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 completely inhumane volume.

Also, we keep pulling over for no apparent reason and the first time I can’t see what’s going on so I ask Lacey and she’s like umm the guy just got off the bus with a bat. I couldn’t imagine what that might be for nor did I want to know. But then the next time I see him walk around outside my window with what I would describe as more of a metal pole than a bat, but you get the gist regardless. And he’s poking at the tires with this pole. This is highly worrisome.

Anyhow we make it without major incident to the first stop, a bus rest stop with tons of food stalls and stands. I opt for fried rice with an egg on top for a couple bucks and Lacey goes for corn on the cob for 20 cents.

Then we get back on the bus at 8:30pm and are told there will be no more stops before our 5am arrival. As someone who pees more than the average person, I find this a bit stressful but we soldier on.

Then, the bus just becomes unbearably freezing. We had been warned about cold buses and so I wore all the clothes I had: a light long sleeved short and yoga pants and had a pashmina as a blanket. However this was not enough, I was literally shivering!

Finally we do end up making a middle of the night stop and I go up to a woman working at a restaurant and motion to her that I am absolutely freezing and does she have anything I can buy. Thankfully she has a blanket, which may have been hers personally but I didn’t care. I paid her the best $3 I’ve ever spent and got back on the bus a LOT warmer.

We made it safely to Inle Lake and I’ve agreed to another bus ride tomorrow from here to Bagan! Hopefully I’ll be warm from the get go and actually get some sleep!

1 Comment

  1. Susan Orlins
    May 20, 2013

    I hope the next bus is toasty just the right amount but not too toasty–and, of course, safe!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *