Mandalay Express (from the Archive)
Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 7:34AM
[chuck] in Mandalay, Myanmar, Myitkyina, Other

After finishing the rattan survey in the Hukaung Valley (see Hukaung Valley Rattan Survey), we arrived at Myitkyina to learn that our flight to Yangon had been canceled and that no planes would be available in the near future. Our flight from Bangkok to New York was in four days. For lack of any better options, we decided to traverse the 919 miles from Myitkyina to Yangon by train.  We bought our tickets, got blessed by a Buddhist monk, and then wobbled and lurched and squirmed for almost 48 hours.

[NOTE: Music (local pop) was playing the entire trip - all night and all day.  They never turned the lights out in the cars for security reasons. The springs kept popping out of the cushion of my seat.]

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