We rented a motorbike (12.000 MMK or 10 eur, gas 1 l for 1000 MMK or 0,8 eur) and went on the roads of Mandalay. We saw the Gold Pounder’s district where they make gold leaves to put on the Buddha statues for good luck. And then we wanted to see the old capital of Inwa. But first thing’s first. Mic needed a haircut and a shave to avoid the production of those curls. We found a salon where we spent more than an hour (?!). He was shaven and cut by two boys and then he got 6 shampooings and 3 facial massages by another boy and then he got a neck and arms massage by 3 boys simultaneously. Crazy, I tell ya!
We were in the way to Inwa, the former capital of almost 1000 years but we kinda ran out of time (sunsets don’t wait :D) and just looked at it from across the river. We weren’t too sad about it. We like the monasteries and temples and all but there are so many of them and they start to look the same after a while.
We did go see the sunset on U Bein bridge, where lots of organized buses of older tourists come and see this beauty. It’s the longest (1,2 km) and oldest teakwood bridge and being almost 200 years old some planks seem a bit scary.
We had an interesting experience with the police. They stopped a bunch of motorbikes and we were the only tourists (and we didn’t have our license on us, yiiikes). They checked driving licenses from the locals and then got really awkward around us. They slowly moved away and left us waiting, clearly didn’t want to speak English so we confidently showed Mic’s ID to the first one who came by and drove on happily.
We are already in Hsipaw (we came by a bumpy 12-hour train ride which would be fatal on our butts if it wasn’t for cushioned upper class seats, because of the strange rails you jump up and down 15 cm) and we’re going to a 4-day trek right now around the nearby hills and villages.
See you soon!