I had planned an early start today but got chatting to others at breakfast and left the hotel a little later than I had planned.
Just enough time in Yangon to queeze a few more sights in before I had to catch the bus to a place called Kinpun (Pronounced Kinpooun). This is the starting point for the trek to the Golden Rock at Kyaik-Htiyo (Chiteeoo)
Decided to take a taxi to Chaukhtatgyi Paya, to see this huge reclining Budda in, I guess what can best be described as a metal shed. Quite Impressive really but to be honest once you have seen one Budda you have really seen them all. Still got some cool snaps and realeased another sparrow. The way I figure it is at least one way to get a bit of cash into the hands of the locals here. After carefully checking the surrounding area for any uncovered manholes, it was back to the hotel to grab my bags and then on to the Bus station to catch the 5 hour bus to Kinpun.
On the way to the Bus station the driver started to teach me some burmese words, so now in addition to 'hello' and 'thank you', which I had got a guy at the airport to teach me, I could now say 'Your Beautiful' , 'Your ugly', 'I dont want it' and 'I love you'. A little scary perhaps that there was only a small difference between 'I dont want it' and 'your ugly', can see I am going to have to be very careful here.
The driver dropped me right outside Bus headed for Kinun. The Bus prices had gone significatantly from the prices quoted in my guide book and this caused a little bit of hassal at the bus station because I thought that they were trying to rip me off. So I walked around for a bit, to try and find another company but everything was written in Burmese and everyone I spoke to pointed me back to the same company, so I decieded to bite the bullet and go with them.
I was the only westener on the bus, but it wasn't long before somebody had taken me under their wing, this time a monk who didn't speak a word of english. But somehow he got the point across. At one of the rest stops he insisted that I sit with him and his family, and bought me a sugar cane juice.
I was trying to buy them a present of some sweets from a local vendor and discovered that I didn't have enough money in my wallet, Immediately the guy next to me offered to pay for it. I couldn't accept this mainly because I knew I had the money in one of those huge wadges of notes in my bag, I just didn't want to show this in public. So I put one of the peanut & toffee things back on her tray, as I did this the other one I had slipped out of its packaging and smashed on the floor. The vendor just giggled and would let me give her some money for it - just so unlike anywhere in Asia I have every been before.
The scenary I saw from the bus window was really nice, we past plenty of houses made from bamboo and paddy fields - pretty standard for asia really.
When we eventually reached Kinpun, the monk insisted I sit with him again, luckily though this time I was able to find someone to translate what he was trying to say to me. Turns out he is the second teacher in Yangon Monistry and was doing his yearly pilgramige to the Golden Rock Stupa. He gave me his card and asked me to call him when I got back to Yangon, he also said I was welcome to stay in the Monistry. I think this might be cool actually and am seriously considering it if I get chance at the end of my trip.
I said that I would try to find him the next day when I was at the Golden Rock and decided to crash out in my room, which was a little ropey to be honest but I was determined to stick to budget.