We took the bikes at our hostel (for free) and headed to the lake, knowing that there were a couple of nice villages on the way, one famous for tofu and another for some hot springs. The villages around the lake are so pretty, with the houses built half on the water like stilt houses, only a few people around, silence, the pace of every action is given by the sound of water everywhere.
We stopped in one of those villages for a coffee, and we had the impression that they were not so used to tourists! Everybody was extremely nice with us, trying to impress with nice cups instead of the plastic glasses other people were using. We thought it was very sweet.
From the village of Khaung Daing, we decided to take the boat to Mine Thouk, crossing the Lake to reach a half-floating village. The 30 minute trip costs about 6000-7000 Kyat per boat and it’s usually easy to find a boatman.We bargained a little the price of the boat, and finally crossed the lake. The village on the opposite side is divided in two parts by a wooden bridge, one part is on the land and the other on water. The landscape there is impressive, the calmness of the water, the people using boats to move from one building to another, life there has just a completely different rhythm.
After some other pedaling on the other side of the lake, we reached the Red mountain Vineyard, about which we had read something and we were curious to try it. True, we did not know either that Burma was famous for wine, and yes, I am kinda picky when it comes to it (I am Italian!), but why not giving it a try? We started with the wine tasting (four glasses), and then we decided that we liked a red wine, so we bought a bottle, but only after asking another glass for “better tasting “. The place is beautiful , surrounded by fields and hills, not too expensive (which is always a good plus), and it’s for sure a fun way to spend an afternoon. When the bottle of wine was over, we were slightly tipsy, happy and a bit loud. Around almost everybody was tasting wine in a discrete way, and we were laughing about everything: it was a lot of fun!
The difficult thing was the way home with the bicycles, but that was not still the end of our day. We decided to keep up our really good mood, so we went on wandering around. We went to a nice bar , and then we changed to some different restaurants to have a beer in each one. The last place was a restaurant where a group of random people joined us attracted by our good mood and laughter, and we had a great time together chatting and laughing. The funny thing is that this all happened before midnight. True!! Everything closes really early in Burma, especially restaurants and kind of bars, but our hostel as well!