Thit Sar Oo ExpressThe Thit Sar Oo Express
First, every year more and more people choose to come to Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). As we drove to Bagan, there were a few places full of Franco and Germans people. Recent reports about the regime prohibiting visitors from visiting the temple in Bagan (shortly after our trip to Bagan, phew) only show how much will be changed when Myanmar becomes a major touristic area.
Myanmar has none, so make haste and come to this place while it is still in its original form - and I'm sure it won't be long. Burma is opening fast and the price could rise. Since more tourists want to come in, the price could rise to check demands (or it could become less expensive, but then it could be attacked by tourists).
Right now Myanmar is already one of the more expansive Southeast Asian nations and being a visitor always means to pay more than the people. There is always a local or foreign rate for a bus or an appartment. As the gulf between wealth y and poverty widens, the cost of living for foreign nationals is likely to rise.
Travelling around Myanmar is not as painful as it was a few years ago. Simply make sure you get the luxurious JJ and Thit Sar OO overnight buses (JJ and Thit Sar are really good, luxurious businesses at good prices). Have I mentioned how astonishing Myanmar is? You will always be welcomed by the natives with "Mingalabar", which means "prosperity for you".
Speaking of faces, most natives also have amber pattern on their faces.
From Kalaw/Inle Lake to the most beautiful coach
I can' t even come anywhere near the description of the Yangon to Inle Lake coach with which I had the privilege of travelling. Purchased for a $17 discount (excluding the cab to the Yangon central train terminal, which is just minutes away, so make sure you have plenty of time) from the nice Simon, the Yangon Youth hostelkeeper.
You always say it's a V ip shuttle you take, but it's rare in this part of the globe, but this times I was luck! Also, the dinner/WC stop was a charme, we stoped at a gas filling place with a fashionable -looking indicator light and many catering possibilities.
Sadly the coach in Kalaw pulled over too early (actually on schedule, but too early to get a good night's sleep), and after waking gently from the coach lady I found myself trembling at the roadside at 4.30 in the mornings. From Yangon to Kalaw it will take about 10 hrs, departure at 6.30 pm and arrival at 4.30 am.
If you want to take the same coach to Inle Lake, just a few more hrs and a curvy roads.