On the way to Lake Inle
Taungoo Travel Blog› entry 24 of 34 › view all entries
Well after a thrilling breakfast of fried rice, instant coffee and Burmese Tang, we headed downstairs anxiously wondering if Myo Ngwe would show up with our "English speaking" driver. Well no need to worry, there he was smiling away with not one but two other men. We are still not sure why but, at no extra charge (not including "presents" of course), we were introduced to our driver Min Ko and our "free" tour guide Min Min, both of whom seem nice. We figure either:
- Min Ko doesn't speak English well enough to spend two weeks with us;
- Min Min is going up north to see his girlfriend/family/someone and figured he would catch a free ride;
- Min Min is on vacation and knows Americans tip well (unlike most of the world, the Burmese seem to like us).
So today's little eight hour drive (Yangon to Taungoo is only 178 miles - the roads aren't great!) takes us to Bago and Taungoo which is about half way to
Our next stop was at a large Banyan tree where we purchased an offering and had the car blessed (I seriously hope we don't need this.
In Bago we stopped by Shwethalyaung Paya to see a large Reclining Buddah with bejeweled feet and wandered around the market with a brief visit to Shwemawdaw Paya which is similar to Shwedagong in
We had a great Burmese lunch with tons of little dishes that was dirt cheap. Cindy played Good Samaritan by giving a rather large Spanish woman some Neosporin (doing her part to convince the world that not all Americans are bad). She had been riding in a bicycle rickshaw that crashed. Min Min coyly said that the Rickshaw driver was "unbalanced.
So what would you think the most important piece of equipment on a Burmese car is? Transmission? Engine? Brakes? Suspension (haha! What suspension)? All important but all wrong, it's the lowly horn, an integral part of the Burmese driving experience.
Min Ko is seriously addicted to his and has severe withdrawal if he doesn't blast it every five or ten seconds. Between the scooters, the trucks, the dogs who think they own the road, the buffalo, the narrow, dusty, pothole ridden roads and the other cars I guess it is necessary but still annoying, especially for eight hours. Sort of like Chinese Water Torture - your brain can’t help waiting for the next friggin beep.
The road from
We finally made it to Taungoo only to find out that our guest house was booked. They suggested another, the Yoma Hotel - which may translate as "crummy hotel with large cockroach on door", but, other than the roach which the bellboy caught (in his hands) and disposed of, it had clean beds and AC and we were too tired to look elsewhere.
Our first choice for hotel had a Chinese restaurant where we had mediocre food (Cindy's fried rice came with an extra special treat, no not Mr. Roach but a little rusty nail -obviously not her day). At least the dark walk back to the hotel was down a muddy road! Oh well, its only one night...