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Food Poisoning and arriving in Mawlamyine

From night until morning, I was sprinting from our bed to the squatters as whatever sketchy substance I consumed wreaked havoc on my stomach. As luck would have it, the power went out too. I tossed and turned to the soundtrack of loud snores from the other room.

Come eight in the morning when we should have been getting ready for the bus to Malawmyine, I had blankets over my head trying to enjoy the lack of snoring. I still wasn't moving except to get sick. We hadn't booked a ticket and being confined to a bus seemed daunting.

Ryan figured out something was wrong and we came to the decision not to move, except to a room with its own sit toilet and luckily they had plenty available. Luckily, whatever had affected me hadn't affected Ryan at all and he felt fine. Going up the stairs with my small bag hurt my joints with each step. My body was in hyper sensitive mode. In our new room, the bed was softer and the bathroom clean.

After nearly passing out, likely due to dehydration, I got scared into taking some of our cipro (a must pack item, especially for Myanmar). Ryan stayed with me all day, only leaving to eat. The town broadcasted a monk speaking all day and night too. We were too beat to be bothered by it. Travelling and the heat had really worn us down. On the plus side, Ryan had gotten free dishes at the restaurant he'd been frequenting to go with his chicken curry.


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With a third dose of cipro and immodium flowing through my system, I was ready to tackle the world outside our hotel room again. We went to Sea Sar restaurant and I ordered some toast. It tasted smoked, like they had made it over a fire, but the jam helped mask that a bit. I ate it quickly while Ryan enjoyed his fried rice.

At 10:45, we headed to the bus stop to find a tuktuk that would drive us to the nearest station, which was luckily included in our bus ticket price (7,000 kyat). It took about half an hour through the back roads and some slight confusion as to where to disembark, but we found the Win Express stand and they confirmed the bus would arrive at noon. We were lucky we booked seats and didn't end up in the aisle as the bus was full. At least the aisle seats were pull out attachments from the main ones, more stable than stools. The ride went by without issue and we arrived at a small dusty bus station.

Down the road, the fancy hotels with large green yards were asking 35 or 60 US dollars for rooms which was too much to spend over the three nights we planned to be here. To put this in perspective, a meal typically cost between $1-$5 US. We flagged down a tuktuk to Breeze, mentioned in Lonely Planet to check out their rooms. They were pastel green like little ship cabinets, hardly rooms, so we felt their $16 price tag was a bit high.

We ventured to the Lower Road area as there had to be other hotels. We saw a sign for Aurora Guesthouse and I went up to check the rooms while Ryan stayed with our bags. Our accommodation had to be comfy enough to rest off this food poisoning. The $20 twin room had soft beds, lots of space, hot water, our own bathroom and a fridge. Perfect! To top it all off the wifi was pretty good too. Sometimes ignoring Lonely Planet's advice was in our best interest. The guidebooks just created a situation where a handful of hotels knew that they had a steady stream of guests and didn't take pride in maintaining or improving their facilities. The others who weren't in the book had to offer something substantially better to compete. At the time, there was no online booking for low budget spots either, so guidebook recommendations made a huge difference to their business.

We were probably a bit too taken by the air-conditioning, comfy beds and wifi. But hey, rest was great for the sickly.

Around five in the afternoon, we went for a walk down by the river so we could get in my photo of the day, something I had started doing for 2015. The river stretched pretty far and the lack of buildings along it allowed for a nice sunset shot. The flat landscape made the sunset colours more pronounced. What you won't see if the trash that unfortunately lined the river bed and stunk.


We went to a restaurant called 'Grandfather, Grandmother', that Ryan had read helped support the elderly. We got an outdoor seat to watch the sun go down. I ordered an omelette and rice, hoping my enthusiasm would turn into an appetite. The omelette had too many greasy vegetables, but I managed to eat some of the rice. I was a bit afraid to eat as I wasn't sure if there was a washroom around. Ryan helped me finish the food along with his chicken fried rice and we called it a night.


Posted by Sarah.M 09:42 Archived in Myanmar Tagged mawlamyine food_poisoning

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