A train to Bagan
After I woke up in the morning in Mandalay, and it was time to explore another place. Sreymao and I took a taxi to the train station. Everything WAS written in Burmese. As soon as I arrived at the Mandalay train station, I went to buy A ticket.
There were couple of Burmese men wearing longi (long skirt) coming toward me.
At first, I was a little bit nervous since they were talking in Burmese, and I did not understand anything what they were saying.
Taxi to the train station, they could speak some English, and I realized they were trying to help
me buying the train ticket.
I had decided to travel like a local, meaning I will take a local train. I went to the counter and asked how much is it?
HE said “1,100 kyat”, and I was surprised. Is it less than a dollar to get to Bagan from Mandalay? Is this possible?
I wanted to make sure that I did not END UP IN the wrong place. I asked again, “how much?” and he said “1,100 kyat”. He said it will take 6 to 7 hours to arrive in Bagan.
After few hours, and I enjoyed the journey. Once we boarded the train, Sreymao and I were the only foreigners. There were about 20 people in one cabin. People looked at us even though we looked similar to the Burmese, but maybe because we are wearing , and backpacks. I was not feeling well because of the rain last night. The train left at about 7:20 AM. I enjoyed looking through the window and seeing the lives of people, views of passing from one city to another, a field, and some areas did not even have any houses or people.
I think taking a train is one of the best way to see the country. The wooden seats were perfect for me. After few hours, I still did not believe I could buy a train ticket that cost less than a dollar to get to Bagan. The train made many stops to drop off and take more people a long the way. The train was very shaky and I had to move my body like I was dancing as the train went along, otherwise I might twist my back. I enjoyed the first 5 to 6 hours.
After midday, I began to feel not very well. I had A temperature, and was feeling cold at the same time. Sreymao took care of me, and I knew she was worried. We both took a nap on the train’s wooden seats. As I am a small girl, the seat fit perfectly for sleeping. I played with my hair, I wrote some in my journal, I SAT and did nothing. I played with my hair along the way.
As the train went along, I sat up, I took a nap, and walked around many times. I wondered “where is Bagan?”
The train made another stop in the middle of nowhere, and I was hungry. I decided to buy mango – “Seng talong”, and had mango with bird’s eggs for lunch. It was not a usual lunch. As the train continued, I kept looking through the windows and admired
the view of Myanmar.
I started to make friends with people on the train. They we spoke the universal language – “A smile”, some could speak
basic English, so we spoke a little. Even with having a temperature, I still could laugh hard with Sreymao, and we laughed from every crazy little things. We both wondered all along the way–“where is Bagan?” Finally Bagan, when we reached Bagan, it was already 4:30 PM, and it was not 6 to 7 hours like they said.
The train gave us another extra few hours to enjoy view of beautiful Myanmar. The train actually took 10 hours and 30 minutes instead of 7 hours. We took A taxi to Bagan town, and it cost us 25000 kyat. There was only one taxi in the whole train station.
Bagan was quiet. Still, we did not regret taking the slow train.
We enjoyed it all the way.