The Lake that never was
Trip Start Aug 27, 2011
98Trip End Jun 01, 2012
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Where I stayed
Gold Star Guest house
Nyaung Shwe which is very close to Inle Lake itself. The bus does not drop you off here though, instead there is a junction 13 kms away where in the middles of the night, the bus stops and kicks you out. We shared a taxi with a guy from the USA and spent the next hour driving around this small town trying to find a place to stay. Dave boy and I ended renting a triple for the night but the USA guy didn't want to share the cost. Fair enough. Good job really. We went to sleep at 4am but I woke suddenly at 6am to run to the bathroom. There was a lock on the outside of the bathroom which Dave had bolted! I made it to the bath tub and threw up again!! Most of the time reaching and nothing coming up! Great! What a pair! He's coughing and I'm losing body organs!!
Inle Lake is a fresh water lake located in the Nyaungshwe Township of Taunggyi District of Shan State, part of Shan Hills in Myanmar (Burma). It is the second largest lake in Myanmar with an estimated surface area of 44.9 square miles (116 km2), and one of the highest at an altitude of 2,900 feet (880 m). During the dry season, the average water depth is 7 feet (2.1 m), with the deepest point being 12 feet (3.7 m), but during the rainy season this can increase by 5 feet (1.5 m). Let's just say, our one and only full day in Inle Lake was spent in our comfy guesthouse. Dave wandered off in search of a doctor, he found a dentist first, but the doctor eventually prescribed some anti biotics. Dave tried to get some sleeping tablets too, but that was a no go. Disappointing really, that we were both ill and useless, but these things happen.
We did venture out in the evening and I managed to handle some plain pizza and some lemon juice, the thought of street food now scared me. It happens every now and then, you start fantasizing about home cooked food that has never made you sick/ill. My list for my mum just keeps growing!!
Next day, our bus was leaving midday, a 16 hour journey back to Yangon. Seeing as we were at the Lake, I hired a bike for a couple of hours and went in search of some pictures. In my weak state, I ended up cycling to the hot springs instead of the lake. After cycling for 12 kms, I was exhausted and gave up. So, the pictures of the Lake you see are kindly stolen from the internet. I'm sure it was a wonderful sight to see!! My route to the hot springs was pretty special though, some wonderful local houses, farming and back to nature and back to basics way of living!!
At midday, we caught a truck back to the junction and waited two hours for our bus to turn up. We were hoping for a better ride as the last bus was very uncomfortable. Dave had some guy resting on his shoulder and finds bus sleeping extremely difficult.
The bus was comfy but we spent 4/5 hours driving and winding our way around mountains. Some young Japanese girl threw up on the bus and I managed to last out till our first pit stop. We parked right outside a large street vendor selling all sorts of vomit inducing food, I took one look, felt all funny and wandered off to throw up again. This time, I was joined by a crowd of dogs watching my heaving and probably hoping to get first dibs when I was finished. I felt rough as hell!! I shared a fizzy orange with Dave and he grabbed a packet of crisps. I was feeling very weak and very sick but unable to mentally stomach anything. It's that feeling when you know whatever goes in, will soon be coming out very quickly.
We continued on to Yangon. We arrived at the bus station late into the night, around 3am so the 16 hour journey lasted around 13 hours. We were quoted ridiculous prices for a taxi to a nearby hotel. Dave boy was treating us to a hotel to sleep. Basically, we would check in and try pay for half a day. We walked outside this little town of a bus station and flagged down a taxi outside. We got him down to a small price and took us to a hotel a very short distance away from the airport. I haggled a fair price for the room and we were soon asleep. We had some lunch at said hotel next morning and were soon on our way back to the airport.
The nine days in Myanmar flew by. A wonderful experience and I would love to go back again some day, especially to see Inle Lake and some beaches in the south. With the positive changes occurring in the country, tourism will grow and I can see it turning into a Cambodia.
Our flight to Bangkok was delayed by a couple of hours. AirAsia is cheap but always late. Luckily, our ongoing flight to Phuket was the next morning. We were considering a 90 minute gap between landing from Yangon and flying to Phuket, but we changed our minds and lucky that we did. We spent the evening in Bangkok at a guesthouse near the airport. I was feeling better, but next morning, I woke up with terrible pains in my stomach and at the domestic departures in Bangkok could not handle any breakfast and was struggling to get out of the bathroom to make my flight. Dave had a McFlurry for his breakfast. I popped an Imodium and made the flight. But, I was struggling and feeling pretty rough!!
Near stop, Phuket on our way to Ko Phi Phi Don