Harry and I have finally left the beautiful country of Nepal for somewhere new that neither of us have been- Myanmar. We said our goodbyes to Kathmandu yesterday afternoon and after some strange time change and seemingly redundant travel, we eventually made it the next morning.
Our last couple of weeks were spent between Pokhara and Kathmandu. We didn’t do a whole lot honestly with me being sick. We did rent a scooter in Pokhara for a day to go to Sarangkot for sunrise. Sarangkot is this hill where people often go paragliding (I did that 4.5 years ago) and to see sunrise over the mountains when the weather is clear. We were lucky to get to see the mountains light up that morning because most mornings recently it’s been very hazy. We also went to check out another nearby lake, Begnas. We putted our way there on our little scooter, took a dip in the lake, and relaxed a little bit before heading back to beat the rain.
When we eventually arrived in Kathmandu, we were happy to see some new scenery. The bus ride wasn’t nearly as long as I remembered due to most of the way being fully paved now. Thamel, the tourist area, was pretty much the same, although prices of places to stay went up a bit. We visited the Monkey temple, which was still full of monkeys, and somehow found a free way in. We did an overnight tour to Nagarkot where we were hoping to see some beautiful views, but due to crappy weather missed out there. It was still nice to get out of Kathmandu for a night. On our way back we visited Bhaktapur, which we also somehow got around the entrance fee. While walking around a bit we determined it wouldn’t have been worth the $15US anyway, so it was better we saved our money.
From our hotel in Kathmandu, we took a local bus to the airport (25 rupees per person vs a 500 rupee cab ride) and made it through the dusty streets with ease. We spent our last rupees on chocolate danishes and Snickers at the airport, and eventually flew off to our first stop while flying over Myanmar (the cheapest and only option), ending up in Malaysia. In Malaysia we had an overnight layover of about 9 hours (horrible) and tried to find some spots on the ground to snooze. We were pretty unsuccessful, that airport isn’t a great places for snoozers between flights, which I remembered from previous experience there. Our flight was at 6:50am, which we were happy to board to be on our way again. I tried to sleep the whole 2.5 hour flight, which I did a bit, and when we finally arrived we hopped in a taxi as soon as we could to meet up with our couchsurfing host, Namit, in Yangon.
Arriving in Yangon felt a bit surreal- we were both brought back to travelling southeast Asia. Walking out of the airport was hot and humid and we’re going to have to get used to that for the next month. We were so glad to be somewhere new though, so it didn’t matter too much. Our cab dropped us off at Namit’s place downtown and we were relieved to find an air conditioned apartment. We grabbed some breakfast and crashed for a bit while Namit went to work. That night we all celebrated Namit’s birthday and had a relatively early night.
This morning I bought all of the exotic fruits I could find (dragon fruit, mango, papaya, banana, orange, and durian) and made a wonderful fruit salad for breakfast. Although this is something you can easily do back home, it’s special here because the fruits are so perfectly ripe and fresh off the tree/bush. I’m happy to be in fruit-land for the next little while, I may end up with diabetes by the end of this trip.
Tomorrow we move on to the Golden Rock of Myanmar. I hear the internet is pretty horrible throughout the country, so I may not be able to update until I’m back in Yangon, three weeks from now. I don’t really have any photos to share, so I will make sure to add some next time. Shaka brah until then, my gnarly peeps.