At 5:02am this morning we finally made it to Kalaw or better known as Myanmar’s trekking mecca or as I think, The Wild West. We caught a 10 hour overnight bus from Yangon that cost us $17.50AUD each; the bus departed at 7pm from Aung Mingalar Highway Bus Station (about 1 and half hour drive from downtown Yangon). The bus we caught was super clean, we were given fresh banana cakes from the bakery, clean blankets and there were TV’s playing American Sniper. The bus was comfortable but the 10 hour road trip up to Kalaw not-so-much, it was a really bumpy ride and we didn’t end up falling asleep until around 3am. We were woken up by one of the ladies who worked on the bus and told we had arrived in Kalaw. Half asleep just Tom and I got off the bus (all the other passengers must have been going somewhere else) it was 5am in a small town in the mountains, freezing cold and no idea where we were. However, Myanmar being the reliable place it is is, within 2 minutes 2 locals on motorbikes asked us where we were going, picked up our bags and we jumped on the back; within 10 minutes we were at our hotel.
We arrived at the Golden Kalaw inn, which is situated right in the heart of Kalaw. We jumped straight into bed for a much needed couple of hours sleep before starting the day. This hotel for $31 per night is amazing, the 4-storey hotel itself is clean, our room has a big queen size bed and our own bathroom. A beautiful middle aged burmese lady owns and runs the hotel be sure to have a chat to her as she loves to sit down and tell you all the places to go; watching the sunset on the 5th level rooftop being one of them.
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We only have 1 day/night in Kalaw before we set off for a 2 day/1 night trek to Inle Lake. We hired bicycles (50c per hour or $2 for the day) and rode around town. We ate lunch at a Nepali Restaurant which served a couple of curry’s and tasty garlic and cheese chapati (so good when you haven’t eaten cheese or bread in a week!). It felt really good to be out of the hustle and bustle and in this small town tucked away in the hills of Myanmar, swapping the city streets for mountain views and flowers. I wish we could have stayed longer!
Sunset from the rooftop of our hotel (Golden Kalaw Inn)
View of Kalaw from hotel rooftop
Streets of Kalaw
Riding bikes through flower fields
Horse and cart in Kalaw
Houses of Kalaw