Pyay Pyi Prome

Trip Start Dec 28, 2011
Trip End Jan 19, 2012

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Where I stayed
Myat Lodging House

Flag of Myanmar  , Bago,
Sunday, January 15, 2012

Whinging about Buses
Had to endure another horrendous bus journey of 7 hours. It was butt-crushing all the way until the last few kilometres toward Pyay. The bus driver was merticulously manourving around potholes but we could not avoid the smaller ones. For most parts, road construction was also taking place, thus this trip was painfully slow. Although...this is good news for potential future travellers, the road linking Magwe to Pyay will be a paved road. I should also point out that the lunch stop at 12pm will also be the only break stop for any toilet activities. This being an ordinary service local bus also means that corridor aisle will be stool seats for local passengers and smoking is permitted on the bus.  

Room Shopping
Finally saw Pyay at 4pm with familiar scenes at the bus station. One chap managed to secure my backpack while I was taking a leak but that did not deter another pesky chap from trying to convince me to hop onto his motorbike instead. So off we went riding about 3 km into town looking for rooms. I was brought to the expensive hotels along the riverbank. I protested abit when the reception told me the prices (plus there were heavy military presence within the hotel compounds) and said something like 'cheap cheap hotel' before he brought me to Pyay's most aweful lodging house I had ever seen. Only 4500 kyats a night, certainly the cheapest. It was a dilapidated warehouse and the conditions were simply terrible. I had to move on. 

We went to Smile Hotel (US$24 a night for a double - they refused to give me a single bed price - I thought it was a ploy to dig more money from foreigners, so I moved on again) but eventually settled at Myat Lodging House for US$12 a night with communal cold water shower. This spot is within walking distance to the main road and market, and also close to the riverbank.  

Shwesandaw Paya
Ventured out to Shwesandaw Paya for sunset, stopping for street snacks along the way. There were elevator towers which one can ride to the top without climbing the pilgrims' stair passageways. The views towards west and Pyay township were splendid but the platform looking out to a 10 storey high buddga statue was the deal. I was not expecting this, so it was really a nice surprise and plenty of photographic opportunities. So much so that I had forgotten to check out a golden bell display, said to enshrine a tooth from buddha himself.

A beer garden down the market end of Bazzar Street serves several imported beers and the TVs broadcast live football matches.
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