20180323 // Day 7: Closing the loop in Nyaung Shwe.
We're back here after what seemed to us a long holiday (no complaints there) and seven hours on a boat under the blazing sun.
We left Loikaw at 7am on a minibus and got to Pekon at 8am. The boat service to Nyaung Shwe sounded official enough, or it at least was in my imagination, that I was hoping for a roof. No such luck.
The scenery was quite nice as we passed through the villages we had passed by cycling. There's no standard route but the boat stopped at main villages along the lakes depending on the passengers on board. We were cruising along nicely until Tar Khaung village where we got into the middle of a huge mass of hyacinths - the blades got stuck and had to be fixed over 40 minutes or so.
We reached Nyaung Shwe around 4pm and headed straight to this hostel called Ostello Bello with a rooftop bar for celebratory drinks. It has an extremely artificial backpacker vibe with terrible graffiti along three flights of stairs, which I absolutely hated. The presence of half naked twenty somethings on the roof and the EDM music didn't help either.
It didn't seem so bad after we've had some cocktails and beers. But there were so many young hipsters who were swapping Southeast Asia travel stories (read competing who's better travelled in the region with a very liberal dose of f words and sounding fantastically clueless asses) and guys trying to assert dominance over each other. Really, since when did it start getting this difficult to get laid!? You thought intelligence and subtlety would do the trick.
Thankfully, if the intention is to be the foreigner capital of Nyaung Shwe, it was working well and saving the rest of the town. It can still be a good place to enjoy a drink or two watching the sunset and the music did start getting mellow after a while, yet... Despite all this rant, we were very happy to be back and that we managed to do what we set out to do. One more afternoon in Nyaung Shwe till we go back to Yangon.
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