"By train" Maymyo Transportation Tip by Wakanki
Maymyo Transportation: 1 reviews and 2 photos
This is not the fastest way to go to Pyin Oo Lwin but man, what an adventure! The 131 Train Up Mandalay - Lashio which crosses the hills of Shan State has few stops, Pyin Oo Lwin included. Landscapes are gorgeous with mountains and thick jungle, giving many photography opportunities.
Before climbing the hills the train stops for 5 minutes and then it starts running backwards for 1 - 2 kilometres. I thought that I was going back to Mandalay, lol! It seems that the train needs to do this operation to adapt itself to another kind of rails. But the most epic (or dramatic) moment is after Pyin Oo Lwing, when the train stops before crossing Gokteik Viaduct. Many people had told me about the viaduct - crossing freaking experience but only when we stopped and that huge steel monster appeared to us from the mist I started to be scared. This 689 metres long and 102 metres high viaduct was built in 1900 by the British Empire to cross the Gohtwin Stream. Due to its technical and natural condition it was considered at that time as a masterpiece of the world standard but knowing also that since then it has never been restored, now you can understand my apprehension. The atmosphere that day (rainy and foggy) did not help a lot. And then the train starts running again veeeery slowly and you can hear the viaduct creaking under your feet. I was not very relaxed but at the end we arrived to our final destination safely. Later I learnt that we were the last passengers to take this train for a while because only few hours later the strong rain damaged badly many kilometres of the railway. Uff I feel very lucky, lol!
I used the Myanmar Railways three times, to go to the North of the country and to the Delta Region in the South. My experience with train schedules is that you always leave on time but you never know when you will arrive. Wagons have lost its buffers long time ago so expect a “jumping trip”.