I thought to fly from Yangon to Ho Chi Minh that will be my next destination, but I met a friend during my journey that was heading to Bangkok by land, so I decided to join her. Also because the flights from Yangon to Vietnam were more expensive, and coincidently, she was going to have a flight in Bangkok the same day as me, so we joined forces. We decided to go by train from Yangon to Mawlamyine to reach Bangkok by land.
Riding a train in Myanmar is one of my favorite things to do, and I haven’t done it yet this time, so I’m very excited about this train ride from Yangon to Mawlamyine. Also, traveling by train in Myanmar is super cheap maybe because it’s not the fastest solution. The train departs from Yangon at 7:15 AM and we reach Mawlamyine around 6 PM. Ticket price in upper class is 4250 Kyats, about 2,5€. The upper class is the best option for long travels like this otherwise your back will suffer from pain on the wooden benches of the general class. I find the seats in upper class very comfortable as with plenty of space for your legs.
Riding trains in Myanmar is a unique experience that you should have while visiting the country. As always, we were the only foreigners on that train, so the interaction with the Burmese is pure. That’s why I like trains so much. I like to appreciate the Burmese as they are, and the train is a super busy moving market with people hopping in and out all the time selling you a huge variety of things. We had rice and chicken for lunch on the train that was super delicious and we were eating it with our hands and no one is judging us. Oh, how I like to not travel with more tourists!
In front of us is sitting a sweet boy that is making out delights with his smile. He is enjoying to have fun with us, so from time to time, he stands on his seat looking at us and giving us the privilege of seeing his most genuine smile.
This time, something weird was happening on a certain part of the journey. During train rides in Myanmar, I’m already used to people waving goodbye once they see the train, but in this area it was different. The children were standing very close to the train line from Yangon to Mawlamyine waving goodbye. There are a lot of children standing there, which doesn’t feel natural. That’s when I noticed that they are picking things from the ground as the train passe by. I don’t understand what is going on, so I pay attention for several minutes to try to understand what is going on. Actually, people are throwing what seems to be candies, cakes, and jellies to the ground, and the children just run after them. I don’t know what to think about it, as usually, I see them waving goodbye as a genuine thing, but this time they were obviously doing it with another purpose. It was also kind of sad to see that those kids are just there waiting for the train so they can get some candies. Then you see several of them running at the candy and the one who picks it up first gets it. This scenario was a sight for several minutes of the journey.
The journey from Yangon to Mawlamyine is very pleasant as the sight outside also is. Very close to Mawlamyine we are crossing a bridge very slowly. You can see the river just under your feet if you look from the door of the train that is always open. It was a pleasant journey has always, the only problem was the way it gets hot inside the train. The fan wasn’t working, but as long as you keep your head out of the window everything is ok, and that’s actually one of the reasons why I like those train rides so much, cause I can feel the wind on my face! I just love this sensation.
Once we reach our destination, there are no cars available to take us to our hotel, only motorbikes are available, so I went on my Ympek bicycle while my friend went on a motorbike. Luckily, our stay was very close as I was feeling very very tired and couldn’t cycle for longer. Haven’t sleep more than 3 hours the last night…
We were expecting to do something in the city of Mawlamyine, but we were so tired that we just have dinner at the Hotel and go to sleep. I was actually feeling dizzy, so was needing to sleep desperately.
The next day we will cross the land border to Thailand having Bangkok as a final destination.