Nyaung Ohak Stupa Site
Shwe Inn Dein Pagoda
At 08:30, I went to pick up the motorbike that I had reserved and headed out on the highway. I had to go on the big highway for about 10 km. There were a lot of truck and buses which make me nervous but the highway was nice and wide.
I turned off the main road at the town of Aungpan. The road was paved but very narrow so passing oncoming traffic was harrowing. Luckily there were mostly motorcycles and not many four wheel vehicles which took up most of the road. The pavement eventually ran out and so did the traffic. I was mostly alone on the road except for occasional motorcycles and a few pedestrians.
The scenery was very nice with colorful fields and green hills. I pulled off to enter a few temples and pagodas. I went to one place with pagodas on the top of a hill. I thought there would be a good view of the fields from the top so I attempted to climb up to the top. The steep, narrow, and slippery path was covered with spiderwebs full of big spiders. I made it almost to the top and then there was about 10 meters of path left that was covered in spider webs and big spiders up high in the trees. It looked like something out of Indiana Jones. I had a stick to clear the webs with but I was afraid that all of the spiders would drop down and be all over the place so I aborted and went back down the hill defeated. I don't think that I've ever been thwarted by spiders before.
I continued on the motorbike in the direction of Inle Lake. The road was so bad that I was worried about blowing a tire so I took it easy. I passed one guy who had blown out a tire. I stopped along the way for photo opps and finally got to the little village of Inlein (or Inn Dein or Indein). The village was on a creek with boat access to Inle Lake but I didn't have time to take a boat ride and get the motorbike back to Kalaw by 17:30. There was a good view from a hill of the lake and all the houses around it.
In the village, I went to the famous Nyaung Ohak Stupa site and the Shwe Inn Dein Pagoda at the top. There are thousands of stupas at this place, some crumbling and some in good shape. There are also souvenir stalls all the way up to the pagoda.
The ride back to Kalaw at about 16:00 was fun because of all the farmers were heading home. There were trucks full of ladies in their traditional garb, oxcarts, and farmers walking their water buffaloes home with the kids riding on them.
Back in Kalaw I turned in the motorcycle. One of the mirrors had fallen off and the lady noticed it immediately. I told her that it shook off and I had it in my backpack so she was okay with that. The other big hassle with the motorbike was that the fuel gauge didn't work so I couldn't tell how much fuel there was. I filled it up twice just in case. In the countryside, there aren't gas stations but the little stores have gasoline in liter-sized liquor bottles. Luckily all the gasoline only cost about 2 USD.