Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Day 1 | Yangoon to Bagan Train Ride

Mingalabar! Which means Hello but I kept saying 'mengelabah' as that is how we were while planning for this trip. Having said that, we did have fun so don't let the 'mengelabah' worries you if you plan to visit Myanmar yah. Hahhahahaa.... (lawak ulangan, so tak lawak sangat dah!)

Our simple plan :Arrive Yangoon (the capital city of course) > do a little bit of sightseeing > and take the train at 4pm (same day) to Bagan.

The truth :First problem was the train > then there was the journey > and last but not least the 'air' (Yup! Air as it 'the air you breath').

Curious huh!?! *wink*Let me take you on our...... SAGA!

It was perfect (Well, I kinda stretch this truth a little bit. Will tell you more in next entry)! We did our Yangoon sight seeing and managed to get to the train station 1 hour before the train depart, apparently you need to be there 1 hour earlier and here I thought 1/2 hour will just do. 

Few things I noticed about Yangoon Train Station :
  • Relatively clean
  • Drinking water (from pipe - common in Myanmar [at your own risk])
  • Recycled book counter for public
  • Cafe serving #halal food
  • Knick knack store
Tips :
  • Check on peak tourist season (winter)
  • Pre-book your train ticket to avoid problem (via agent)
  • Be at the train station 1 hour earlier
  • Seat61 have a comprehensive information on Myanmar train (as well as the agent web link)
  • There is a station officer who speaks English (not to worry *wink*)
Tourist Information.

The train arrives on time, we went for our 'site inspection' routine (kiasu & kepoh as usual, or maybe just me). This overnight trains run daily from Yangon to Bagan and it departs at 4:00pm, arriving in Bagan at about 9:00 to 9:30am the following day. We paid USD55 for a "luxury" sleeper (USD50 - train tix, USD5 agent service fee).

 However, we were disappointed and upset when we saw our berth, it was fan and not aircon as informed by the agent and the best part, the fan doesn't even work! OH!! So is the light (naik angin tak?!). Bear in mind that we took a night train, no light means no good!

However, we found out that our "luxury" sleeper cost USD40, obviously we make a fuss on price differentiation. The station master/officer took our invoice and make a copy for reporting purposes, we found out later that they actually called the agent on this matter. And yes, we did get our money refunded from the agent later (happy).

 Now that we got that sorted out, we kinda settle with the fact that we will not have any aircon, fan nor light. Apa-apalah monyet..... (Redha je).

After all the hoo-ha, to our amazement, we actually enjoyed the train ride! Seriously, am not exaggerating on this, the journey was truly awesome. Why? (I know you gonna say that)

 Train market in a remote village.

My new experience in an old train :
  • It's not the destination, it's the journey
  • Chances to meet locals and other travelers
  • Experiencing the local transport
  • To feel local, be local
  • To see the their daily life, especially in remote villages
  • Catching the sunrise and sunset(the best experience so far!)

Kids enjoying a simple game of takraw.

The sun setting in.

Of course, there's the beautiful sunrise :)

Knowing that we will be in a 16-17 hours train ride, we figure we should shower first, but after 'surveying' the toilet, we...errrr..... kinda surrendered - YES! We actually showered lah (following Jard's footstep). Let me share in the simplest way.

How to shower in a violently moving train :
  • Towel and soap provided by the train (cool neh)
  • Having a sarong will help (change to sarong when at own berth)
  • Tai chi skill is required (to do the balancing act of not falling down or dropping the soap on the floor)
  • Having tunnel vision will be great (look up and NOT down)
  • Stinge on water, half a bucket per/user.
If you can do the above, you can now officially take the train to #Myanmar!


Ahh.... they've woke up!

Remember what I said on there was no aircon, fan and light. Well, we were all grumpy about it; it was really super hot in the afternoon (I might have exaggerated here) so fan is a must; at leat!

So, we finally decided to unlock and open our window (MY window) and as the sun begins to set, the air became chilier and chillier. Please remember that when the train speeds, it create a 'wind chill', it is so frizzing cold that we were all bundled and cuddled up. Errr.... and we were arguing earlier that we wanted the aircon??? Hahhahahha.... we would be frozen to death by the time we reach Bagan. Anna did say that she read somewhere stating that no fan nor aircon provided except organic aircon. YUP!!! Organic indeed, super cold too. Hahhahahha....

Enjoying the sunrise. (Like this pic alot)
Magnificent heh!

Our next adventure start!

PS : More pictures in my Facebook Page, feel free to view.

Twitter ID : @lilyriani
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TG said...

Beautiful photos!

Unknown said...

tak sanggup rasanye keme nak ber tai-chi tuk mandi dalam train tu. mau terguling telentang...tak mandi pun tak pa la...yang penting tangkap gambo bebanyak...cantek2 gambor miker...

Diana Diane Teo said...

So bad lah the agent. Cheap you all!
Luckily you gals got the refund. I love the sunset photo from the train. I saw thousand of times from movie/drama but never got the chance to experience myself.

Jeff Chuah said...

Wow, you guys took train to Bagan. That was my first plan too but long ride and rather expensive made me changed to overnight bus, which is much faster and cheaper. And yes, winter in Myanmar is not to be play play. Seriously cold!

hlga said...

membayangkan 16-17 jam berada di kereta. kalo saya disana pasti tak kan mandi dalam kereta laa hahaha

perjalanan yang menarik terlebih saat melihat pasar di dari pinggir kereta.
macam di jakarta laaa



fie-nuts said...

I didn't know you took those photos! I love the one on the train. Choo choo. Would do it again definitely but the not showering part

Khai said...

Best best best! Rasa nak ke Myanmar plak. hehe, tapi tix tren tu tak mahal ke USD 40++ tapi xde aircon ngn lampu. Kalau yg palng murah brapa RM tix??

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