After 4 mornings of eating dry crackers and fruit for breakfast, this morning we were happily surprised with plenty of choice. The Nawaday Hotel was the second hotel in Loikaw in which our research group is staying. The highlight of the breakfast was the nice chocolate pancakes.
Having finished our breakfast we decided to go interview two tour operators; Amazing Kayah and 9 Generation Force. First we went to Amazing Kayah and at a certain moment Luc mentioned that we arrived at the particular building, but we walked past it because it did not look like a tour operator at all. After 100 meters we decided to ask where Amazing Kayah was situated. The man we asked immediately walked back the 100 meters and brought us to the place Luc mentioned before as being our tour operator. After our struggle to find the place we had a nice interview with the two owners.
However Amazing Kayah would be the tour operator that was most easy to be found. Finding the second tour operator turned out to be even more difficult than expected. First of all we did not have a single clue where we had to go to next. So pretty soon we decided to ask for some directions at a local pharmacy. After a long time with a lot of pointing to several directions and without any English we received a drawing with the directions on it.
To decode this was actually pretty tough and much harder than expected beforehand. After a second round of asking directions it became crystal clear that we had to walk 500 miles. To be honest it was less than that, but still we had to walk quite a bit. Halfway Irene became thirsty and wanted to drink something so we paused our ‘trekking’ to grab a drink. Here Irene spotted a cute toddler and asked the father if she could take a picture of his child. The father immediately gave the child to Irene so Pim could take a picture.
We continued our hike to the tour operator. After another long walk we felt a little lost in the outskirts of Loikaw. Looking around for a bit we finally found the tour operator somewhere in a little street. Afterwards he was so kind to take us back to our hotel, and again as everywhere else, he didn’t accept any money from us. Next Mariëtte and Pim went to Kayah Resort where they got a tour and an interview with the manager. Meanwhile Luc and Irene interviewed the manager of Nawaday Hotel and went out to look for the next hotel to stay. Our plan is to stay at all hotels for 2 nights to get more in depth interviews. Then they went for another 500 mile long walk across the city to the Loikaw hotel, in order to make a reservation. At the end of this productive day we decided that we deserved an ice cold beer. In the evening we all came together for a ‘Belgian beer’, which is just an nice term and excuse for drinking beer. Finally, decided to visit the Pagoda festival nearby, where we felt like celebrities because all the locals secretly took pictures of us. We ended the day with a zip from our €1,50 bottle of Whiskey.
Authors: Irene, Luc, Mariëtte & Pim