Asia | South East Asia | Burma (Myanmar) – Wet, wetter, wettest

Asia | South East Asia | Burma (Myanmar) – Wet, wetter, wettest

Been there, done it, and kind of seen it… kind of, because you had to be standing right on top of it to be able to see it through the immensely thick raincloud that embraced Kyaikto Mountain…
The place is probably stunning in the sunshine, not to mention at dawn or dusk, but hardly worth the hassle in the rain season…
Because a hassle it was!
Left Lily’ Guesthouse yesterday at 2 pm, for the 2 something overnight bus to Yangoon. Got off at 5am in Bago to start my trip to Kyaikto (or Tchaiktcho as they say here – beats me why LP insists on spelling it with a “K’).
It became soon clear that waiting for the bus from Yangoon (normally at 8, but maybe 9 o’clock, or maybe later, who knows?), would be pointless, so my best option was to catch one of the small pickups for a 3,5 hours journey on a not so good road. As the pickup truck is exactly what you’d imagine it to be (that is, a cabin, the loading part covered with a roof and outfitted with hard wooden benches on the sides and small wooden stools in the middle), needless to say that my bum had turned more or less into a wooden bench itself (sorry guys, dutch expression!). And imagine, 25 people in the back is nothing! If ever you think Nepali busses ase full, try again in Burma…
However, this only got me as far as Kyaikto and to go see this famous and holy Golden Boulder, you need to travel on. Another pickup therefore to Kinpun and then wait for a truck to get you as far up the mountain as possible. Which still leaves you with a steep 45 minutes walk up…

According to LP, the direct bus back to Yangoon would be leaving from Kyaikto, so I tried to check in here and make it a day trip from there. Bugger all: the first guesthouse was full and the 2nd was only allowed to take in Burmese… Never trust a guide book!
Off with all my belongings (quite a few by now I must admit!) to the bus/pickup station for Kinpun, as there’s no other option left than to go to sleep there. The good news however is that there is a direct bus tomorrow morning from Kinpun to Yangoon! As I said, never trust a guidebook!

Arrived in Kinpun I got lucky, or so I thought:: got a truck pretty quickly, but then it started pooring with rain 5 minutes into the trip…
Got off the truck soaking wet and decided to walk up despite the ongoing rain – no way I could get any wetter than this and it didn’t look as if the rain was going to stop anytime soon…
Well , I was wrong: I could get even wetter, walking for 45 minutes up a steep zigzagroad.
On the top, it was the usual bare footed walk over slippery tiles (they certainly have a talent here for using coloured tiles at monuments that become extremely slippery in the rain) to get close enough to the Boulder to actually take a picture.

Once back, I congratulated myself with the decision earlier that day to indulge and get myself a room with a HOT shower. Definitely needed it…

Category : Asia | South East Asia | Burma (Myanmar) , Uncategorized