Burmese Buses

On Friday, at 5pm, Lacey and I boarded a bus from Yangon to Inle Lake here in Myanmar. We pull up to the bus (after taking a cab there that was approximately 120 degrees and cost extra for air conditioning – which we eventually agreed to due to the heat and humidity. “2 percent for looking in the mirror twice,” right? Get the reference?) and I spot a guy with a bucket of water and a small cup which he is using to pour water over the engine of the bus. And we haven’t even pulled out yet. Bad. Sign. So we get on the bus, which is honestly less terrible than I imagine. We have slightly reclining seats and the air conditioning works well, so things aren’t so bad. Although they are absolutely blasting Burmese music and movies at a...

Read More

Yangon.

I arrive in Yangon after two flights and head to baggage claim in a country I’m told has no ATMs and will only take crisp, new US dollars to be exchanged. However, upon arriving at baggage claim, I see two money changers AND an ATM. I decide to use it but somehow my math is so bad, I almost took out only $11. Thankfully a nice man nearby helped me figure out that 91,000 kyat = $100 so that’s what I took out. It felt super weird typing $90,000 into an ATM! Then, thankfully my hotel had airport pickup so for the first time in a long time, someone was standing there with a sign with my name on it outside of customs. So I walk outside to get into the hotel car, and it is this almost station wagon looking car with little furry animals dotting the entire...

Read More

Cambodian Bus Rides

Had an interesting day today: I buy a ticket for the 2:45pm mini bus being told it is 2-2.5 hour ride from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh. I buy my ticket early (for once) and am told I’m seat #1. When I get to the bus station there’s a bus sitting there so I go to get on it and I’m told that’s not my bus. So I sit down with my pack to wait. Naturally, I’m a couple minutes early. I ask how long the ride is and I’m told 4 hours. Yikes. But that the regular sized bus is at least 6 hours. Then a man gets off that bus screaming and yelling about how they are an hour late (it was the 1:45pm bus) and he’s ranting about how could there be more people coming, the bus is full! So when I’m told to get on the bus with another...

Read More