A few years ago, my Burmese friend show me a photo of her family. Then, a man in uniform catch my eye.
Me: Mimi, who’s this?
Mimi: Our oldest brother.
Me: Oh, he’s handsome. Is he single? (Asking while grinning).
Mimi: (Smiling) No, he is married.
Me: (As if disappointed) Ohh.
Mimi: That photo was taken in Russia while he was a training in military.
That conversation happened I think five years ago when I visited her place in Singapore.
Now, I will happen to meet him in person and yes, I am curious how he looks like in person, after five years. He will be the one who will fetch me at the bus station at 5:30AM. Yes, 5:30AM. I don’t want to in the first place because it is too early and I don’t want to disturb anybody but my friend told me that there is no taxi that will send me to her mother’s place because it is too near in the bus station. I told her that I can just walk from the station to her mother’s place and she was laughing at me. She was laughing because it’s as if I know their place. I will stay in my friend’s mother for a night and they were so excited. I meet her mother twice in Singapore.
I bought my bus ticket online at USD21.36 from Aung Mingalar Bus Station in Yangon to Pyin Oo Lwin. Travel time was 9 hours. I choose night time to just sleep on the bus. In the website, you can see the bus description what’s included but do not expect everything is provided. If you expect watching movie while traveling, it’s not like a small screen at the back of the seat where you can choose movies, it’s on the screen at the back of the driver and mostly the movie is in Burmese. So just book the ticket and sleep. The road is good from Yangon to Pyin Oo Lwin.
Inside the bus:
Seat number, A is aisle seat while B is window seat
And yes, you can stretch out your legs
My friend lend me her Myanmar phone sim so that I can use it and that her mother or brother can contact me while I’m on the road and in case of emergency, yes, phone sim is very important if you won’t go roaming. At 5:20AM, which I was still in a state of open mouth and saliva is almost dropping out from my mouth (I can easily sleep after I’m used of traveling), the phone rings and when I looked at it, there are four missed calls. It was my friend’s brother asking me where am I. How on earth would I know? I told him we are still in the middle of the road, inside the bus and my ticket says we will arrive in the station at 5:30AM. He told me he will call back after 10 minutes. I heard a bossy yet gentle voice.
The bus arrived in the station at 5:40AM. I saw Mimi’s mother and hugged her. Her brother watching us, then we shook hands. Yes, he is handsome but not intimidating maybe because he is not wearing a uniform. Her mother cannot communicate English well but her brother do. Their place is only ten minutes drive from the bus station and her brother’s house just five minutes drive from their mother’s house. Her brother told me that I can take a rest first. He also said that his driver (which is also their cousin) will send me to four places and he will drive at 9AM. I called my friend, Mimi, at 7AM (so not to disturb her early in the morning) informing her that I’m already with them and that she has a handsome brother here. She said yes and laugh at the other line. I took a shower and refreshed myself. It was a long 9 hours journey. After taking a rest, Mimi’s mom prepared traditional Myanmar noodle which I really love. Again, and I will say it again, I love Burmese food.
I was in the room at 8:45 preparing myself when Mimi’s mom called me. Mimi’s brother is in the door, in snappy uniform and my jaw dropped. I was holding a facial moisturizing cream in my hand to apply to my face and he was staring at me intently. I was just standing outside the room door while he was standing outside the door, and my smile frozen, my hand in the air. He told me to get ready at 9AM and that he will see me at night. I just said yes, now grinning, no more no less. He didn’t smile at all, maybe he was wondering why I was grinning, or maybe he just want to show that he is in his snappy uniform. If only he is not married, haha.
Anyway, the driver came at exactly 9AM and Mimi’s mom and her friend came with me. First, we went to a cave where there are temples inside. It’s called Peik Chin Myaung Cave.
The water was cold and refreshing. I feel like plunging in!
Inside the cave has different Buddhas and series of waterfalls. It was lovely! You have to leave or carry your slipper or shoes with you.
Mimi’s mom (in red blouse) and her friend
A pool inside the cave but swimming is prohibited. This is a sacred place.
Waters are everywhere!
No, there is no crocodile inside 🙂
Cold and clear fresh water. Yes, I have a dead toenail during my first climb in Malaysia but it’s okay, it already grows new now 🙂
snacks outside the cave temple
Next, we went to B.E Falls. The water is dirty because of rain. Nothing much to see here.
Local wines in Myanmar
Third, we went to Pagoda. It was interesting. A group of men were checking cards. I thought they were gambling inside the temple. I asked Mimi’s mom and she said that it is a paper gold and they are going to rub it to the temple. She then asked one guy to hand her a paper and showed it to me. It’s paper with real gold dust in it.
Gold paper to rub the temple
We went back home to take lunch. Auntie told me that I will go alone to the National Garden, but with the driver. The driver paid the entrance (he don’t want me to pay it) and he was my photographer and tour guide. The driver doesn’t speak English at all so I just use a sign language.
The most beautiful place I see in Pyin Oo Lwin so far.
No, it is not an ordinary log.
It’s a petrified wood polished. It’s real wood that turned into a stone million of years ago.
We did not stay for long because it rains. We went around the place in the afternoon after the rain stops.
We went to National Landmarks Garden where you can see all Myanmar’s state and divivision in miniature collection. The entrance for foreigner is USD4. I did not bring my camera this time because of the bad weather.