I have been in Thazi in 2018, the first time I was in Myanmar. At the time, I had just finished my favorite train journey at that moment- from Inle Lake to Thazi. It was a long slow journey but filled with excitement and wonderful views. This time I’m getting to Thazi from Naypyidaw, also by train, but the next step is going from Thazi to Mandalay by bus.
Thazi is basically a stopover for night sleep in between destinations. I have never explored the city, but I’m sure it has not much more to offer than a nice smiling moment with locals and their pictures. Anyway, I was here before and this time I will sleep at the same guesthouse. Also, the offer isn’t that big, maybe 2 more places that allow foreigners…
I told the same man that received me in the past that I have been there before, but it didn’t feel like he was trusting that information. I haven’t slept in the same room. I remembered clearly the place and the room where I slept. It is good enough for one night and the staff is nice and gentile.
I have dinner just one minute away from the guesthouse for 1000 kyats. I wanted to go from Thazi to Mandalay the next day by train, but once again, the schedule didn’t please me, so instead, I took a “bus”. The train from Thazi to Mandalay departs either at 3 am or 5 am… Well, the locals call it a bus, but it is actually a Minivan and no fixed price is established. The receptionist tells me that the bus from Thazi to Mandalay leaves at 9 am and the fair price would be 6000 kyats, although they might ask me for 10000 kyats.
Breakfast is included and it has toasties, yeah! After it, they tell me to sit and they will let me know when the bus is here. At 9 sharp I was ready and ready to wait for 1 hour cause the “bus finally came at 10 am. But, during my breakfast, one of the girls in the staff asks me to take a picture, and I nodded my head giving a positive answer. A few minutes later, they came next to me and show me a picture on the phone asking: Is that you? What is my surprise when I see myself on her phone, in a picture taken more than 1 year ago, dating March of 2018. An instant smile involved my face. I was really surprised by the fact that they had taken a picture of me in the past- I didn’t remember at all- and could find it once I stated that I have been there before. All of the staff and I find ourselves laughing at such a peculiar moment. We realized that the previous time the weather was much better!!
After those smiley moments, and when the bus arrives, they say goodbye and hope that in one year we will see each other again for another fun moment. That probably won’t happen, but never say never was my goodbye quote.
As they previously warned me, the man at the bus station asked me for 10000 kyats, and after a few minute’s negotiations, I realized I am not that good at a bargain. I was able to low it to 8000 kyats, but I knew the fair price would be 6000 kyats. But everyone else on that bus was waiting for our negotiation to finish so I finally accepted so we can go. The journey was smooth and nice, with some roosters on the back of the minivan, that didn’t make a sound more than 3 times.
I reach Mandalay at about 2 pm, but this wasn’t my last stop. My final destination is Monywa.