After Christophe talked Edda into agreeing to take the train from Inle to Mandalay, we had about 12h of scenic train travel in front of us. We had read that the trains are rather poor quality, they shake, jump over the bumps on the tracks and go very very slooooow. It was indeed quite a shaky ride, but not nearly as bad as we had expected. The upper class seats were comfortable enough to even have a nap. The seats in the ordinary class are wooden, so wouldn’t really be able to nap there.
The scenery however was breathtaking. Mountains, green valleys, fields, water….beautiful nature everywhere. We went over some narrow and scary bridges and stopped in small villages/towns where local people were selling food and random stuff. Everywhere we stopped, venders came in to sell some snack, so we never got hungry either!
The long hours passed fairly fast as we were staring out of the open windows. Yes, there is natural air conditioning, as all the doors and windows are open all the time.
A cargo wagon was the last wagon of the train, and at every station people were loading cabbages and different vegetables into it. All the produce was going to Yangon.
We stayed the night in Thazi in a reasonably priced guesthouse, so we could watch the Belgian football game, and continued at 4:30 am with another train to Mandalay.