Myanmar Out : Mandalay and Bangkok

Myanmar Out : Mandalay and BangkokYet another overnight bus that dropped us off in the middle of the night. Luckily we had found some other tourists on the bus so could share taxis to the guesthouse they were staying at. The cheapest we could find was still $18 for a gib-board room, with shared squat toilets and a funky smell.

We woke up and ventured out into the city to find some food. Settled on a small Indian Restaurant – thought it might be a good idea to sample what we’d soon be eating – and followed it up with a long walk to ease our very full stomachs. We would soon know the joys of Indian thalis – never ending refills of rice and curries.

That afternoon we met up with Jessica from our trek and headed out to see the U Bein bridge at sunset. Having seen plenty of photos of the impressive bridge with a steady stream of monks and pilgrims, I was fairly excited to get there. Imagine my dismay then, when half way there in the taxi it begins to rain. And not just rain, but pour down, with those giant raindrops typical of a tropical climate. So instead of seeing this, we saw this:

Too much water, too much rain

Too much water, too much rain

There had been a large amount of rainfall, and consequently, flooding in the area, which was even more apparent on our way to the airport – a large number of the flimsy wooden shelters that people live in had been completely inundated with flood water, and most people had taken whatever possessions they could manage and set themselves up under tarpaulins on the sides of the (useless) flood banks, next to their salvaged cows.

We met up with some more people from the trek for dinner and a few beers, which a few hours later would have me regretting. I woke up during the night in a violent vomiting fit, followed in the morning by some just as violent diarrhoea. A message from our friend determined that I wasn’t the only one affected – however, I was lucky that I hadn’t just vomited on myself in the international airport like she had.

After a solid days rest I was feeling much better – and lucky too, as we had to fly to Bangkok. We said goodye to Myanmar in much the same way as we entered – an empty airport – and were back in Bangkok before we knew it, jumping straight into the application forms for our Indian visa – as we only had 10 days before our flight to Kolkata.

My bout of feeling good came to an ubrupt end and the morning we had to get passport photos taken and submit our visa applications I was feeling incredibly nauseous and dizzy. At the immigration centre I almost fainted and then came very close to vomiting in front of a lot of people – much to the officer’s horror – but we managed to get it organised and bundle me into a taxi back to the guesthouse. I had hoped that in the 10 days we would’ve been able to sneak off to an island, but that plan went pretty quickly out the window when I could barely stand up. After five days of barely eating and hoping my immune system would flush the bug out, I gave up and bought some antibiotics and was back to myself in a couple of days.

Monks and local on the U Bein bridge

Monks and locals on the U Bein bridge

We checked our emails religiously for any news that our visas were ready, and when we were just starting to panic Angelo received word that his was ready. We returned to the visa centre with all fingers and toes crossed that mine would be there too, and came away with on a big wave of relief. It couldn’t have been more perfect as our flight was tomorrow.

Our last day was spent picking up last bits and pieces, and we met our friends Marni and Corrado – who would be travelling some of India with us – and headed to the airport.

Nothing could prepare us for India.

Thanks again to Angelo for letting me steal his photos!



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