Having seen everything on Inle Lake that we wanted to we decided we would explore some of the surrounding area and chose to cycle to some natural hot springs about 12km away. We hired some dodgy bikes from our hotel (mine only had one brake working) and set off. When we got there mid-morning we were the only customers which gave us free range of the four pools, each a different temperature.
After changing into our swim things we sunk into the coolest pool (28 degrees centigrade), read, had a drink and thoroughly chilled out. Part way through we got brave and entered one of the other pools, which although only 2 degrees warmer felt substantially hotter. After drying out in the sun, we showered, changed and returned to our bikes in order to cycle back. To our dismay I had a puncture, we had no other option but to ride on and hope we came across a roadside garage with an airpump. There was virtually no air in the tyre so I was riding on the rim of the wheel (not good). The roadside mini garages are usually really frequent however we picked the wrong stretch of road to get a flat tyre along as we didn’t see one for ages, eventually Harri spotted an air pump so we pulled over. Two men repaired the hole and we went on our merry way, it wasn’t until we got to our first hill that I realised they had messed with the rear brake and it now didn’t work which meant I had no brakes! Thankfully I hadn’t built up much speed and could use my feet to skid to a stop, I tried fixing the brakes but without any tools it was impossible, I walked down the hill and all the subsequent ones along the way and I was very relieved to finally return the bike without any broken bones.
We made our way to a hostel for lunch (our standard of fried rice and noodles) and some wifi (the wifi at our hotel never worked), we chilled out and uploaded photos/blogs before going for a manicure. Not something I have ever done before and going off this experience, not one I would ever undertake again. It was a truly terrible experience. Firstly four of us were crammed into a small room which doubled up as a massage parlour, there was another couple and the man had a back massage whilst the other three of us sat on spare massage beds and had our nails done, I was confused the whole way through as to what the woman was doing, she spent about 10 minutes scraping underneath my nails, they were clean and she didn’t appear to ever scrape anything out, she then proceeded to cut my nails but made a right pigs ear out of it, even after filing them they were uneven and the corners were ragged, I could’ve done a better job in about two minutes, Harri’s wasn’t a much better experience either, thankfully we only paid £4 in total.
We collected our bags from the hotel, chilled slightly longer at the hostel with wifi before going and catching a 12-hour overnight bus to Yangon.