I had a pretty bad night’s sleep. The people in my dorm were being really loud for hours and kept lights on forever. Gotta love hostel life! (Most of the time it’s fine, just sometimes you get unlucky.)
In any case, I woke up at 5:30 for sunrise.
Hannah and I went to the e-bike (electric scooter) rental place next door and tried to do a last-minute e-bike lesson and drive them to the temples. We had met a guy the night before who told us that the e-bike is super simple, and that we should be able to ride no problem.
In retrospect, it was pretty dumb of us to do this. I mean, I don’t know why we thought that we’d be able to just get up at 5 am and learn how to ride a scooter in like 5 minutes.
Much to my non-surprise, the e-bike attempt was unsuccessful. First I tried, but the acceleration/balance thing was too scary for me. E-bikes and scooters are really hard to control– every time I get on, I have trouble accelerating slowly while still making sure I have control over the breaks. It’s also scary to get both of your feed on the bike to balance. I’m also terrified of u-turning/making sharp turns on the bike.
As you can see I am not a natural driver.
Next, Hannah tried. And had the same issues.
We ended up just hiring a taxi to take us to the temples. It was NOT cheap– 10,000 kyat (about $8) each– but I guess we had no other choice. I felt like such a loser rolling up in a taxi while everyone else came on their e-bikes.
The way to the top was cool– you enter the temple, and then there is a TINY (I mean TINY: I had to duck and maneuver my way around, and I am 5’3″, 107 lbs) staircase up to the roof. Apparently this temple is fine to climb. There were about 15 others on the roof, so it wasn’t totally crowded.
The sun started to rise around 6:30, reached the horizon around 6:45, and finally the hot air balloons came up soon after the sun came over the horizon.
It was a gorgeous sunrise, and I couldn’t stop taking pictures.
After the sun was fully up, we went back to the hostel to have breakfast and chill for a bit.
I worked on the blog/podcast on the roof until lunch time.
We went to Moon 2, a vegetarian restaurant, for lunch. I got a banana/mango smoothie, which was actually incredible. For food I got spring rolls to share with Hannah and a 12-ingredient vegetable noodle soup.
After lunch we rented bicycles and rode to the river to book a sunset boat tour.
We got there around 3:30, but the tour wouldn’t start until 4:30, so we drank some homemade lemonade to kill time.
As we sat there sipping our lemonade, we realized the river wasn’t actually that pretty. We decided not to spend the 5000 kyat on the boat tour and instead find somewhere else to watch the sunset.
We went to a hotel on the river and I got a watermelon smoothie. The sky was looking really cloudy, so we decided to skip the sunset. We figured it wouldn’t be that pretty, plus we were super hungry. We rode our bikes straight to Ma Mae Naing for dinner.
As we were riding, we realized we made a mistake in choosing not to stay. The sky was GORGEOUS: all pink/purple across the sky. Oops.
The menu was really simple: you choose the meat you want, or vegetarian if you don’t eat meat, and then they bring out an assortment of curries/vegetables for you. I really liked it!
We finished up and went to the hostel for trivia night.
We met some Israeli girls who were staying in our dorm and we ended up joining the same team for trivia. They were really nice, but they kept speaking Hebrew to each other so it was a little hard to establish a connection.
It was another early night… everything in Myanmar shuts down around 10 or 11.
I don’t mind though :) 10 pm bed time is perfect for me.