Nay Pyi Taw was not an easy place to visit as a tourist. Unless you brought your own transport or were prepared to pay large amounts for taxis, it was impossible to get about. The only other visitors I saw were Chinese or Indian groups on business tours.
I paid off the taxi at the supermarket and spent an hour and a half in there. I bought a bus ticket to Inle Lake, in central Shan province, my next port of call, and obtained some more money from the girl at the money changers who by now had organised the cash box. I had realised quickly that I needed more money in this expensive place.
I ate cold pizza and drank a watery milkshake sitting at a table in the supermarket cafe, accompanied by a young man who practised his English on me. He worked at one of the hotels. I assumed that all the people in the city would have been brought here to work. I saw no people on the streets like in other towns.
Photo Gallery of Burma Road Map
Click to on Photo for Next Burma Road Map Images
The ticket I had bought was for a night bus. I had sworn I would never take one of these horrors, but there was no other way to get from here to Inle Lake. In anticipation of this event, I bought another pillow in the supermarket. I had given the one I had bought for the train to the receptionist of the Royal City in Mandalay.
Then I returned to my very comfortable hotel room and settled in, vowing not to move until it was bus time. It was simply too hard to get around and there was nothing much to see except those immense freeways and wide empty spaces.
After checking out of the hotel at twelve the next day—and paying for the glass I broke!—I sat in the foyer until five when it was time to go to the bus station. The staff put on the TV for me and a young and very beautiful male receptionist came to talk to me. He said his family were in Yangon and that all the staff lived in the hostel. I had noticed this less than posh building at the back of the hotel, separated from the paying guests by a big fence covered with green shade cloth. Where else could they live? The hotel zone was utterly isolated.