two nights ago i was writing about mingun and i had to stop. i feel like the rest of my day in mingun wasn’t that exciting, but i don’t want to leave that post hanging there, unfinished.
so what else happened? this guy invited me to go to mingun with him, he offered to help pay for me, i hesitated then i said yes, and then we got in a songtaew (a common method of transportation in SE Asia: it’s a small covered truck with two rows in the back for seating) and drove to the riverside, because mingun is an hour boat trip away from mandalay.
we went into the ticket office and discovered we were the only ones wanting to make the trip that day, so we’d have to do a private boat ride. i think anywhere else in the world “private boat ride” indicates a lot a lot of money, but here, it wasn’t. It was maybe $10. so we said yes. got on the boat, hung out on these awesome deck chairs and talked about the places we’ve been.
he – this canadian – was working in bali, indonesia at the time and basically had a schedule where he could work for short bursts and then travel when he wanted. burma was the last place to tick off on his southeast asia list. when i talked to him two days ago, he had recently returned from NORTH korea, of all places.
anyhow, mingun was dusty and smelled like burning trash and it was really hot that day. an entrepreneurial burmese man offered to take us to the temple in his ox cart, but we figured we could walk – and we could.
we walked through a buddhist temple (a non-event at this point, burma has an overwhelming amount of temples and monks and statues), took some photographs, and then walked further to the temple site. like everywhere else in burma, we were two of the very very few tourists around.
it was a holiday and i think we could have gotten away without paying anything (entrance fees at government sites go to the horrible military government in power) but somehow we ended up at a ticket booth, handing over kyat.
maybe i willlllll leave this story unfinished, because it’s boring me to write it when i’m tired. perhaps i’ll leave it until a time where i can weave something more interesting about burma and/or life/traveling/motivation reflections into it.