Providing home to more than seven million people, Yangon is Myanmar’s largest city. I took the main road in and it became hectic about 15km out of the city centre. I had already been dealing with rain from about 20km out and the rain never stopped my whole way into the city. From about 10km out of the centre, I could have made the same progress walking my bike. You know you’re in a crazy place when a road safety sign reminds drivers to use the lanes. I wound my way through bumper to bumper traffic, managed to avoid getting spat on by all the people releasing their red stained saliva through their windows onto the street.

I rode straight to St Anthony’s Church, where I hope to find free accommodation (two cycle tourists had told me they had a comfortable stay there). I spoke to a nun and was told the priest was asleep, but that I could wait. I sat in a chair, ate some biscuits, leaned my head on my bike and fell asleep. I was woken by the priest tapping on my bike. He said I would normally be welcome but the hall I would sleep in is being used to prepare for a religious celebration.

I turned to my backup option: Chan Maye Guesthouse. I left my bike on the street and walked up the endless flights of stairs to the reception. The room I looked at (the cheapest on offer besides a 28-bed dorm) was amazing and I decided to stay. I went to retrieve my luggage and was helped by the wonderful staff. Despite my protests, one guy even carried my bicycle all the way up. This alone convinced me I shouldn’t bother assessing other options and I should just stay here for the entire time it takes to sort out my Indian visa. With a clean bathroom and hot water for the first time in ages, I caught up with bathroom duties. In the evening, I wandered around several blocks before choosing an out of the way place for dinner. I’m looking forward to sleeping in. I had very little riding energy for the second half of the day.

Day 520 (pic)

Yangon

Accommodation $ Guesthouse
Distance ridden today 81.64km
Average cycling speed 15.7kph
Total distance ridden 14,162km