The arrival in Myanmar was a piece of cake. I literally spent 5 minutes at the customs. Nobody asked me for a flight out of the country, thankgod because I didn’t have one.
After getting my luggage I got on a taxi to my hostel and once I got there I got a surprise! Horrible surprise. My hostel the “Everest Hotel ” has a so called dorm on the fifth floor. No elevator. It was sizzling hot and by the time I was up in my room I was already exhausted. The room was big enough just to accommodate only three beds. And I mean only three beds. NOTHING else. No AC, only a fan and a window on the corridor. Practically an oven. On top of that the other two beds were occupied by two guys eating fried chicken in bed… I don’t need to explain any further. I knew I couldn’t stay there even if I already paid so I checked for another hostel and I moved out.
I needed to change money – dollars into kyat and so I went to the bank. That was another adventure. People screaming as if they were at the market, no discretion, no order… apparently. So I got directed to the exchange “window” (no window of course, just a counter like in a bar) and have been explained from the teller that every note has a different exchange rate… OK…
Got my money after a good half hour waiting and paid the new hostel. This one is near Sule pagoda very near the center. It’s called Dengba hostel and there is no sign outside. I still managed to find it and it was just right what I needed. Clean, spacious, with windows and AC. For lunch I went to this Indian place called Vedge but I was disappointed. The portions are small and it is a bit pricey. Not even the service was good.
In the afternoon I went to take a walk and met this couple of siblings Vietnamese American and with there I went for dinner in 19th st where Aung a local guy met us. It was fun, the food was good and the beer cheap. The place is called Kaung Myat restaurant and it’s famous for the BBQ and for the beer of course.
The following day I went to visit the city. As usual I walked around even if the heat was unbearable. I went to Shwedagon pagoda the biggest pagoda in Yangon. The place is simply amazing! All cover in real gold and pearls. Locals enter for free, tourists of course have to pay 8000 kyat (around 5€) but it was worth it.
After that I visited Ngar Htat Gyi Pagoda and the reclining Buddha. It’s funny because in Myanmar there are millions of Buddha but they are all different. The reclining one is gigantic, majestic and a bit funny. I then went for lunch to this restaurant called Taj Indian Nepali where the food is excellent and copious and the service very friendly. I also got a refill of sauce for free!!! I arrived at the hostel in a bath of sweat so I showered and rest for a little while. For dinner I went out with Woon Si another local and we went back to 19th st but to KoSan bar this time. Again food delicious and cheap beer.
The day after I was ready to leave and move north to Mandalay. My bus was at 9.30am so I left the hostel at 7.30. Traffic can be pretty bad and the bus station is on the north, one / one and half hour away from the city. The ride was horrible. The bus was full to explode and everybody was pushing me and my backpack around. Beside the driver wasn’t very gentle on the brakes. I arrived at the bus station in an hour and I was finally able to get on an AC bus with every comfort including USB plug to charge your mobile or tablet. I was about to take the famous road to Mandalay.