I ventured to the bus station at 5:45am - with Alberto heading to the airport. ;(
After merely 7 hours, I arrived to Mawlymine In the South of Mynamar. Getting the lay of the land, tourists were few and far between and the locals cheerfully smiled with betal stained red teeth. Betal is a nut sometimes mixed with tobacco and spices, wrapped in a lime-coated banana leaf that locals chew, leaving red vampire-like stains on the teeth and lips after being spat out in viscous pools on the ground).
I watched a group of boys playing foot volley and kicked a few return balls back to them.
I followed some locals into a dessert shop and did my usual, "I'll have what she's having" and ended up with Falooda, a sweet drink with ice cream and pink tapioca balls.
The day ended with a peaceful sunset at Kyaikthanlan pagoda on a hill with 6 other tourists and locals.
UNIQUE TRAVEL TID-BIT of the DAY
According to a CNN article in Nov 2013, "around 600 million people worldwid are thought to chew betel quids, making them the fourth most commonly used psychoactive substance after tobacco, alcohol and caffeinated drinks." Chewing is addictive and can lead to an increased risk of oral cancer.
NEXT STOP: Visit to Ogre Island