Leaving Mandalay for Nyangshwe (Inle Lake)
At 5pm the truck came to pick me up at AD1 Hotel. I piled up with a bunch of locals, we picked up some more people including 5 tourists, and we finally got to the bus. I heard them talk and I understand the bus stops in Kalaw before Inle Lake. I didn’t realize that! I decided to get off at Kalaw – suppositely at 2 in the morning – finish my night in the street and find a hotel in the morning. It’s a great plan as I was planning to go trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake anyway!
Bus Mandalay – Inle: 12 000K
When the guy from the bus came and asked me my passport number and destination, he wrote down Kalaw on his paper. The bus was freezing cold and the seats were tiny, my fat european bum didn’t fit!! Luckily the guy next to me was skinny!!
At some point in the night I woke up and the guy next to me was gone. Great!! Two seats for me to sleep! I think I fell in a very deep sleep leaning there…
I woke up hearing a guy shouting “Inle Lake!! Inle Lake!!”. What !?!! I missed the stop, it was 2 hours before!! That was a hell of a heavy sleep, because they usually shout like this at every stop!! I talked to the bus guy and told him I was going to Kalaw, he looked so chocked (because he was supposed to look at his paper and wake everyone up to get off at Kalaw!) that I tell him it’s ok, no problem! Poor guy!
It’s 4 in the morning…. Why the hell do those buses leave so early in the evening and reach at those stupid times of the night!! The other foreigners decided to take a taxi for 2000K each (Nyangshwe and all the cheap hostels are around 10km from the bus stop), I told them I didn’t to pay too much so I would wait here until morning to get a pick-up.And I surely didn’t want to pay for a hotel room for only few hours sleep! I settled down in a quiet dark corner under a table and got ready to sleep. The streets of Burma are very safe and for sure noone would come and try to do anything, I was not worried!
A taxi driver spoted me and came to have a chat. I explained him why I was staying here, and he told me that the pick-ups were 1000K (so not so much of a difference with the taxis), and that at that tie of the night the hotels didn’t charge for the night, I would pay only for the next night! Well that was interesting information!
A new bus came and I ended up sharing a taxi with 2 german guys (Lotz and Sebastian, half french!). We drove around several hotels, all full, and ended up in Gipsy Inn, where they had only a double room available but the guys accepted to tke me in on a extra matress. That was very nice from them!! The room was 15000K plus 5000K for the extra matress. Not very cheap but not so many rooms available!
Gipsy Inn is managed by a very nice family, very helpul and friendly. The cheapest single rooms, in what they call “the old buiding” which I found brand new, are 6000K (shared bathroom).
The hotel is really nice and you get a great breakfast (included), full pot of coffee, toast and eggs, pancake, orange juice.
You can rent a bicycle for 1000K a day with a very convenient lock system! (never seen that before!)
I heard you can find a cheaper room at the Joy Hotel but I didn’t have the opportunity to go and check it out.
Any way… Enough of accomodation talk, at 5h30 we finally got to bed for a very short night, planning to go on a boat trip in the morning!!