Day 6. Taungoo to Thazi
This morning we had a fantastic breakfast and then we waved goodbye to the Taungoo train station and hopped onto the train headded for Thazi.
One of the highlights of this day was the breakfast consisting of 32 dishes exquisitely prepared to showcase the produce of the district.
From the fried watercress to the coconut jelly and succulent fruits finished off with a locally grown coffee.
Acting on the advice of the good doctor, we decided to cut a large chunk out of the country and head north to Shan State and the Mandalay Division.
Billy and Mucks get lost in conversation and forget about the train to Thazi.
With the help of the generous people at the Myanmar Hotel we were able to secure seats on the train to Thazi.
Lets go wild for the Choo Choo Train
Our plan was to be on the 11:18 train; however we would not be allowed to board this train because all first class cabins were full. For some reason they would only sell us first class tickets. So we thought the 12:18 would do the trick. This too was not to be, as the whole train was booked out to a division of soldiers and we would need to wait for the next one - no doubt a security thing.
Anyhow, we loitered around town for a while and then got the (later than advertised) 14:20 train which had a baggage car for our bikes.
The train ride was long and hot - all the windows were open and plenty of people inside to raise the temperature even further
Squished between a hawker and a hard place
Hawkers walking the train shouting out the produce they sell, nuts, tea, coffee, chicken wings, sweets - no way you will go hungry on this train - nor get away from their irritating and loud advertising campaigns.
Every stop we came to, more hawkers came out of the shade and paraded up and down the train with produce displayed on trays atop their heads. Although hot cramped and boring I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
We arrived in Thazi at 7:20pm, everything was dark and we needed to get our torches out as most of the power had been turned off for the night. It was a bit of a scramble to get out with all the panniers and quickly walk to the baggage carriage. Although dark Dave noticed that the bikes had been already unloaded and sitting on the platform. We loaded the bikes and pushed them towards the town.
Follow the Red Star
With my head torch turned on and the rear lights blinking like mad we were fortunate enough to find an inquisitive soul who offered to take us to the Red Star Hotel.
They were just closing the doors for the night but had room and we were asked to sit down and rest after our journey at a table. I’m glad that we have a place to stay the night rather than a ditch on the side of the road. Everyone was weary and we quickly made the decision to ride towards Kalaw in the morning.
After some dinner and drinks we retired to a nice room with a ceiling fan. The family who run the Red Star are friendly and speak English quite well.