Around 20 kilometres to the east of Meiktila, Thazi is another Central Burma junction town, this time on the north-south railway line, the terminal of the line up east to Kalaw and Shwenyaung (for Nyaung Shwe and Inle Lake) and the west-east Meiktila-Kalaw highway. There's no reason to stay here other than a missed connection -- and while a train from Kalaw does (in theory) arrive in time to transfer to an onwards train to Mandalay, you may well miss the connection (or find no seats available) and be stuck here for a night. It happens more often than you think.
That's no great loss though, as there is an extremely friendly guesthouse in Thazi, about a 10-minute walk from the train station. While their rooms are no great shakes, they more than make up for this with their welcome and while there is at least one other place to stay (just up from Moon Light), we say head straight to Moon Light -- they won't be full.
There's a simple restaurant on the ground floor of the guesthouse and, should you want to eat elsewhere, a couple of other eateries are scattered between the guesthouse and the train station. If you're getting the morning train to Mandalay, a good mohinga can be had from the small shop opposite the train station entrance.
By Stuart McDonald.