Training to Kyaiktho

Today, we took the train from Yangon to Kyaiktho, from where we’ll start cycling southwards. Yangon traffic is very busy, and we expect the roads fanning out of the city to be the same – at least that was our experience five years ago when we left the city at the northern parts.

We leave the guesthouse around 5.30 am to arrive well on time for the 7.15 am train. Cycling the city that is getting ready for another hot, busy, traffic congested day feels like being part of a well kept secret: things are moving slowly, there is plenty of space on the roads and the temperature is highly agreeable. Also, we see scavengers, people we never saw during the later hours. We reach the train station in 30 minutes (during the daytime it took us us over an hour) and we bring our bikes to the cargo entrance of the station. They are weighted and put in the cargo carriage, to be unloaded when we reach Kyaiktho.

During the six-hours long trip several food hawkers with tea, coffee and known and unknown snacks are entering the wagons. In the surroundings of Yangon, life alongside the rail tracks is harsh: decayed dwellings, a lot of rubbish and piles and piles of plastic. And lots of people living in the middle of it. This is a perspective on living conditions you won’t see if you stick to transport on main roads or with airlines.

The train is in reasonable condition and we reach Kyaiktho in good spirits. We get off the train and Juul walks fast to back of the train to assist unloading the bikes. Too late, it turns out they’re already unloaded and the train already leaves in the direction of Dawei.

We mount our bags on the bike, and we’re off to Kinpun!

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