As the final stint of our journey in Myanmar, we were keen to check out some of the coastal areas. There were a few options to choose from. However, the fact that we were itching for something a little off the ‘typical travel route’ made it an easy decision. As previously we had heard that there was a cargo boat which we could take from Yangon, west along the Ayeyawaddy River to Pathein, where we could then continue on to the Ngwe Saung coastal region.This felt like a no brainer decision as we could trade in the bus and see some rural country side from a different perspective.
Tisk tisk to us! Had we know that we would be spending 27 hours cooped up in a minuscule area of a large wooden floor with over 300 other locals, we may have made a different decision. But, once we knew what we were in for, it was far too late to change our minds. It certainly made for some interesting memories that’s for sure. And had we been anywhere else but Myanmar, we probably would have jumped overboard with the state of the toilet facilities. But once again the people made it all worthwhile. We made many friends throughout the journey, sharing in food and pointing out to the sights along the river banks. There is always something incredibly satisfying about communicating with people when spoken language is not a useful tool.
So hours later we arrived at our destination Pathein, where we took a four hour passenger bus ride (closer resembling an old school ice cream truck with no suspension) along a bumpy and winding dirt track in order to hit our destination, Ngwe Saung. It was a great journey to look back on, though I’m sure some others may prefer the easy option – a 14 hour bus ride from Yangon.
So if you make the effort to get here, you’ll basically have it all to yourself. And when you do go, make sure you hire a scooter and ride it as fast as you can along the empty 11km sandy stretch of beach at sunset. Bliss!
How about yourself? Any plans to see Myanmar in the future? And would you take the local slow boat down the river for a chance at a different experience?