Arrived at 4:15, paid $5 for entry and bought my ticket to Yangon for 22,000 kayat. Were technically in Nyungshwe. Met 4 others, JS (French) and his Chinese girlfriend (Spring), a Dutch girl and Swiss girl. The Dutch and Swiss girls are staying elsewhere (after we tried to all find a place together) but JS and his girlfriend and I are at Gold Star for 13USD a night (single) which is government discount (was 15USD). I tried not to stay in hotels as they pay more money to the government, but there were no guest houses left under 30USD.

We went for a walk to see the town and ask about boats. The best plan was the first guy we talked to and only 1000 kayat more at 5000 kayat each (15000 kayat for a full boat of 5 but there is only 3 of us). We talked about how we just wanted to go out on the boat, not go to the cigar shop or anything like that because we wouldn’t buy anything, and the guy at 2 Thumbs Up agreed that it was best because he didn’t like the cigar shop.

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Had dinner of Shan noodles and watched K drama and Thai vs. Myanmar football. The noodles were different from everything else that I had in Myanmar and great. Only 2000 kayat for 3 people to eat with 1 coke and 1 sprite. I asked for lime soda and got sprite. Oh well.

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Had some issues with the shower here but I guess the one that’s blue and red is hot, not the two that are just red.

Two beds, towels, soap, shampoo, TV (air force one, bandits, here after) fan in room.

When I woke up it was raining and JS and Spring and I were worried about the boat ride but didn’t have anything else to do so we decided to go for it. I went and told the guy at 2 Thumbs Up (the first place we stopped at) who remembered me. Breakfast was eggs and toast but there were other options.

The guy was supposed to meet us at 8 but he didn’t come in so I went outside at 8:15, saw a guy who didn’t say anything and went back in. then we all went outside to walk to 2 Thumbs Up and he said hello. Not a great start. Walked to the canal.

The boat ride was about 20 minutes before we got to the lake (it stopped raining by then).

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Then we didn’t get to the market port until 9:55 and we told we had 1 hour there but we knew it was a 20-25 minute walk which would take longer due to mud. Seemed silly that we had just a short time. We didn’t get there until half an hour had passed. I didn’t think it was special other than the fruit and vegetables I didn’t know I couldn’t be explained to me, so it was unhelpful. Standard Asian market but with mud (many people bought flowers and they are obsessed with Psy).

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From there we went to a shop which we said  yesterday we didn’t want to go to, then another shop with girls with long necks. Odd to take pictures of them like it’s a human zoo. They were sewing and the fabric wasn’t nice because it was very rough. Next he tried to stop at another shop and we said no!

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Then was lunch of tofu curry (not curry by any standard) and lime juice which was 3500 kayat. After we walked to the Paung Daw Oo Pagoda where we made fun of a ‘gang’—the boys were wearing the same pants. 500 kayat camera fee. I thought the chipped floor outside was cooler than anything inside. Inside there wasn’t a Buddha but jars to put gold takes on (but girls couldn’t). A guy was reading into a loud speaker we could here from the restaurant.

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At this point the sun came out so much we all used the umbrellas because we didn’t have sunblock (due to the rain in the morning). Silly, because I knew I should have put it on. We kept going south which worried us (we knew thanks to Springs’ phone) and we went to another weaving shop! I don’t care about discount I don’t want to be here! We talked to our driver though translator and found out next was the cigar shop which even the guy at 2 Thumbs Up said was bad. When we said no more shops the driver was annoyed but whatever guy—we have to be back by 5 thus your day is shorter! He must get commission from the shops.

Next JS jumped in and said there was tons of algae that essentially helped him float. Then onto the jumping cat monastery which we knew did not have jumping cats anymore but I guess some thought it did. It’s still a nice old building which great views and gold. The cats are very lazy now.

Then we had to talk to another guy to tell our driver that we didn’t want to straight back because then we’d be back too soon. They kept trying to tell us all the markets were closed today but we said we want to one. Turns out they were closed by this time. Said we wanted to visit another when we booked it and wish we knew better.

We went to a town on the east side which had a school that was letting out a great view for sunset but we couldn’t stay that late.

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Docked at 5:00. I’m not too impressed with the fisherman. I’m sure using your legs is easy once you’re used to it and they’re probably stronger. Not sure what the slapping of the water was though.

Hung out at the hotel for a bit.

Truck picked us all up around 6:10 and I got straight on the bus for my solo seat 😦 but a creep next to me who kept staring. Water, Pepsi, 2 pastries, and a cold cloth is not unlimited tea and cake like De Anne said. The person in front put their seat all the way back and never moved unless I did to get out after them. Rude. Food stops but since an Austrian guy said he was 2 days bedridden because of food from Bagan to Inle I didn’t try it. Bought some spicy chips and an apple which I lost the next day trying to find a hotel. Slept a lot even though there was a strange French movie playing called District B13 about drugs and guns.

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