Time was running fast, and it was already the 13th. During the morning, we walked around a lot, passing through markets and streets and then we just walked without a precise destination, and we arrived again next to the Shwedagon Pagoda. We stopped in a bar, had a couple of our beloved coffees and went back to the hostel to take our luggage.
The next stop was Mandalay, with an over-night bus. Before the ride, we had a nice soup for dinner in a restaurant with small chairs and tables on the street, and after that we took a public bus to the station. The bus station is in the middle of nowhere, and it was getting dark. We didn’t know where to get off, but again we got help from strangers and reached the bus. After waiting some time, and being warned to take a jumper on the bus because of the air-con, it was time to leave. This time we were VERY prepared for bus ride, with torches, books, many clothes, food and drinks. We were getting real Pro in bus riding!
At the sunrise, we were in Mandalay, again without a hostel, and unfortunately again everything was full or expensive, or, even worse, “not for foreigners”. We ended up in a very small room (it was meant to be a single one), but we were so happy and so tired that we slept till lunch.
Mandalay is a city that, as we experienced it, does not communicate a lot; we kept it as base to visit the teak bridge in Amarapura, 11 km far from Mandalay. We rented two bicycles and pushed the pedals to the U-Bein Bridge.
We had a quick snack and then we walked across the bridge. From afar, we thought that it looked crowded and not so special, but we had to change our idea immediately around sunset time.
The view was stunning, the atmosphere of the water and the people as shadows walking on the bridge, the boats around, and that amazing red sun changing the colors of the sky…that was one of the most beautiful sunset ever seen.
It was getting dark, the way back was pretty long, and our bicycles didn’t have lights, but before the closing time of the shop we came back alive. Driving in Mandalay is pretty scary: scooters of any kind whizzing literally without an order and without rules, regardless of pedestrians or bikes, deep holes in the streets, complete dark at night. Once back, we looked for a place to eat and we chose a small street restaurant (the ones with small tables and chairs) and we had salty pancakes. We loved them. [A funny thing of Burma (but actually of all the South East Asia) is that you can eat anywhere at any time.] We really enjoyed the atmosphere of the street, even if those small tables were not exactly the right size for Floh!
After that, we found a bar for a couple of beers, but before we could start any conversation with anybody, the monopoly of our night was obtained by a drunk taxi driver that we had met during the morning, who decided to be our friend and tell us everything about his life, his work, his past, his family…without really speaking English!!. We were so exhausted at the end, that we just wanted to go back to the hostel!