Pyay Kyaw
[gallery type="slideshow" ids="104957,104958,104959,104960,104961,104962,104963,104964,104965,104966,104967"] KYAUKTAN TOWNSHIP, Rangoon Division — Driving a horse-drawn cart is a business Tin Win has known most of his adult life. With the money he has earned from it over the years, he was able to feed his family and raise two sons. But now, the business he set up 35 years ago is likely coming to an end with the rising popularity of cheap, Chinese-made motorcycles that now crisscross the streets of Kyauktan Township, located more than an hour’s drive outside Rangoon. Horse-drawn carts were a major mode of transportation in Kyauktan until the early 2000s, as there was no public transportation connecting the town and nearby villages. These days, however, motorcycle taxis far outnumber horse-drawn carts on the streets of Kyauktan. “There were more than 70 cart drivers here until 10 years ago, but now only five are left, including me,” said the 60-year-old, a native of Kyauktan, which is made up of 80 villages and sits southeast of the commercial capital. “I think we will be out of business in the next two or three years,” Tin Win added. “The motorcycles are relatively cheap. These days everyone seems to have one. They are faster than a horse-drawn cart.” Even on a recent day at Kyauktan’s busiest intersection, Tin Win struggled to find takers while motorcycle taxis around him were busy shuttling passengers between the nearby market and surrounding villages. “We are only hired to transport goods rather than people,” he explained. Despite the business downturn, Tin Win said he has no plan to join the ranks of motorcycle taxi drivers, partly due to his age, but also because of his attachment to horses, four of which he owned at one point in his life. “I’m too old to take it, and I have a bond with my horse. At least, for now, I can make a regular income.”

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