With all the enquiry on our presence in Myitkina, and given that we cannot ride much in Kachin, we decided to high tail it back to Mandalay and find a different route to rice in before making our exit way south.

So after b’fast, we rode up to the station and got tickets to Mandalay on the 9:10 train. The train started on time but that was the only thing it held on to schedule. It took a leisurely 6 hrs for the 100 km to Hopin. The seats we were in were reasonably uncomfortable, but luckily the train was pretty empty and we could spread around more seats. They were narrow enough for me to lie down in, I couldn’t fit even if I squeezed my body into a ball. Ah well, an uncomfortable ride was in prospect.

We stopped at every station and many times to let other trains pass. At one point, we stopped for 2 hrs to let 3 trains pass, goddamit. Someone should have mentioned to us about e different class of trains.

This train was extra bouncy too and I could get, may be 5 mins of sleep before I’d be thrown up a couple of feet in the air. A pretty disturbed night over all. And when I think I have 2 more legs (each one day long) of train journey before I hit the south of Burma, it makes me pretty grumpy indeed.

We were supposed to get to Mandalay by 7 am, but at 7, we were 200 km away and seemed like another 5 hrs left to go. I guess we’d get into town no earlier than noon. That would put a wet sock on the rest of the day for sure.

Route: – (Myitkina to Mandalay by train)
Distance: 0 km
Ascent: 0 ft
Descent: 0 ft
Time in saddle: 0:00 hrs
Expenses: Sg$ 31.57 (train tix were 20 usd and an additional 750 kyat for bikes)
Comments: there is no way to know what train you get. Sometimes, like today, you end up in a low priority train and end up waiting for every other train to pass.

Track Notes