I took another over night bus from Myeik to Mawlamyine. This bus was only 12 hours so much more reasonable. I arrived at the bus station about an hour early and an attendant came over and grabbed my big backpack and put it on a bus.  I was ushered inside to check in and go to the bathroom.  When I came out of the bathroom the bus with my backpack was gone. I tried asking the receptionist and we couldn’t communicate but thanks to google translate they knew what I was saying, however, I don’t understand their response. I think they say it’s coming back, but I’m so confused.   I’m an hour early, what’s going on?  Low and behold the bus came back and I got on it. I don’t know if the bus left without me or my backpack was put on the wrong bus, but whatever I’m on the bus with my backpack so that’s good. Who knows where I’m going though. I suppose wherever I end up is just fine.

This driver was in a particular hurry to get to the other side, so the ride was intense. There were quite a few passengers suffering from motion sickness and lots of barf bags being passed around. If you know me well, then you know I don’t do well with puking.  The driver also played seriously loud Burmese music. Even with my headphones in and on full blast I could still hear it. Luckily I downloaded 3 seasons of Outlander before I left. Eyes on my tablet and headphones in, I almost didn’t notice all the sick passengers.

I did arrive in Mawlamyine at the early hour of 5am.  It’s still dark out and I’m hoping I can find a ride.  Luckily there was a motorbike taxi. On our ride it started raining so that was fun.  When I arrived I woke all the hostel attendants up because they all sleep on the floor in the lobby. I felt pretty bad about that but what am I to do? I was showed to my room and bed. It took me an hour but I finally fell asleep seeing as I was so tired from not being able to sleep on the bus.

When I woke a few hours later I started organizing my day bag so I could get going and the one other girl in my room asked what my plans were.  I told her I hadn’t made any because I just arrived a few hours ago.  She said same for her and she was looking for someone to share a tour with to make it cheaper by splitting it.  I said perfect, I would love to!  She asked my name and I told her Julie and she started laughing. I’m like what’s so funny about my name.  She said my name is Julie too!  Awesome because I really suck at names but I typically can remember mine.

We spent a few hours touring the giant reclining Buddha. This Buddha is obviously older and not maintained and definitely unfinished.  It looks as if construction was started then never finished, especially on the interior.  It was set up almost like a museum with different sets of Buddhist religious stories. The top floor had only been started and it was dark and almost creepy being up there. I was shocked to see a Buddhist building unfinished. They seem to put so much time and money into them and this was the first one I have seen so ill maintained. Throughout the property there are lines of monk statues that lead up a hill into the jungle. This was also a bit creepy. Check out my video of the reclining Buddha here.

We then headed to a gorgeous view point with some seriously steep, dangerous stairs leading to the top. We had to stop several times on the way up.  It was mid afternoon and so incredibly hot.  I don’t know if you know this but climbing stairs in 100 degree heat is nearly suffocating.  At the top there were beautiful views of the city and surrounding jungles.  Almost to the top there was a staircase going up one side with a sign that said no woman!  I’m thinking well that sure is sexist.  I thought about climbing them anyways, no signs are going to stop me.  In the end it was more stairs and I wasn’t feeling it.  I had an amazing video of the walk down the seriously dangerous stairs from my GoPro and head strap and my idiot ass deleted it.  Lessons learned the hard way here folks.  Just kidding, found it.  Here it is.

We had our driver drop us off at a different hostel where we heard they organized some fun tours and a boat to Hpa An.  We decided to take a day tour around Ogre Island the following day and then take a slow boat to Hpa An the day after that.

We were in serious need of a cold beer at this point so we stopped on our way back to our hostel.  We planned our next few days together and decided to travel together for the next week until she heads off to a meditation retreat and I will be going to Mandalay for the water festival.  It sure is nice to have some company!  Looking forward to our next week together!