Saturday, August 15, 2009


My time and money was soon running out in Myanmar. I had to determine where to spend my last week. One thought was to take a boat to the West Coast, but the rainy seasons stormy weather in the ocean deterred that idea. Not to mention that they run the boats till they literally fall apart and boat sinking’s have occurred with some frequency. Then I heard about a three day trek from a small village, Kalaw, to Inle Lake in the Northern Country.
Since the government owned the railway I chose to take a private overnight bus (20K Kyat ~ $20US). Make sure you get a seat up front or you will be bouncing up and down on these older buses. This applies to every developing country. The bus terminal was near the airport so we had to get a cab, which should be about 5K Kyat. It was a maze at the sprawled out bus terminal so just ask your cab driver to help you find your bus and you’ll be fine.

In the early morning when it was still dark the bus conductor shook me and asked for my destination. I told him Kalaw and he said something to the effect that we were there. So I got off the bus and look around to get my bearings. I asked again if we were in Kalaw and the guy nodded yes and pointed in a direction down the road. Eventually I got some answers and found out that the bus passed my stop and Kalaw was 6 miles away. Rather than waiting around for a couple of hours for bus services I decided to walk and start my trekking early.

It turned out to be a nice walk as the rising sun lit the beautiful morning sky. Soon I found my guesthouse, The Golden Lily, listed in the Lonely Planet. The owners were nice enough at first, but we’ll get into that later. Kalaw was a cute little town more and more backpackers were visiting to trek through the beautiful landscape to Inle Lake.

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