Edit Blog Post
Published: March 7th 2011
The afternoon after finishing the trek I didn’t do a great deal, just had a shower and went out and got dinner. Nyaungshwe seems like a decent town though, with plenty of tourist restaurants and guesthouses mixed in with local businesses and a few temples and monasteries. Initially I thought it to be quite touristy but after being there a few days I quite liked it.
Next day I hired a bike for a couple of dollars and started a little ride that the bike hirer recommended. Just after I started I ran into a Swiss guy Marcus that I had met that morning at breakfast. His girlfriend was feeling sick and going back to the hotel so we decided to do the ride together. We just took our time riding along the quiet roads and stopping at a couple of villages and a school to take some photos. Finally got to the point where we were to cross the lake and found somebody to take us straight away. The two of us and our bikes got in the boat and about 45 minutes later we were on the other side of the lake. Is was late afternoon and the
countryside looked very spectacular in the light so we took a few photos of some farmers and eventually came to the vineyard(1 of only 2 in the country) we were heading for just as the sun was setting. Of course the sign said it closed at 4.30pm but when we asked the security guard at the gate he said it was still open. We finally got up to the restaurant on top of the hill and found that another we were talking to at breakfast was there. Me and Marcus shared a tasting of about 9 wines and had a snack and then contemplated riding back into town in the dark along the unlit roads. Luckily Marcus and the other guy had their head lamps with them, so we started off along the bumpy road with me following the other two. It was a great 20 minute ride back into town dodging people, motorbikes, cyclists, and bullocks pulling carts with very little visibility. We were quite happy with our little adventure so we decided to have a few beers and we got a little drunk before going to eat at the very nice Italian restaurant at the shocking time of
9.30pm. In Myanmar most eateries close around 9pm.
The next morning I went down to where are the boats are to get on a tour of the lake for the day. After teaming up with 5 other people and a bidding war between boat drivers we got a whole days tour for just over $2 each. We crossed the lake to the southern side and got dropped off so we could walk about 20 minutes in really pleasant surroundings to a local market with a few different ethnic groups. Besides our group there were only about a dozen more tourists there. We stayed for about 45 minutes before heading back to the boat. For me this was probably the highlight of the day. Next was the worst stop of the day when we were taken to a souvenir shop to see a couple of longneck women weaving. Next was the silversmiths, a proper weaving shop, a pagoda, and finally the jumping cat monastery. Unfortunately it was quite late and the cats had just been fed, so we missed out on the show which in a sad way I was looking forward to. It was quite nice motoring across the
lake with the sun setting.
Next day with an overnight bus booked that afternoon I just took it very easy and walked around town for a couple of hours and spend a lot of my time in tea shops.
Tot: 2.713s; Tpl: 0.043s; cc: 24; qc: 102; dbt: 0.0662s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.5mb