Local transportation on the sand flats outside Bagan
Right on time, Myo showed up to trade paintings for foreign currency which he supposedly collects. We ended up getting another couple paintings for a 10,000 Kip note and a 1,000 Yen note that I have been carting around for years. It made him happy although he did request ''a present" for his brother which ended up being an old shirt of mine.
After changing more money on the black market, we left for Pyay driving through some very deep and wide sand flats. We did manage to get stuck but some locals had some "Mad Max" looking metal strips to help us out (for presents of course) so we made it though without to much trouble.
The roads were extremely dusty making for a hot, gritty and grimy ride. After about twelve long hours we finally made it to Pyay which is none to special.
Monks outside Pyay
Our first stop was at the Smile Hotel which wasn't making Cindy smile. They had a groady $15 room that Cindy refused and a marginally better $25 room which the obsequious, smiling manager said we could have for $20. He annoyed Cindy so much that we actually drove to look at another place but only their expensive "superior rooms" had hot water so we went back to the land of smiles and rented their room which looked more like a jail cell. You can see the quality plumbing work in the attached picture. Min Min mentioned that when people come to Pyay from Yangon where rooms are expensive, they don't complain but from Bagan where nice rooms are a bargain "always complaining." The Smile Hotel hallway looked like that one from “The Shining” where Doc sees the two dead twins holding hands, then sees them all hacked to pieces - I would have taken a pic but I was to afraid to see what showed up. All in all, crappy food and a crappy hotel - Pyay sucks!
On a more positive note we have decided to keep "The Mins" through our stay at Ngwe Saung Beach. We figured it would help them earn some extra cash (since it is not high season yet they aren't too busy) and they really aren't charging us for the days at the beach. Also the Hyundai, beat up as it is, is still way better than local busses laden with people, animals and dried fish (which the Burmese consider a "good smell", we don't quite agree).
Pyay Hotels & Accommodations review
The Smile Hotel, Pyay - Myanmar
The Smile Hotel in Pyay did not leave us smiling but luckily
we were only there for one night. We
were … read entire review