This Myanmar trip was a decision I made in the very last minute with the feeling “Oh, fudge it!” It started with meeting my mom’s good old friend, Maan. He is a photographer working in Myanmar and he wanted us, my mom, my sisters and me, to be a part of his bike photo-shoots project. He persuaded us by saying that we won’t be merely traveling in Myanmar, biking around the town, crossing from cities to cities but also render copious numbers of gorgeous photos of ourselves. Free PHOTOS taken by a professional photographer as he is and a trip around this wonderful land, Myanmar? Could you say NO to this amazing offer? Well, I did.
I said NO because I have to skip the school for one day. I slept on it and as a great student as I am. I changed my mind at the last minute, called my mom and told her faking the sadness in my voice, “Mom, I think… you have to book me a ticket. I’m so ready for Myanmar.”
But my older sister, Title, She didn’t want to skip a class so she would be following us one day after we arrived Myanmar. So there were me, my mom, my baby sister, my mom’s friend, uncle Maan and his co-worker, and another two of uncle Maan’s friends.
Arrived at the airport early in the morning at 4 a.m. and left Bangkok at 6 a.m. on the 18th of February, there were 21 luggage and seven bikes. Landed in Mingaladon Airport in Yangon with an utter excitement at around seven o’clock. We were all craving for breakfast I could tell from everyone’s faces. Thank goodness for my own smart decision I made with my baby sister, Tong. Each of us had a sandwich at the airport before leaving so we both weren’t as hungry as others.
First thing I recognized and became one of the reasons for falling in love with Myanmar is that Myanmar people still dress in their traditional style clothing. Men wearing Sarong and women wearing traditional dresses had me kept my eyes on.
We then all hopped onto the bus, loaded our stuff, left the airport then rolled down the road, Pyay Road, to a restaurant called ‘Lucky Seven’ for breakfast before checking in the guest house. The breakfast was served in a traditional Myanmar breakfast style. Each table is served with small dishes of different menus, milk pudding, roti drizzled with sweetened milk, fried chicken legs, sweetened sticky rice, buns with many choices of stuffing, curry, and tons more of traditional Myanmar foods I had no idea how to call it and then you will pay for only ones you eat. I had sticky rice and a cup of milk tea. Oh I gotta say I LOVE Myanmar milk tea. I would say it is quite similar to Thai tea but it has this fresh scent of tea. It was when you had your first sip, you couldn’t resist taking the second and you instantly have your eyes closed, indulged in the moment and just kept sipping for more, before you realize it you’ve emptied the cup.
Tong and I was literally stuffed while others were still enjoying their breakfast so we decided to walk around outside, in front of the restaurant. There was a hawker stall selling betel nut which you could rarely see this in Thailand ever these days. Myanmar people still chew betel nuts so there are stalls selling these for people almost everywhere.
Mom’s friend, uncle Maan, then followed us to the betel nut stall with a camera. We took photos in front of the restaurant and we also bought a bubble blower as a prop for our photoshoots. Ahaha.
Then we headed to the guest house and spent three hours resting, preparing bikes for the ride in the afternoon. Uncle Maan let us choose whichever bikes we like, I chose the yellow one and a hot red helmet. Then we all hopped onto the bus, loaded our bikes, headed to Dala Township which is in the southern part of Yangon. BUT first thing first, as they say, an army marches on its stomach, so we stopped by for a lunch at the restaurant named Feel (They serve vegetarian dishes there).
The bus dropped us off at the Pansodan (Pansodan Ferry Terminal) crossing the Yangon river to the Dala town.
The ship was PACKED with people. People were everywhere on the bus selling foods, newspapers, drinks. If you are lucky, you would find yourself a seat which… we did. Along the ride, gulls were flying around the ship like glittery sliver papers reflecting the sunshine and flowing smoothly along the soft breeze and river waves.
At the moment we stepped off the ship, entered Dala town, the busyness of the city instantly rushed in and stole your view. People walking around, three wheelers trying to get their ways on the road, the dust flying as it flicked off the motorbikes’ wheels. We all each grabbed our own bike and worked our way out the crowd to the clear side of the road. It was our highest goal at the moment. As we made it through, we then all hopped on our bike and simply ride along the road with uncle Maan as our leader.
We headed to the city called Twantay and man, along the way, it was indeed already very unusual to me to be on the road riding on the bike but it was utterly feeling ALIEN to me having every cars, bikes, motorbikes that passed by ringing their bells, honking their horns from two meters behind you. Because in Thailand honking your horns is rarely ever happened and sometimes it’s considered quite rude to do so. Now? I would say it is the best thing to do on the road. IT KEPT ME SAFE. Without the ring on my bike, no one would know I’m passing through and I wouldn’t know if there was any cars passing by me. The traffic in Myanmar is busy (Not as crazy as in Thailand though) but in Yangon you won’t find any motorbikes (if you do, it belongs to only police officers or soldiers). Only in the rural areas, you will find many more motorbikes.
We ride along for about five kilometers and then make a tour around in one village. We ride around and then stopped by the Twante Canal and took lots of pictures there. We stayed there until the sunset. It was beautiful. Breathtaking view it was.
We then make our way off the village, rode along the road to the Dala port to get our ride on the ship back to Yangon. We continued our ride in the city of Yangon. It was the craziest ride ever. We were in the middle of cars, just the craziest, busiest, traffic. HECTIC. But we survived and I would say it was the funniest ride ever. Thanks to the ring on our bikes and the culture of honking of Myanmar people. I have loved it ever since this ride. We then stopped at a seafood restaurant named, Jin Mao. I had seaweeds salad, a bowl of rice and stir fried asparagus. I was stuffed and simply just SO HAPPY.
I was exhausted by the time we rode back to the guest house. I bet everyone was even if we all didn’t much express we were. But, it was just how I wanted to end the first ride in Myanmar.
Overall, we rode for eleven kilometers. It was not the toughest, longest bike ride but it was the best ride. It was with kindhearted people and it was a ride rendering me meets of Myanmar people and the most beautiful view ever.
Stay tune for Day 2 😉