May 17-18th Yangon-Bagan, Myanmar

by - May 20, 2019

This was a pretty relaxed day since we ran out of things to do.  We booked so many nights in Yangon so that we could take the train to Bagan.  They make you buy your ticket 5 days ahead of time.  We ate the breakfast supplied by the hostel, went to pick up our train tickets, and relaxed for a while.  We went to Rangon Tea House for a cup of tea and then went back to Lion World for dinner.  It wasn't as good as the day before.

We checked out of our hostel and left our bags in the communal area.  We planned to stay there until we needed to leave for the train, but they had people there spraying for bugs.  We went to the bar next door called Bart and enjoyed the AC and a couple of beers.  We left for the train station around 3 PM.  We were greeted by the common scam.  Young girls giving us compliments and acting like they were helping us find our way.  They always come back to sell you drinks...and they are persistent.  As we sat there waiting for the train, we noticed most of the people traveling this way are very poor.  Many people were sleeping on the cement and there was a baby with no diaper on running around.  A kid no older than 4 was watching over this baby.  Once the train arrived it was chaos for a moment.  They were loading us into our train car, asking us what we wanted for dinner and breakfast, and the girls were back.  We ended up ordering beer and water from them.  Once Bart asked for the change there was even more confusion.  In the end, we were scammed.  They left with it all.  We settled into this dirty, rickety, old train ready for the adventure.  It would not get into Bagan until 11 AM the next day.  We were in for a long ride.  We met our bunk mate Mal Vin.  He is traveling here from Malaysia.  It was instantly uncomfortably hot, but we enjoyed the view.  We saw so much of Myanmar that we would have not seen on a bus.  We saw a duck farm, recycling plant, locals living with almost nothing, rice fields(once the rainy season comes), brick making, cattle, goats, and so much more.  The local children would wave and plead for money or food along the way.  It was sad to see because they were out there in that blistering heat begging.  The train swayed and creaked the entire way.  The bathroom was pretty unpleasant.  The toilet dropped everything right onto the train tracks.  Once it was dark and the excellent wore off it was quite unpleasant.  Bart tried to go to the top bunk to sleep, but the air was so stagnant he eventually came back down.  We both "slept" on the lower bunk, which was all of our seats unfolded.  We felt grimy and it reminded us of traveling with our truck in South America.  The swaying train and the heat made sleeping impossible.  Traveling by train was something we really wanted to experience in SE Asia.  We are so happy we did it, but will never do it again.

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