My time in Myanmar was running out. I got back in Mandalay on the evening of the 27th, and my flight to Bangkok was on the afternoon of the 29th, but I should had so much to organise for Bangkok and New Zealand!
On the morning of the 28th I joined a half-day trip to the so-called Snake Pagoda organised by the hostel. The story goes that when the pagoda was first built two snakes came and settled by the central buddha statue. The monks brought them back out to the forest but they just kept coming. Ever since, two large python are always kept at the temple and taken care of. Every day at eleven, there’s an almost religious ritual where they wash and feed the snakes, an attraction which gathers locals and tourists alike.
Other than the snake bathing and a large number of snake statues (I couldn’t help thinking of Harry Potter’s Chamber of Secrets!) the Pagoda was like many others I had visited here.
After that our driver brought us to a place known as little Bagan: many temples densely packed in a small area, but no one in sight to visit them or pray there. They were similar to the Bagan temples. The atmosphere was a bit weird, locals nearby were playing really loud burmese pop music, which didn’t quite fit the scenery.
We were back in Mandalay by lunchtime and enjoyed a ridiculously cheap (and oily, like a lot of food here) burmese meal. Mostly fried stuff, from corn to tofu and mango.
The rest of my day was mostly planning my short stay in Bangkok and the beginning of my trip to New Zealand, thanks to the decent wifi at the hostel. So was the next morning: I didn’t have enough burmese cash to pay for an excursion and besides I had to leave for the airport around two. The airport transfer minivan brought me my last little burmese-style adventure: after a while we were moving at a suspiciously low speed, in what clearly was a low gear. Something was wrong with the engine and we started wondering if the van would make it all the way. We didn’t! But they were well organised, another van picked us up in no time and I got to the airport well in advance.