Kinpun-Golden Rock

Day 23: Fu.. fu.. fuck! (so I said it, sorry for the language)

After we sad goodbye to Germany and Italy (who were not really on speaking terms), our hotel brought us to the airport. One of the staff members joined us (she picks up new guests at the airport). Klaas asked her to give our hotel ' The Golden Sunrise' at Kinpun (base camp for the golden rock) a ring with our ETA. She spoke to the manager who knew we were coming. After all the hassle we went through with the (non existing) reservations, I do not want to take any more risks. Flying in Myanmar is so relaxed. You arrive, drop of your luggage, they give you a sticker of the aircraft company and practically half an hour you are in the air. 45 minutes and two cheese sandwiches and a coffee later you arrive at your destination. It's like taking a bus. Love it!

We agreed that I collect our luggage and that Klaas went outside to start negotiating our taxi to Kinpun. When I arrived outside with our luggage on a stroller, Klaas already waved at me. After some heavy discussions and some fights between taxi drivers he got a good price 80.000K (80 euro for a 3,5 hours drive) to Kinpun. Easy said, easy done. At 3.30pm we arrived at the Golden Sunrise I booked months ago. This place is highly recommended at Tripadvisor (and the bible). It was also because of this really nice hotel we decided to go to the Golden Rock. I reconfirmed my booking 6 weeks ago and 3 days before we came here. And we called them the morning we arrived.

When I stepped out of the car, a guy (later he told me he was the manager) said to me: go back in the car, hotel is full, we go to other hotel. I couldn't believe my ears. The both of us yelled together: FULL? We have a reservation and two confirmations. He said: I know, but full, we go to other hotel. We said: No we stay here, we have a reservation. So he went to the back of his reception, came back with a key and took us to the end of his property (a construction place) and showed us a simple ugly bungalow with a fantastic view on the construction place We didn't accept. I tried to reason with him. The only thing he kept repeating: 'many tourist book, make reservation, but no come. You understand?'

I said that I totally understand this, but when I asked him why he reconfirmed my room via e-mail and this morning on the telephone, he kept repeating the same (fu..) line: 'many tourist book, make reservation, but not come. You understand. Also Yangon office make mistake'. Apparently everybody blames the (non excising) office in Yangon. I lost it. I am not proud of this behaviour, but I just lost it.

I started stamping my feet, with my head almost exploding. We just F &%#% paid 80€ for a ride to this place.... I just have NO respect for this kind of behaviour. When we kept on arguing with the 'manager', two tourist with guide (private car) arrived and they got their bungalow straight away. So I said, why do they have a bungalow and we don't? The manager spoke the very memorable words: 'they make reservation.....and they confirmed'.

The whole thing became one big farce. To put it mildly. Very childish of me maybe, but I wanted to cry. But instead I said to him, show me the other hotel and if we take that, you give me a huge discount. So with the guide of the other couple and the 'manager' they showed us a fancy place in the middle of this town (2 streets). It looked clean but so ordinary. No balcony, Chinese business style. We didn't look for something like this. So he took us to another place, a dreadful looking bungalow park with no English speaking staff and with 45$ for a room, way over the top. But we had no choice: we agreed to take one of these bungalows. When he left, I exploded again. 

I looked at the shit hole of a room and decided to explore the village on my own. I checked out the 'Sea Sar Guesthouse'. Okay bungalows, bit rundown but Myanmar clean and hot water. Between 25, 30 and 35$. Pan Myo Thu Inn I could not find. I went back to our first hotel, 'the Bawga Theiddhi hotel'. After all we saw, this one seems to be the only real mid range place. For Myanmar matters, I think posh. And it comes with free internet which is pretty rare in this town. I collected Klaas at the other place and we checked in at this strange 'design hotel' across the street from where the trucks leave for the Golden Rock.

And bad luck continued. When we unpacked, a bottle of wine fell on the floor of our room in 10000 pieces. I was still very upset and angry and we both were hungry. So we looked at each other saying: 'Okay we have to go out of this place, have a beer and eat, otherwise we'll end up fighting'. So we did. We ran into Clemence and Caroline from Brussels. They are on a 3 month honeymoon. I sign up for that :-). Like us they just arrived and were looking for a place to eat. This little town is totally different then all the other places in Myanmar. There are hardly any tourists, no English signs and the everybody here seems totally indifferent. Like they really don't give a shit. Is this the true Myanmar life, not influenced by tourism?

This is really our lucky day...when we told Clemence about our frustrations he told us to stand still and prepare for another one...



Clemence, no! you are kidding us, right? NO! Clemence is not kidding us, it's under renovation and covered with bamboo mats. Now is the time to start crying, but as a 42 year old woman that seems such an odd thing to do. So instead I decided to start drinking beer. We found a place that looked the least dodgy and after quit some hassle (the ladies of the restaurants at Kunpin are very aggressive sales tigers) we sat down and had a couple of beers (Not one for free though; we are really running out of luck here). Clemence his beer was still frozen. So no new beer...just a bowl of water to put it into: Myanmar style.

Caroline and Clemence are a fun couple to hang out with. We chatted and had actually a really nice diner. We decided to go to the Golden Rock at 8am the next morning, just for the sake of it. Up there we want to try to find a guide for some hiking back to town. We read on Tripadvisor in several reports that the hiking here is fantastic. After we said goodnight to the Belgium couple we tried to find a guide in town, but nobody speaks English or seems to give a s... So we ended up in bed around 9pm. Frustrated, angry and tired. Why the hell nobody told us that the Rock is under renovation. Why?

Day 23: Golden Fock ! (& more fcuk fcuk fcuk)

We slept good, which I didn't expect. When we looked out of the window the sky was pitch way! Rain? Yes rain, much rain. While we were having 'breakfast' (toast, fake strawberry jam and an egg) heaven burst open and it started to rain cats & dogs (more like elephants & hippo's). Wow, so much rain. I looked at Klaas starting to shake my head. This is just not going to happen here anymore.

Serious rainfall, click on video:

I want to go. And there it was, I said it: I want to go, leave this horrible place with the covered rock. Klaas looked deep in my eyes and totally agreed, ha ha. He run to the bus station to change our bus tickets. We also went to the truck station at 8am to see if Clemence and Caroline were there but they weren't, so they probably stayed in their room (good choice!). We packed our bags and had four hours time to kill. I wrote my blog and Klaas did some reading, some counting (he counts our money daily, so cute) and some e-mailing. We had an early lunch (fried water cress with an omelet, just to be on the safe side) and waited for the bus which was 80 minutes late: nothing seems to work in this village. While I am typing this, I am totally fed up by it all. This town has totally no potential pfffffff...

This is the guy at the bus station:

And this is the river of Kinpun (tons of litter and plastic):

and this is what we saw of the Golden Rock...a beautiful calendar.


Lianne Bosch said...

Hi Elles en Klaas,

Wat een ellende bij die Golden Rock. Er zijn van die dagen dat het echt niet meezit, en hoe herkenbaar is dat dan weer niet?? De Golden Rock zit ingepakt, no reservation, too many tourists........bah! Niet heel vreemd als je dan slechte zin krijgt. Hopelijk zitten jullie nu in een leukere omgeving, met een betere sfeer. Ik hoor wel hoe het af is gelopen bij de Mayflower.......Ik vind je blog echt superleuk om te lezen vooral omdat we over nog maar 5 maanden zelf gaan!

Daniël said...

hoi elles en klaas-

hartelijk bedankt voor je blog en alle informatie over je reis. heel goed te lezen over je reis in Birma.

ik vertrek op 2 november naar birma via thailand. yangon, kyaiktiyo, bagan, inle, taunggyi, hsipaw, enz.

Ik hoop dat ik niet veel van dezelfde slechte ervaringen die jullie beiden hebben gehad in kinpun. ik heb ook een reservatie bij The Golden Sunrise. Nu weet ik dat ik reconfirm moet doen, misschien elke dag!


Oliver Richmond said...

Thank you so much for sharing this article. It is really good and after reading interested to visit. We from our company Professional resume writing service are planning for a trip and I think this will be the best place to visit. And you explained each thing in very detail. My cousin from their company visited this place and he said that they really enjoyed their visit to Golden Rock. They chose to take the truck up early in morning and walk the trail down, very happy with their decision. The truck cost 2500K each. The drive was fun and interesting since we were on there with Burmese people. Golden Rock speaks for itself, amazing. The trail down took about 4 hours. It can get tiring and hot but what we saw along the way made it all worth it. Real Burmese life. People might stare at you a bit and want to take some photos at the top. Just smile at everyone and go with the flow! So now I am very interested as I read this article.