Saturday, 17 January 2015


The next afternoon was spent at U Bein Bridge, the world’s longest teak bridge at 1.2km and host to one of the best sunsets you will see anywhere, and we get some pretty amazing ones back in Western Australia. 

 Taxi fare was $15 for a round trip, couldn't get anybody to budge lower than that, but after doing the trip I would say that's a fair price. Our driver simply waited for us there for 3 hours as we strolled over the bridge and back, then found a great perch on the, now dry in places, river bed, to watch the spectacular sunset. With a fresh coconut for Noi and a cold beer for me!

A definite highlight of Mandalay and Myanmar - The U Bein Bridge for sunset.

That night it was some more amazing food from an Indian place that simply sets up on a street corner just up the road from Garden Hotel, serving delicious curries out of massive pots just cooking on the footpath.  

All the food we had in Mandalay was exceptional, easily the best so far in Myanmar. Lashio Lay should be easy enough to find, but the Indian place I think is on the corner of 25th and 81st. Golden Shan has also been recommended and have a buffet style spread at $4 a person.

It was time to keep moving though and at around 8.30am the next morning we were on our way south, through the middle of Myanmar, heading to Nyaung Shwe, gateway to Inle Lake. It was another grueling 8 hour slog on the bus, the time once again not the issue, just the bone jarring roads and driving of the locals that really make for a shitty trip, I’m going to need so many massages when I get back to Thailand to put all my joints back together.

Once again they sting you for an entrance fee - $10 for foreigners just to enter the town, and since everybody seems to think Noi is from Myanmar, we tested the theory and nobody blinked an eyelid when I got off the bus to pay only my foreigner fee!! Haha! Considering i can buy a small bottle of rum or a pack of cigarettes for 80 cents, $10 is a huge savings here!

 If they were providing some sort of service/restoration/upkeep like in Bagan I could understand and wouldn’t really mind, but this was outright tourist extortion. Plus I can be a tight bastard when I want to be!

That reminds of a story that Danca had told me last trip. He was getting his taxi ride from the airport in Thailand from his usual driver and she was telling him about this stingy Australian that she had picked up a few weeks ago. 

 He had booked her taxi in advance and then found 2 other foreigners at the airport to split the cost with him.  Then once they had arrived in Pattaya he actually gave her a tip for the first time, because the 2 other guy’s had given him 1000 baht out of the 1500 baht total! Guess who that stingy Australian turned out to be??!! Haha, small world! Never realized we had the same driver!

U Bein Bridge