A few weeks ago I received an email from Intrepid Travel informing me of a schedule change. We were initially supposed to be getting an overnight train to Bagan this evening. However there have been a few issues regarding punctuality and comfort of the train so now we’re going by bus to Bagan this morning. While it meant losing a day in Yangon, if the journey was anything like the overnight train experience in India, my ergonomics will be grateful.
Travelling by public bus from Yangon to Bagan wasn’t bad at all.Outside scenery wasn’t overtly spectacular but there’s plenty of stunning pagodas that improve the landscape. The seats were quite comfy and legroom was more than decent. Despite the outside temperature being in excess of 30C a blanket was required inside the heavily air-conditioned coach. The traffic seemed to flow and the roads were mostly smooth. However some ridiculously loud Burmese television shows were screened that even drowned out my headphones. After ten hours of traveling we arrived in Bagan, somewhere near the geographical centre of Myanmar.
In Myanmar there is a strange sight of large numbers of cars with steering wheels on either side. This makes it slightly confusing when you order a taxi about which side to get in! Presumably the reason for this quirk is that Myanmar imports a lot of secondhand cars from neighbouring countries such as India, Thailand and China, places where they drive on differing sides of the road.
Bagan is famous for being home to literally thousands of pagodas and temples, the vast majority of which were constructed before the modern city was built. Therefore they are dotted all over the place. There’s a street where a lot of the touristy stuff is, including a few nice restaurants and bars. One such bar is called Weather Spoons (spelt with an “a”), located directly next to a pagoda. This just seems wrong on so many levels. I’ll have to check tomorrow to see if anyone is eating bacon butties accompanied by a pint of Kronenbourg at 8am in order to judge the authenticity of the establishment. Amazingly Weather Spoons wasn’t even the most ridiculous thing I saw on that street this evening. Parked just before our hotel was a car decked out in some of the daftest regalia I’ve even seen. Rather than attempt to describe it, the picture below says it all.