My journey towards the border in a way truly begins from today. From this point, I will be venturing off the tourist circuit well into northern Burma.
Taxi dropped me off at the bus stop. (stupid hotel called the same guy from yesterday *sigh*). 15 minutes later, a minivan screeches stop smack bang in the middle of the road. They toss my bag on the roof and pack me into the already breaming full van and off we went!
The road from Bagan to Monywa was good with lots of road tolls to pay. We stopped a couple of times for a break at roadside stops with hole-in-the-ground toilets. Of course, I peed all over my foot but I have been a bit out of practice with my squatting!
Looks like Burma loves cake, too. With pastry shops in town and roadside places selling them in abundance, I had to have some.
Reached dusty Monywa just after 2pm. A moped driver quickly lifted my bag on his shoulders and took me for a round around the bus station because he know. In the end I gave up and walked back to the bus company I had got off from and let him follow me. Bought me tickets for ongoing trip tomorrow and then got him to take me to a room.
Had to be on the road at 6.30am so there was little point in spending $45USD for a night. I got a $25USD one. Suruj would have had nightmares if she saw the bathroom.
Moped driver was still hanging around to take me to the ‘Standing Buddha’. I hopped on the back not realizing that the Standing Budda is a good 20 kms out of town center. I was already gone from the 6-hour mini-bus ride and 15 minutes into the ride, my thighs had started burning from keeping them spread so not to touch the skinny blokes legs (they have been a little out of action…) Not the smoothest of roads either. In the end I gave up and just gripped in the poor bloke like my life depended on it!
That ‘Standing Buddha’, Bodhi Tatung is the world’s second highest Buddha statue (by the other way) and there was a grime satisfaction on the guy’s face when I said ‘it’s huge’! It took us 12 flights of stairs inside the Buddha statue for him to understand that I was asking if there was something wow on top of the 21 set of stairs. There wasn’t and I wasn’t climbing anymore.
The surrounding area is a Buddha frenzy!
Another Pagoda visited on the way, Thanboddhay Paya. There are like millions of tiny Buddha’s stored in its walls.
A slow painful moped ride back into town. A light dinner of tom-yum soup, a walk about town and to crashed to bed.
My tube of moov was extracted from the medicine bag and liberal amounts were applied to my backside and legs.