When we first entered Gyobingauk, these subsequent thoughts entered our minds:
- There is only one main road that passes through this town and it ends after a couple hundred meters.
- There's got to be something better than the Paradise Guest House.
- Nope, there isn't and it's getting dark. Back towards it we go.
The Paradise Guest House is located just off the main Yangon-Pyay Road, and seems to live by the motto "Screw you, there's nowhere else to stay here." 20,000 kyat got us a decent-sized room that seemed OK on the surface - air conditioning, double bed, etc - until you get to the bathroom. It's quite possible that it has never been cleaned and that there's something living in the toilet as yet undocumented by science. The shower has about four working jets of water, and they're all going in different directions. Things stare at you while you wash your hands in the sink.
Rubbish. Yes, this is a poor country, and we don't expect much, we really don't. We understand it's been hard here for a very long time. We're no divas. But these guys just aren't trying. People in other places, such as Letpadan, can manage to provide much more for less money. These guys are just lazy and complacent.
Still, the one highlight of Gyobingauk is the Wei Wei Sar Sar Cafe which is just a 10 minute walk south on the same side of the road. It's a really beautiful little cafe set in a garden which, compared with the surroundings, feels like a mirage.
Side note - when the guesthouse owner was telling us how to get there, he described the distance in furlongs, an imperial measurement equal to 1/8 of a mile and nowadays used only in horse racing. Where else in the world does the average person know what a furlong is, let alone think in them?
We can confidently state that Wei Wei Sar Sar sells the best cake on the entire planet. Or at least, it seemed that way to us poor starved cyclists. Just the ticket at the end of a day, and we'll be tucking into it again for breakfast, because why wouldn't you?