its all 10USD off the street)
sidetrack: gosh as i was typing this i suddenly smell that betel nut thing.. /faint /apply tiger balm

anyway ya while she was arranging with the driver, the driver was like pointing to me, then pointed far far, then make a disagreeing expression.

the skeptical singaporean in me was thinking “wah lau.. confirm want more money lor..”
i ought to me slapped for that thought.
because what he actually said was along the line of “but she must hide her camera inside her bag. the police will see she is not local. (only locals were allowed on motorbike there. even as a pillion)”
i should be so ashamed for being skeptical..

anyway, yes he took me to buy my ticket to mandalay, showed me the way to this food stall that sells this local dish i was raving about two months back on facebook.


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toufu nway (i think). its SO YUMMY!!!!!!

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oh. one thing to mention, please pardon the shaky and blurry photos. a lot of locals there arent very familiar with touchscreen functions. i appreciate their help to take photos and really wouldnt want to give them any more trouble.

after the satisfying pre-lunch, i headed to the Vineyard.

 

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met this malaysian lady who was there with her friend who owns a business in Yangon. they are the 4th and 5th kind souls i met this trip. and its only day 3…

so what happened? they invited me to join them for lunch.. and the Business man/ Andy insisted on paying for me and gave me his contact so i could call him when i arrive Yangon.
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very beautiful view from up there!

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after the generous treat, we headed different directions. i went back to Taungyi and walked a little around the town.

 

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went to a tea house to read about my next destination MANDALAY
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 watched the locals played this sepak takraw game (which i found out two days later that is a different sports, called CHIN LONE.

and i was wondering why the road was always dotted with red stains … and i found out on the motorbike taxi…

 

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actually looking at this makes me lose my appetite..
it’s the K’ung Yaa thing the locals chew. the betel nut thing with tobacco then they spit it out after that.. *argh i am smelling it again*

if there’s anything i dislike about Myanmar.. it would definitely be this..

okies.
so i went back to the provision shop (where i left my bags because she said it’s heavy to bring around and assured me it would be safe. honestly i wasnt doubtful at all)

she invited me to rest inside her house (just next to the shop). and her husband came out with.. HOME PLANTED BANANA!!!!!

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here i was, taking a banana selfie while trying to answer her question “you want some rice? later i will take you to the bus station.”

(the motorbike i hired was for the whole day so by right he was gonna ride me to the bus station. but because the kind lady Nu Nu had time, she decided to take me there)

i didnt know how to thank her. so i decided to return the kindness buy buying some packs of biscuits and asked a favour from the truck drivers to help me deliver to the school in Nyaung Shwe for that 60 students… =]
and then… at their house, i saw another beautiful sky

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she didnt take me to the bus station right away.. instead, she took me to a temple

 

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we went in, prayed and before we left, she insisted on buying this black gluttinous rice snack for me to eat on the bus!!! SHE IS SUCH A SWEET LADY MY GOSH!!!!!!!!

 

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actually we went back to her shop after that, where the boss told her to quickly pack up so the WHOLE FAMILY CAN SEND ME OFF TOGETHER. wahhhhhhhhhhh

she took some snacks, tissue and a bottled drink for me “in case you are hungry in the bus”.

i was really touched to tears. and kept thanking her. the only thing she said to me was “dont take it to heart please. the next time you come, you can stay with me. dont have to pay.”

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH BURMESE!!! WHY ARE YOU SO NICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and that was how my trip to NyaungShwe, Inle and Taungyi ended: in appreciation, gratefulness and a lot a lot of happiness and love…

really really really nice people..

EXPENDITURE:
Snacks – 500k
lantern – 800k
candle and lighter – 400k
truck to nyaungshwe – 1000k
boat ride to accomodation – 4000k
lunch – 3USD
boat ride out – 12-13 USD
tea at french shop + 2 postcards – 8000k
boat ride back- 8000k
dinner – 3USD
accomodation – 55 USD

boat ride for sunset and back to nyaungshwe – 12000k
bus to taungyi – 1000k
bus ticket to Mandalay – 13500k
motorbike taxi – 7000k
internet – 500k
tea at teahouse – 550k
treats for nyaungshwe school -6600k

total expenditure for 2 days: 190 SGD

NEXT:::
my  journey in Mandalay was… just…. sweet and random!. =]
here’s a little preview
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gotta take a while to blog about Mandalay because.. it means a lot to me.. it’s very special to me.. =]

till then!
T