When I decided to move south from Yangon down to the Myeik Archipelago I had no idea it was going to take so long. I can’t even handle a 13 hour flight so I didn’t know how to feel about 24 hours on a bus. I really didn’t want to spend the money to fly and they didn’t have any flights in the time period I wanted to go. Basically the bus was my only option.
I made sure to fully charge all my electronics, I downloaded 7 movies, I had a coloring book and lots of Above and Beyond Group Therapy music. I had several questions that went unanswered in regards to the bus. Does it stop? Will I be able to get food and pee? All they could tell me was it did stop. I didn’t know how many times or when. I bought some crackers and Oreos so I wouldn’t die and I tried not to drink too much water the morning prior to leaving.
I was told it would take me two hours by cab from my hostel to the bus station. I left with plenty of time. The cab driver either didn’t have AC or he didn’t want to use it. I was cooking like a fried egg in the back seat. It only took a little over an hour so I was really early to the bus station. The bus station is a mad house and I have no idea how it functions properly. The buses can’t get out of their stalls, there’s tons of honking. I’m so lost and don’t know what I am doing. Somehow I find my bus, or at least I’m hoping I do. Who knows at this point. So I drop off my big backpack under the bus and hope for the best. Only slightly nerve racking.
I was starving so I just walked to the closest little spot. A little lady saw me walk in and got up from her table where she was eating and motioned me to sit down with her. She even took my backpack for me. No one spoke any English and they didn’t have menus to look at. My sweet little friend took me into the back where the food was and showed me all the options. I didn’t know how to say whatever you got, I’ll eat it. I just pointed at her plate and made a thumbs up. Suddenly there’s tons of food in front of me. Two bowls of rice, some veggies, tea leaves, duck eggs, sautéed peppers and a bottle of cold water. I have no idea if I should be eating any of this, but I’m hungry and I’ll likely starve on this bus if I don’t eat. So I eat it. All of it. As other people are leaving they stop by my table and say mingalabar which means Hello. They are saying many other things too but I don’t understand. I wonder if they know I’m not a celebrity.
After I finish eating I went on a search for the bathroom and then loaded the bus. The bus is decorated like an 80s disco night film. The AC is cranking, which I was relieved about. There’s a little bit of leg room, until the person in front of you sets their seat all the way back so that the head of their seat is basically in your lap. There’s no toilet so I decided I just won’t drink the water I brought.
We stopped about every 4 hours to use the bathroom, get food if you want and stretch your legs. I enjoyed and appreciated this. I didn’t eat because I didn’t want to have to use the bathroom and the food where we stopped was very questionable. So I’m writing this to let you know I survived on crackers and popcorn and a half a bottle of water for the entire 24 hours.
I watched 7 movies and listened to my Spotify. I was so shocked that the woman and her 2 small boys in front of me slept the entire time. Who sleeps for 24 hours, especially kids? I’m assuming they were drugged. The little boys snuggling together in their one seat was adorable. Remind me to blog later about kids in this part of the world.
My favorite part of the journey was after the sunrise in the AM because then I could see all the villages we were traveling through. Some were better than others but mostly tiki style huts, which I’m in love with. I’m going to buy some land back home and build a tiki style hut on it. Right in the city. Watch me.
The roads we were traveling on were pretty much not maintained or maybe never finished. The driver made no notice of this and just flew full throttle the entire ride. I was impressed!!
The bus stop in Myeik was swarming with people when we got off. Taxi drivers munching at my heals. One guy basically picked me, is the best way to put it, grabbed my backpack and off we go. My taxi driver drives a scooter. How we managed to get us both and my two backpacks on one bike, I don’t know. For sure it wasn’t safe, but definitely a sight to see. I wish I had a photo!
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