The route around the city was a dreadful fifteen-kilometre jolting track that took forever in the tuk tuk. There wasn’t a lot to see a city entrance gate, a bit of wall and a couple of red brick pagodas, nothing fancy. Every now and then I was pulled out to go off and look at an item of interest. I liked the pagoda that was a cave, inside which Buddha images hid in secretive alcoves and the big cylindershaped pagoda that is said to be the oldest of its kind in Burma.
An ox cart plodded past us on the terrible track. They were making better time than we were. The cart was loaded with great stacks of the leaves that are used to make roofing thatch. My two escorts chewed betel, perhaps I should have too. It is supposed to make tribulations such as this jolting journey easier to bear. I thought they were nice boys until I discovered that one was forty-seven. It should be illegal to look so young. It’s downright criminal.
I returned to the Lucky Dragon beaten into submission, a wreck dirty and with hair everywhere. But still I arranged to go on another jaunt with these two and their tuk tuk the next day. Masochist that I am.
Myanmar Burma Map Photo Gallery
Cleaned up and out on the street again, I found another restaurant overlooking the river close by the hotel on the other side of the road. After recovering from the shock my appearance in their doorway gave them, the management dredged up an English menu. It was very old and in tatters, pages torn in half and all the edges frayed. It offered a couple of odd choices, Fried Sparrow or Fried Insect.
I fancied prawns but got sweet and sour chicken instead. I had not suffered any ill effects from the prawn skewers I had eaten the night before from the street stall, but they had been fried in front of me for long enough to be sterilised. Once again there was no tea or coffee or any other drink but beer. As I ate I watched a small canoe with a square red sail and a large riverboat go by.
After lunch I collapsed on my bed. It was very hot. The rainy season was not well under way yet and this central area of Burma does not get the rainfall of the south that relieves the heat somewhat.
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