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Mandalay to Myitkyina by train

Listed under Train Journeys in Mandalay, Burma.

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During my visit to the country, the north was calm and I ended up taking a 24 hour train up to Myitkyina for the Kachin State’s annual manaw (state fair). Arriving in Myitkyina, dazed after the long and bumpy ride, I had a few days to get to know the town before the annual fair began.

The train was terrifically rickety, covered in alternating layers of rust and grime. Spider webs coated the ceilings and the narrow hallways were packed with people and cargo and all sorts of produce. I’ve always advocated public transportation as the best way to get to know a place, and a train ride is no exception; those 24 hours from Mandalay were a fascinating snapshot into a country I already wanted to know better, both good and bad. The train left in the mid-afternoon and chugged through half-logged forests and tiny towns, stopping every few hours throughout the night to cough out passengers on the side of the dusty tracks.

Continue reading on Jodi's blog.

Written by  Jodi Ettenberg.

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