It was in June 2013 when I traveled, among the other to Kachin state.
In Hopin I wanted to take a pickup but local boys said there is no pickup and wanted to take me there by motorbike for 12 000 kyat. When I found pickup price of motor taxi melted to 8000 kyat – double the price of pickup. Nobody wanted to take on their car though. Somebody arranged for an immigration officer to come and he copied details from my passport, then called to check if he can let me go further, called another guy who came and did the same and the procedure happened once more. I was tired after a few long hours on the train when I hardly slept and wanted to cry when I saw the last car leaving but they told me not to worry. After they were done with all the paper work, one of the guy told me to take a sit on his motorbike. I thought we were going to Indawgyi but he told me we would catch a car. This is what happened. I managed to buy some tea leaf salad on the way as I didn’t manage to have breakfast but I lost it one of first bumps on a car. As well, I was not able to take a nap.
When I finally got to Indawgyi, InDawMaHar guesthouse owner/ manager called somewhere to ask if he can accept me. He was totally unprepared to host anybody else as there were 11 police officers in his guesthouse already. He just relocated one of them and gave me the room. The room was 7000 kyat and no option to negotiate. I stayed two nights and was badly bitten by bedbugs (my first time ever). They have electricity between 7.15 and 9.15 in the evening. Then the whole village is bloody dark. Though it was not an easy part of y travel I would strongly recommend it to those more adventurous. I rented a bike and went to the pagoda which was an awesome experience. I stopped by one of local restaurants, ate ginger salad and had a chat with a girl who owns the restaurant. As a goodbye present, I got a simple necklace with a small jade. And the pagoda… It looks beautiful all surrounded by water. Actually it looks better from a distance and loses its charm when inside.
During the very first day, I was kind of adopted by one of the families who invited me to have dinner with them on the next day. When I was sitting with them the next day, the woman stopped a boy who was passing by her house with a few fishes. She negotiated the price and then asked me how I would like to have fish prepared. This evening we had grilled fish with rice and ladyfingers. All fresh and prepared just before serving. It was delicious and perfectly went together with Myanmar beer.
After two days, I waited for a pickup to Naba for some 3 hours and heard 3 different versions from locals: “the car will be within an hour”, “today there will be a car but it is not sure when”, “today there will be no car”. There was a car and it broke down a few times after we fried our bodies on the sun. I decided to change to a train which was to be 1 hour late but after an hour I was told I needed to wait one more hour and then still one more… Welcome in Myanmar! Be understanding, patient and enjoy it to the fullest 🙂