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Hpa An

Markets and Meals

sunny 32 °C

We ventured down to the Cinderella Hotel again for a bit of a brunch. Ryan had Chicken Kinbao and I had Thai fried rice. Sadly neither could hold a candle to last night's meal but they did look quite fancy.


Getting a cab after that was fairly easy and only cost 2000 kyat to get to the bus station. From there the ticket to Hpa-An was only 1000 kyat ($1) each. The seats were tight benches. The windows only cooled the vehicle a little as there was no air-conditioning. I was a little worried about my Thai pottery getting crushed in the pile of cargo where my luggage sat. Luckily, I'd wrapped it up well and it was fine. Google Maps helped us find the street the driver had said was just had markets, but we found some cheap guesthouses and the tourism centre. It was a large and busy enough street with lots of buildings and a temple nearby.

We found Soe Brothers Guesthouse and snagged the first and only room that they showed us with a private bathroom for $18. The British family in the lobby hadn't jumped on it as it was a little grubby but our standards weren't as high. Our only issue so far was wanting more hot water, but if we timed the showers right it wasn't as much of an issue.

We went walking to check out the bakery nearby that didn't have much in stock. We crossed another busy street to the fancy supermarket where we could get snacks: Thai sesame nut rolls and another small snack. The non-perishable section made up most of the store and they had a decent amount of imported goods too. The stores were quite different than ours back home. Fresh food belonged at the markets.

Before sunset, we explored the market block around our place. The covered market had fruits and vegetables, but the deeper we went the more raw meat and stinky fish sat out. Flies buzzed constantly. We couldn't get to the end fast enough. Once our nostrils had cleared, we kept our eyes peeled for fruit, seeing only watermelon for awhile. One woman had good looking bananas for 1200 and small mandarin oranges so we got 500 kyat/ 50 cents worth.

We dropped off our purchases and headed down the roads to San Ma Tou restaurant that we'd found recommended online. It was a bit of a walk, but once we arrived they set us up with over ten side-dishes/condiments, half of which we asked them to take away because of the meat. Since the food was prepared in advanced and sat out in pots to be served, Ryan was very much onboard with a veggie set, less risk of food poisoning. We had potato and bean curry, vegetable curry and honey fried potatoes. The potatoes were the tastiest, but the curries could have been better. It was far from the best in Myanmar, as the blog we'd read had claimed, though it could have been on off day for them. For dessert, there were coffee candies, tamarind balls and coconut jaggery, which if you've never tried is quite sweet and delicious.

We walked back in the dark. The clock tower was lit up nicely. Despite being smaller than Mawlamyine, this place seemed to have more life and traffic.


Posted by Sarah.M 06:07 Archived in Myanmar Tagged restaurant market myanmar an clock_tower hpa san_ma_tou

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