Sunday, November 13, 2016

Kalaw to Inle lake - Myanmar

I took an overnight bus to Kalaw. Though it was super plush with a bathroom,  nicer seats and even a neck pillow, I just don't sleep well and it will be my last night bus. 

 two Dutch girls, from my hotel in bagan, invited me to join them after only exchanging a few words. We hoped to do a day track but we decided not due to a very rainy day. we drank beers (the first at 8:30 which is new to me but locals were drinking too), ate yummy Indian food and got to know each other better. 

Being up for 24 hrs and loosing my mind after  hearing about trump was a rough day. I felt sick and it was hard to normalize. So far travelers have been treating me nicely, just asking me how this could have happened. It's crazy because sometimes foreigners know and care more about our foreign policies than we do. 
I think for those who don't leave their homeland, and/or don't have foreign friends, they don't realize how big of a deal this was/is to the world. I will leave it at that. 

Thankfully, I was able to buy headphones and phone charger. I've noticed many of the sellers, even our waiters, are children. Like under 14,  not in school. It's weird to ask your child server for a beer! 

There's a small Indian population in Kalaw; the food has been great but still very oily. This will be the closest I get to India as I don't have a desire to travel there. 

One Dutch girl is super blonde; she's the celebrity with people asking for photos and offering her fruit on the train. We did a short hike up a hill to see the view and saw a monastery with a school for kids. when they are a teenager they can choose to leave.

 Just outside the monastery, there were about 30 dogs with skin issues and scratching nonstop, including the poor pups. You also notice pregnant/or just gave birth dogs with the ribs showing :(

 We took a 3 hr train to Inle lake area. Originally I was going to do an overnight hike and homestay but I can do that in Vietnam. I later learned from a traveller, it was the highlight of her trip and better to do a 3 day trek. 

We arrived at the train station 2 hrs early to get a ticket and attempt to avoid the rain clouds we saw coming in. Observing the locals was pretty nice.  There was much confusion about the tickets. They said seats were full with only standing room available. They told us we can buy tickets at 1, train arrives at 1:15. So how are the seats full if you can't buy tickets till 1? No answer. 

The slow moving, old train filled with locals showed up 30 mins late, which isn't so bad for here.  I was hoping that we at least get on the train but we managed to score seats; Comfy ones too and enjoy the beautiful views on a cloudy day. 

The Dutch girls met an Austrian, whose been to Myanmar 5x now, when they first got here. We met up with Edward on Kalaw and will travel all together for the next few days. he's been super knowledgable on where to stay and arranging plans for all of us. 

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