Pin Oo Lwin – Kyakme.
Early in the morning after breakfast with our tea leaf salad we walked to botanical garden. It’s nice walk. By the way back we took one of the best coffee during our stay in Burma.
Road to Kyakme is mountain, from one big slope to another through deep gorge.
We visited sacred caves. And overcrowded small waterfall. The worth thing to do – eat local food near caves!!! It’s cheap and impossible testy.
We rich Kyakme late afternoon. Our only one to foreigners guest house with name O Uuuu A situated in the center. Kyakme is not the best city in the world. It has dusty wide and strict streets full of local cafes and shops. Nothing special.
I asked to book for us two normal rooms with facilities. But Thura , our guide, forgot about this. Guest house was completely full with foreigners. So we receive very special rooms. Second floor of main building was divided by carton on small sections. Just with beds. Small ugly beds without anything. All facilities are in the yard or in another building. But with hot (!) water. If you even sniff of scrap your finger on the “wall” – all neighbors will hear this sounds very well. And this “room” costs 12 usd.
Second surprise was about motorbikes. I asked about 1 motorbike per one person. We received one per all of us. Two person on motorbikes. Two of us must share bikes with guides.
Third surprise was in amount of people in group. I suppose to have a personal tour. But now I understand that we are 12(!!!) persons!!! And two guides!!!
We are four, 4 from Belgium, 2 Czechs and 2 from England!! I was collapsed about all this news.
Thura was happy. First time he has a group of this size!
We took a cup of tea- beer all together.
And tried to sleep in this boxes. It was not easy – it was cold, noisy and very uncomfortable.
Kyakme and Shan by motorbikes
Easily on the morning all our group was loaded to small open lorry. We get to Thuras house.
Before we found small street cafe, eat samosas, drink Black coffee and finished with big bowls of fresh local fish soup. Inside soup was something crispy. After I found that it was fried skin of pig. All breakfast 3 usd.
So. Here all who will be a driver tried their bikes. We have only one. And Alexander’s will share bikes with guides.
In 2 hours we started.
First we escaped the city, then ride in the countryside.
After the road get to mountains. Half way drives Ivan and half me. It’s not so bad to be behind- much warmer, and interesting to be first with someone behind.
The road sometime paved, sometime dirty. A lot of gaps and stones. A lot of big cars.
First stop to take a tea.
Next – to take a dinner. Tea leaf salad and soup. Nice.
May be at 2 pm we parked motorbikes and ascent to mountains. There are different groups and tribes in Shan.
Nepali people live on small communities. 30 persons in each. They are only one people who make products from milk and sell them. They also grow mustard for its leafs. This leafs are good for curry, salad and samosa. Nepali make wedding only between Nepal’s. If someone married another group he or she will be exile.
Then we ascent to highest point of this district. 1700 m. The weather is perfect. Not hot. Even little bit cold. From the top we observed abandon ridge in front of us. On the top is big village of Paloung tribe. This is our place for overnight. Village is pretty big. 800 persons.
We arrived there before dusk. Evening mist covered depressions in mountains. Milky blue flowers spread everywhere.
Village is with main road and numerous small curving passes. Unpaved, of course. And impassible during rains. They go up and dawn. Houses are pretty same – wooden first floor and second made from straw or bamboo.
Our house is big and full of people. In every house there are tree generations. From early morning small children and middle age work hardly. And old people just seat, chatting or do what they want to do.
First floor is like technical. Nobody live there. It’s half open.
Second floor is big. There is a clay place for open fire. And when we entered all room was in heavy smoke. It was hard to breath! We need to sleep on the floor.
Preparation of food takes more then 2 hours. It was impossible stay inside the room because of smoke. I cannot imagine how we will sleep here.
There are also small room for elders and little bit bigger for another two generations.
The back door in room leads to small balcony – kitchen and to ladder dawn. On the ground there is tap with water for Landry and washing. Toilet near as small separate building. No flash )))
Evening meal was very traditional. Plain rise and a lot of small dishes with cabbage, mustard leafs, dry fish, something very spicy.
Interesting rubbish bin- one piece of wooden log from the floor ( you need know which one) is lifted and under is big casserole for rubbish! Through what you want and put log on place!
No tea at all. May be this is better because I cannot imagine how to find toilet and don’t break the neck at night!
It was really bad night. Not because we all slept one by one on the floor. Because of the rest of heavy smoke. I caught all night. And it was cold from evening and became warmer at night time.
So. Night passed. From the early morning little children start to do something – swept the floor, clean the balcony, help mother with breakfast.
We wash ourselves ( face and hands, nothing more…) and made small excursion in the village. It was very old fashion, old style, something like medieval.
All people smile to us with shy, children wave their hands. All people are happy if you make photo of them and then show them result! Nobody speaks English. Old women do something with herbs near houses. Many of them dressed in colorful traditional clothes.
On the All top places of the village located monasteries. And village has few hills! Little monks observed us from everywhere. It was really early and little bit chilly.
We walked all around. Houses are similar – wood and straw ( or bamboo, I don’t know).
Thura, our guide, who drink a lot from evening, waked up last. He declared that we start our trekking at 10 o’clock in the morning and will sleep in another village.
So. At 10 we start. It became pretty hot now. Nobody know where we will go, how many km we need to pass, which direction.
We just start.
At the end of the village there is a sacred hill with two houses. One belong to hosts. Real village hosts. And second. Is with horse, elephant and X.. This wooden animals belong to hosts. And when hosts need to visit village they use animals.
Ok. Next we went uphill and downhill, between tea plantations. Pickling of tea leafs now finished. Next period will be from April.
Cup of tea we drank in small village with very picturesque monastery.
Then we get on the neighbor ridge. In the first village the marriage party took place. It was Shan village. And Thura proposed to duck inside.
So we are.
All village in traditional clothes.
We get to building. Party was over. But new couple invited us inside. Half of village gathered to watch new coming! They sit in the room opposite us with open mouths and looked at us as we are monkeys in the zoo!
Then couple brought two tables to us and served all with rest of dishes. Ivan took small pillow from the floor to sit on it. Crowd start to laugh! This is for head! Stupid! Not for bottom! We were confused.
The meal was simple – rise and some additional dishes. Nothing special. No deserts, no sweets. One pack of juice per person. And half of village look on us how we ate all this. Funny!
After big dinner we again continuous our walk. Now only up. Long way! Hot afternoon. It’s hard.
Forest around is green. But no birds, no animals. May be they are eaten by locals. There is no even flies or Mosquitoes!
We again do not know how long will be our trip. 2 hours more? 4 hours more?
We just walk up and up.
Before sunrise we start descent from the ridge to another side of hill. It was Shan village ahead. With monastery in the entrance. Beautiful place!
But now it’s completely dark.
In this house we have only cans with water, again two stored building. But warmer and without such a strong smell as previous. We were served by traditional rise and many other things. I hate this plain clay rise! And cannot eat it more!
We slept all together in one room. Small cat warmed his body just inside the fire.
This night was warm and comfortable.
Next day may be at 4 am monastery bell ring. When I get away monks already prayed. It was very early. Just before sunrise.
This village is smaller. But also situated on numerous hill. Here as well no paved roads, no electricity, no taped water. Nothing. Few shops with elementary. But they didn’t work so early. And I cannot find them at evening. Life is very rustic, and seems don’t have any changing during last 400 years. Nobody sell nothing to tourists. Nobody ask money. They don’t know that this is possible. First time as people know that tourists will come they were aggressive and said No. That’s because they still remember English invasion of their country. They don’t want any white people. They know that they will take something from them.
But now locals more or less agreed with this type of tourism which proposed them Thura and few others.
As Thura said us all will be finished when locals understand that they can sell something to foreigners. We understand the same.
I made few circles around monastery. Locals only begin to move slowly.
In our house breakfast was ready at 7-30. At 8-15 we escape the village. From monastery sounds modern music (?).
We walked 3 more hours to finish our big circle and return to Paloung village. We were in hurry because 4 Belgium’s had tickets for bus to Mandalay. And we all need to drive as quickly as possible.
Road from village to main road is in awful condition. It very uphill. And Thura asked second persons walk by foots. Our motorbike was, as we think, the strongest. I didn’t get out of it. At the middle of ascent motorbike made strange culbit, stay on back wheel and we both fall on the earth. Nothing happened with us. But the step for my left foot was broken.
All way back I tried not to put my leg inside the wheel.
It was 31.12.2013.
We arrived at 4 pm to the O Uuuu A guesthouse. Nice room (35 usd) with electricity and hot water waited for us! It’s real happiness and new year present to take hot shower after three dusty and hard days!
I bought for us new T -shirts. Wow! We will put on clean clothes!
We also made revision of market and bought
- fried salt beans
- dry (!!) Sharon
- tiny mandarins
- sweetly water melon
Then we get to cafe just opposite guesthouse. Guys from Czech and England joined us. Our big party with a lot of fresh juices, tea leaf salads ext costs us 17 usd for 4 persons…. We also tried plum vine which we bought in Pin Oo Lwin. It was not bad. Like fruit vinegar.
Locals do not celebrate New Year. They have their own calendar. Now it’s 1375 year. And they will have New 1376 year in April. They also have 8 days in the week. Wednesday is divided on two parts. Strange, but they live like this))
So , we finished one of the most abandon, sportive and wild part of our trip in Burma.
We paid 25 usd pp per day during this trip. Completely all inclusive ( night before and after no).