21.02.2010 - 23.02.2010
We took the V E R Y S L O W train back toward Mandalay and got off at the ex-British hill station of Maymyo, now renamed Pyin U Lwin. It was an interesting ride for the first few hours and reminded me of the trains in India, no doubt a similar vintage.
Sitting directly across from us, was this interesting character, an itinerant fortune teller.
The most thrilling part was crossing a deep gorge on the old, more than 100 years, British built railroad bridge. As the train inched along, creaking on the ancient tracks and swaying in the breeze, I stuck my head out the window to get these shots.
We breathed a sigh of relief after we made it across, having heard the Burmese government refused a British offer to come and make repairs to the bridge a few years earlier.
Maymyo, or May Town, was delightfully cool, located high in the hills. It was full of an odd assortment of British buildings and bungalows such as this one.
The old press building had clearly seen better days. The only English language newspaper still published, by the current government, The Myanmar Light, is also known as The Myanmar Lice, according to JoJo, my trekking guide. This is for the clarity and openness of its reportage.
Unfortunately the town is now home to several military colleges, so it is full of young soldiers who seem to take themselves rather seriously.
Except for this guy, who asked where we were from and then insisted on posing for us. I'm not sure he was really in the army, or just wearing the shirt.
We did enjoy the relatively expensive botanical gardens, now maintained by a Singaporean company, and the young nuns who also posed for us.
But after a night, we decided we had enough of seeing earnest young cadets, and took a shared taxi back to Mandalay. This took less than an hour compared to the train which would have taken three or four.