Map Of Burma And China

This hotel turned out to be terrific. It consisted of neat bungalows in a great position on Strand Road, which runs along the riverfront. The view to the water and the green hills on the opposite bank would have been lovely except for the long shed-like building that was being constructed on the other side of the road right in front of the hotel. I asked the receptionist what it was but she did not know. I said, ‘It has ruined your view’. She shrugged and said, ‘It’s the government’. That answered it I guessed.

That night I chomped through a meal of chicken and vegetable, stared at all the way by the entire cast of the dining room and kitchen as I ate with the flat shovel-shaped implement I had been given.

In the morning I was served breakfast that had been fried a long time ago the eggs were stone cold and I was presented with imitation orange juice (powdered) but lovely fresh pineapple. The same breakfast almost as Motherland’s, but not as good.

Map Of Burma And China Photo Gallery

I went for an exploratory walk and found a train station in the town close to the hotel. But it was not the one for long distance trains, a pleasant man with a little English told me. He also gave me the unwelcome news that the train to Nay Pyi Taw, where I thought I would go next, left at five am. No way. Buses take twelve hours and leave at night. Even worse! The route is through mountains on not very good roads. I didn’t fancy that, so I decided to go to from here to Bagan which was also on my list. The train to Bagan departed at night and arrived mid morning.

I hired a tuk tuk to ride out to the other train station, six kilometres from the town. It was a horrible bumpy grind in an utterly unsprung vehicle and it took a long time. At the station four men lounged on bamboo chaises in various attitudes of repose. These were the station workers. We established that I wanted a sleeper on the night train to Bagan. They assured me that they would try. The train came at 10.30 each night, they said, but it was not always on time. What’s new? This did not surprise me. I got back into the wreck of a tuk tuk and we shook, rattled and rolled back to the town again.

Later I walked along the riverside under the shade of trees, some of them huge, up to a bridge about a kilometre or so from the hotel where I had read there was a waterfront restaurant. The river is edged by a low wall, on the other side of which a steep slope runs down to the water. This would be covered later when the river rose with the increase from the monsoon rains. All along here now lay what appeared to be the town’s rubbish from the past year, waiting for the water to wash it away. Among the litter, squatters lived in makeshift shelters they had constructed from bits of tin, blue plastic tarpaulins and pieces of bark and bamboo.

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