Nicholas School Internship Blogs

Backpacking Burma Yangon
by -- May 14th, 2013

Burma — 5.14.13

I have been “backpacker-shamed” into taking the bus to Bagan.
Overhearing me inquire after plane tickets, another traveler in my
Yangon guesthouse asked:
“Why not take the bus?”
In my head: “Because I can afford to fly.”
Aloud: “Well, it’s nearly rainy season, and I’m worried the roads
might get washed out.”
“It’s really dry up there.”
“How long have you been in Burma?”
“Three weeks.”

To put this in perspective: Bagan is about 400 miles from Yangon. The
plane takes 70 minutes. The bus takes 13 hours.

After that conversation, I started thinking. I do have a good
inflatable neck pillow, eyeshades, and headphones. I should be able to
get a good night’s sleep. Also the night bus is cheaper than a
guesthouse, and I don’t waste any precious daylight hours in airport
security. Also, it’s 13 air-conditioned hours.

I leave for Bagan, on the night bus, in an hour.

Ahh, backpacker logic, and my subborn need to maintain my traveler
street cred. I think the heat muddled my brain too. The time right
before the rain is the hottest of the year. Part of living in SE Asia
is knowing you will be sweaty all the time, and being okay with that
fact. Obviously I’m still readjusting to SE Asia heat, or the promise
of 13 hours of air-conditioning would not have been so seductive.

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