a freezing morning brought us to the train station. true to it's reputation, the train came in half an hour late. We were in the upper class with sofa seats. 2nd class was called ordinary class. plastic seats. narrow gauge english trains and tracks. rather slow. the scenery wasnt extraordinary spectacular but nonetheless I've always loved riding trains. kalaw, the colonial hilltop station town, was busy because it was Friday market day. I had a sweet delicious chai with condensed milk and bought a piece of pound cake at the local bakery. We stayed at the green haven hotel in a beautiful colonial style building. the rooms were all rustic wood, quaintly decorated but very small. the bathroom though was still a wet room. Even though this time it had a shower curtain, it didnt go all the way down to the floor, so when I showered, even the toilet got all wet. But it did have a rainshower head. We've noticed all the hotel services were done by girls. they even carried our heavy luggage to the rooms. Flowers everywhere, no traffic noise, a very tranquil place. Really loved it. the reception building had a veranda complete with rattan chairs and tables. the morning tea and coffee were served in silver pots. in the cool breezy afternoons, we had tea and biscuits and pretended we were british overlords living in colonial style. The hotel was located inside the military compound with a golf course and the shwe u min cave pagoda next to it. Girls were only caddies at the golf course while all the golfers were men. We've walked to the bamboo pagoda and along the way we had nice views of the entire hilltop station and many 2 stories modern western houses. must be the wealthy part of town or remnants of the colonial days. The morning easy trek took us through Kalaw tribal heartland, rural countryside with marvelous views of the mountains, hamlets and the valley with rice fields and local plantations, farms with water buffalos, and pine forests. We've visited a local children school and saw a new building foundation and a water fountain donated by Explore. We felt fairly proud. We've donated more money. We've made a stop at the Lu Pyi village to sample their local famous green tea and tried out the local attire and longhis. After the trek we just enjoyed the peaceful tranquility of the colonial hotel and I let my newly washed hair dry in the warm afternoon sun while catching up on my reading of the fate of ten, the I am number four series. colonial, what a life!
Kalaw area photos: