After a very grueling 13 hour bus ride on an extremely bumpy winding road. We finally arrived in Nyaungshwe. I met Pamela, from Brazil, outside the bus who was heading to the same hostel as I was so we teamed up to get a better rate from the songthaw driver. We checked into our hostel then took a shower to wash the horrible bus ride off of us.
We then rented bikes and headed out to the market. I was starving so I purchased an avocado to eat right then along with some roasted nuts and a mini bunch of bananas. We then browsed the souvenirs that were 5 times the price in Yangon. I should have did more shopping there. I did over pay for a trinket I wanted. I figured this kind woman needs the extra $3 more than I did.
We then decided to go have lunch. We went to the dim sum place highly recommended in Lonely Planet but it was closed so we ended up at a random local tea house. For $1.50 we had a cute vegetarian lunch and tea.
We then headed out on our bikes to the forest monastery that was about 12 km away. Pamela was definitely a very out of shape skinny person. We made in 3km to the winery and she was done. So we parked our bikes and hiked up to the winery. For $5 we got 4 tastings with three wedges of white bread with plastic wrapped processed cheese cut triangles on top. The lady next to me didn’t notice the plastic wrap and bit into it. It was rather funny. The wine was actually very good.
We then moved inside and had a glass of the Petite Syrah. For $3 per glass it was quite nice. We made friends with a British group and their guide. A local Burmese girl was celebrating her 28th birthday with her friends at the winery which was a huge expense for them and extremely special. They invited me to have cake with them. I felt so privileged. The Birthday girl actually fed me cake! It was the strangest thing but they all seemed to enjoy it. They offered me food and wine but I politely refused as they were all sharing one entree. I know Steve would have said that I should have paid for their meal but I had limited Kyats and they didn’t accept credit cards.
We then went to bike back to the hostel at dusk. Pamela had lost her bike key and we were attacked by mosquitoes while we tried to find it. So once we did I peddled like crazy to get away from the swarm of bugs trying to eat me alive! My legs are so sore!!!
After getting our beds assigned we biked to the dim sum place we went to earlier. Pamela got pot stickers that she said were bland. I got an amazing eggplant mushroom tofu clay pot with rice and green tea for $3.50! It was cooked in oyster sauce and I loved it!
I was extremely tired at this point and went straight to bed. The British group we met earlier were partying until midnight and woke me up when the decided to have a full blown conversation by my bunk! So I got up and called Steve.