Photo: The famous umbrellas of Pathein.

Eat and meet

At dusk, head over to the food stalls located along the riverside. You’ll have the opportunity to sample a wide variety of meats and Burmese food for very low prices. Our favourite was from the Indian gentleman with a long white beard who sells a large selection of perfectly spiced chicken and chicken parts including feet. If you’re facing ’Top Star’ restaurant, he’s just to the right.

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For a sit down meal along the riverside, Top Star is fantastic. It’s run by a friendly family, including teens who spend most of the night in front of the mirror focused on their hair. The mother speaks English very well and will personally see that you’re well taken care of in her restaurant. The bar is fully stocked and features ice-cold Tiger beer on draft. A lot of the menu is fried with a few seafood and veggie options. We enjoyed the deep-fried spare ribs enough to have them two days in a row.

Myo Restaurant is located in an alley that could be named ’Meat Street’ as it contains several restaurants with outdoor grills and sausage hanging from strings. Myo has a few random selections such as grilled cheese, chicken burgers and Korean dumplings, but its main focus is roasted skewers. The large menu is a bit intimidating, but it’s best to just turn it to the ’Roasts’ page and choose a few of the skewers that they’ll grill to order. Choices range from roasted garlic at 100 kyat to 2,500 kyat for quail and duck. Fish, squid, beef, sausage, giblets, quail eggs and lady’s finger are some of the other options. Cold Myanmar beer in chilled mugs is available for just 600 kyat, making this our top restaurant pick in town.

The Silver House Restaurant, boasting a partial river view, is located on Strand Road just by the night time market stalls. It’s very popular with locals and offers the same thick book-like menu often seen in this country. A large selection of vegetable and bean curd options are available, making this a good option for vegetarians in a town where meat is dominant. Carnivores should try the hot and sour flavoured chicken; it’s like a slightly improved version of spicy buffalo chicken found in the West.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Pathein? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Burma_myanmar.

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