We were taking a day bus because all the night buses were booked but not before we got in one more sunrise. We left at 5:00 am and I had a temple in mind that was really off the beaten track. Or so I thought, it was a high temple that wasn’t a major one and apparently could capture quite the sunrise. It took us a little while to find it but we didn’t settle and kept looking till we eventually did and there were several other people there. The view was great and the temple was very climbable. So we were able to get a lot of good 360′ view shots of Bagan. This made it all worth it and we knew we wouldn’t top that moment.
Went back to the hostel and asked for my passport, they said they had given it back to me, I started setting scared but the mom finally went and got the “boss” the daughter and she was able to find it quickly. Thank god.
The bus showed up and picked us up and we were off to kalaw, the road that makes the locals puke or so we heard. The road was very curvy and up and down, lots of acceleration and lots of breaking and turning. It was quite something, we were up there deep in the mountains, it was very picturesque. We arrived in kalaw and went off to find the Golden Kalaw Inn, recommended to us by our previous guesthouse. It was a mistake, place was trashy, windows didn’t close properly and could see mosquitos everywhere, ended up spraying the room and closing the window which made it clammy. First time without AC in the room which wasn’t too bad but that ruins the mosquito protection though. Anyhow ended up having a rough night trouble sleeping was having stomach pains along with my plumbing issues again. The next day we were supposed to trek to Inle Lake. That night I interacted with the night staff guys a 26 and 19 year old. They were cool guys, I was sharing my pictures with them and they were really enjoying it. After they showed me how to tie my longee(skirt) It was a fun time.
Btw I also found where Skynet begins, it’s a broadcasting company in Myanmar, we are all doomed.
Woke up after a crappy nights rest, I decided to call in the hike and sleep all day, and so I did. Rested up and tried to get on internet now and then but it kept dying out. Slow but needed day until I was going to head out the next day. I was initially only going to head out at 2pm but being bored and figured I’d make the most of my day, I decided to leave first thing. I packed up and went to the main drag and asked around for a ride to Inle. Eventually found a company that would have me hop onto one of the local shuttles and they brought me to Inle lake for 4000 kyat(chat) It was a decent ride in a very shaggy astro van 12 seater luckily we were only 6 in it. So lots of room, I was able to take the whole seat and pass out until Inle lake. I went to the song of travel hostel, as recommended by Irish Jesus, and it was a good place, good AC and good and cool environment at a decent price 13USD. However they had no wifi so I went to a local restaurant to kill time until I could check in and figured i’d get on the wifi. At the restaurant I just had fried noodles. And the wifi was bad but the girl next to me started up a conversation and we spoke for about 4 hours through a window as she was inside and I was outside. The funny situations that life presents you. She was a danish girl named Anne and travelling on her own for 6 months, she had lost her travel partner because of too many differences. We went back to the hostel where i booked my bus ride back and a sun rise tour of Inle lake through the hostel. Ended up calling it early again and made sure I was well rested for the next day.
Got up at 5 am and checked out of the hostel. The bus picked us up and we went off to a house nearby, we walked through the local’s house and it was like a shack and pads on the ground for sleeping. It’s cool to see how exposed to nature the people living here are, no isolation just bamboo walls and floors.
Got on the boat and made our way through the town canals. The lake eventually opened up and it was huge, we were immediately greeted by 3 “fisherman” who would pose in Burmese fisherman poses with their legs out and their nets in their hands. Very commercialized, I asked one of them how the net cone worked and they would drop it in the water and then spear into the cone where the fish had no escape.
The lake isn’t very deep at a lot of spots not more than 5 feet anywhere. So It was easy for us to get stuck and we did get stuck on the bottom several times during the day. There were houses on the lake on nothing but bamboo stilts. I was surprised at the stability. Every house had a little dock so anyone could up to their house. It was very cool. Our first stop was a big stupa temple. There were so many stupas, and locals selling random goods at the bottom. It was an alright temple.
After this we went to a clay pot making demonstration and I got to try it. I was horrible, not my cup of tea.
We walked around the village after where we could see satellite dishes on the houses and a bunch of clay ovens dug in the ground. Also finally saw some pigs. Saw the biggest and healthiest ox since I’ve been in southeast Asia, I feel this village is doing well for itself. We left after for lunch where we stopped at a local’s house and it was very good and well flavored. They kept feeding us even though we were full. The tea leaf salad and green tomato salad were amazing. After that we went to a cotton weaving place and a cigar making shop, where I challenged the ladies to make a double sized cigar they all laughed.
After this we went through the floating gardens. It was quite cool, seeing how everything grows in the water. We came back in time for my 6 pm bus back into Yangon. The bus ride wasn’t very good seats were made of leather and I had the worst back ache and sleep I’ve ever had.