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  1. #51
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    More of the market


    After I've had enough of the market, I told M that I would like to return to the main road. At the main road, I saw this. Thingyan, the water festival, had already started.

  2. #52
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    View of the Myanmar arch from the Burmese side.


    More water festival stuff






    M procured me a seat in a shared taxi. Fares were hiked up because it was Thingyan and fewer vehicles were around. I was charged 30,000 kyat (pronounced as "cha") for the 5-hour ride. M said that it normally costed 25,000 kyat only. I thanked M for his efforts and gave a tip.

    That's all for the town of Myawaddy. I could've looked for the pagoda with the crocodile statue, but I didn't want to get wet. So I stayed in the shared taxi while waiting for the other passengers to arrive.
    Last edited by katie23; 30-04-2016 at 10:49 PM.

  3. #53
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    The next series of photos were taken from inside the car, beside the driver, as we were traveling. As a foreigner, I was given the prime seat in front. When I saw how cramped they were at the back, I was thankful for the front seat, even if I paid the foreigner price, which was around 3x of what the locals paid.

    So anyway, here are the pics.



  4. #54
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    We filled up at a petrol station a few km from the Myawaddy town center.


    Floral shirts again...

  5. #55
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    Just like in Th, there are small wats/temples along the way.



  6. #56
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    This is some sort of tuktuk.

  7. #57
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    Some construction in the countryside



  8. #58
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    Another overloaded vehicle




  9. #59
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    More Thingyan revelers





  10. #60
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    A tractor bringing water

  11. #61
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    Some roadside stores






    Telecoms tower, I think

  12. #62
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    The long and winding road


    We followed this overloaded Toyoto Probox for quite some time.



  13. #63
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    My shared taxi was also a white Toyota Probox. I think it's similar in size to an Avanza. The driver said that I was lucky because this part of the road was newly opened, so travel time to Mawlamyine was significantly decreased. The driver was very informative and spoke English well. He's an electrical engineer but now drives a taxi. I asked him about his former passengers, and he said that I'm his first Asean passenger, as other foreigners were Westerners. So I told him I'm good luck for him, and gave him some PI currency as souvenir.



    I found this dangerous - drunken revelers on the highway on motorbikes, without helmets.


    The soil was reddish, and the road was like a roller coaster at times.


    To be continued...

  14. #64
    a cookin' an' a bookin' Luigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    Where (which town) is this? Does anyone know?

    No, but it's a common theme around the North Central region (Sukhothai, Plok, etc.)

  15. #65
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    Thanks Katie, for using your time, to post another very good, travel thread..

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    Here's the BLD and his lovely family. (BLD, if you don't want your pic here, let me know & I'll delete it from PB.)



    Here's one pic from Buddha Park. It's a tourist spot with a lot of Buddhas and figures from other religions (Hinduism and there were Christian statues too, which I felt was weird in that place).


    That's my handbag. Since I can't be in the pic, I placed my handbag there.
    Hi Katie, glad you took the time to post up your trip, it was a pleasure meeting you and I would of loved to have shown you a few more sights but the weather that day was 43 degrees and I had somewhat of a hangover, ( note to self, don't drink whiskey at Lao party's) just to damn hot. keep the pics coming, I must say that I was pretty relieved that I was able to purchase a cold beer at That luang temple.i had to laugh that they made you and my wife hire a sinh before entering the complex, yet I had no problem sourcing a beer, that's problynwhy I like living here, quirky stuff like that makes me laugh
    Last edited by beerlaodrinker; 01-05-2016 at 08:59 PM.

  17. #67
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    Thanks for all the replies and the greens.

    Btw, when I was in Myanmar, the conversion rate was 1 USD ~ 1,170 kyat. Banks & money changers were closed because of Thingyan, so I had no option but to exchange at my hotel, wherein their rate was 1$ = 1,000 kyat.

    A taxi around Yangon from place to place should cost ~2-3,000 kyat. Taxi fare from a hotel in Yangon city center to the airport costs ~ 8,000 kyat. Taxis in Yangon don't use the meter. My fare in the shared taxi (Myawaddy to Mawlamyine) was ~30 usd, 5 hrs travel. The bus fare (VIP bus, 3 seats per row) from Mawlamyine to Yangon was ~13 usd, 6 hours travel on night bus.

    From the Yangon city center, it takes 45 min to 1 hr to get to the airport. Hope that helps.

    I'll add pictures next time. Cheers!

  18. #68
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    A great thread and pics, as usual Katie. I worked there somewhere around 1985-86 and things were VERY different to what you've shared. The exchange rate was something like 7 Kyat (officially) and 70 on the black market. So depending where you changed your money it was either the most expensive country in SEA or the cheapest!. I recall the notes were odd denominations like 15, 45, 90 Kyat so counting out a figure like 4570 Kyat to pay a bill was a nightmare!.

    Back then, visitors had to declare how much USD they had on arrival and on the way out, the military at the airport would check how much you had left and that you had stamps from official money changers showing you'd changed your money with them. Next problem was visitors could stay for 1 week only, no extension available. They could only visit Yangon, Mandalay, and Pagan, and had to fly between the 3 cities because no road travel for foreigners was permitted. There were only 4 or 5 flights a week into/out of the country to Bangkok and Singapore, but there were lots of flights to Russia and China.

    We got around all these problems because we were working for MOGE (Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise) which was owned by the government which was the Military, who made up all these rules to discourage visitors in the first place. So we changed our money on the black market, had Burmese drivers licenses, drove anywhere in the country we wanted to, ignored things like curfews and fuel rationing, stayed as long as we wanted, etc. Hell, my bodyguard/translator was a 4 star General so anything was possible (not that anyone needed a bodyguard, it was a very safe place).

    I think I have a few pics from driving a truck from Yangon to Mandalay on the way to a job we did in the North West of the country and will have a look for them tomorrow. It was a strange experience there at times, we were working in places where very few young people (if any) had ever seen a white person, let alone a dozen of us and all sorts of exploration equipment that must have looked like it came from a sci-fi movie.

  19. #69
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    i was there in 1988 an traveled by train abit.
    Johnny walker red and a carton of 555 cigs picked up at Bangkok airport went a long ways :-0
    Richard Reitman Photography | Burma scanned slides 1988
    It was quite bit more peaceful than

  20. #70
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    Some pics from about 30 years ago to go with Richards. I use to post all the better pics to my family in the West back then so unfortunately, don't have many I hoped to still have with me.








  21. #71
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    Thanks for sharing your experiences and photos/slides, Headworx & Richard. Before/After pics are always interesting to me.

    Which reminds me, my dear departed Dad had a lot of B/W photos of Vietnam from the late 60s to early 70s, and I meant to scan them and maybe put them up in my Vietnam thread. However, time passed and I forgot about it, being busy & all. I'm sure some of the "silver foxes" here, esp the Vietnam vets like Davis, will be able to recognize some of the places. Is the other vet, Ltnt, still around?

    @headworx - Wow re: that overloaded vehicle! I thought the overloading was bad now, but it was worse before! Re: your 5th pic, is that the Sule Pagoda in the background? I may have a similar pic - have to look for it. If that's the Sule, the road is wider now & there are lots of vendors (with plastic chairs & tables) along that road leading to the Sule.

    I noticed that most of the men (young & old) wore the Longyi (the long tubular skirt) 30 years ago. Nowadays, the young people prefer Western clothing, as you've seen in the pics. However, some still wore traditional clothes when they went to worship in the pagodas. I think after a generation, the people won't wear traditional clothes daily anymore - they'll just maybe wear them for ceremonies & such, which I find a bit sad, but that's modernization...

  22. #72
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    @headworx - the denominations of kyat now are: 5,000, 1,000, 500, 200, 100 & 50. So easier to count money. Hotels will either quote their prices in usd or kyat. V, a fellow Filipina who I met at the airport on the flight back, said that when their family ate at a hotel, the prices of the entrees in the menu were quoted in usd. They spent more on food that they normally would, because many places were closed due to Thingyan. For them (in their location), it was either to eat at hotels or eat at streetfood stalls. They didn't want to risk having diarrhea, so they ate at hotel restos.

    @BLD - salamat (to you & your family) for being good hosts. I'm contented with the places that you toured me around. I also didn't want to tour much at that time, because of the heat. As I've said before, I'm not used to landlocked countries with 40+ temps. After you guys brought me back to my GH, I rested in my room, then went out again when it was cooler. Walked to Patuxay Park & took pics. I had a great time in VTE. Cheers!

    The "sinh" that BLD mentioned is a long wraparound skirt worn by women in Laos. Mrs. BLD and I both wore shorts, and we had to cover our legs before we could be admitted inside the temple complex. How come BLD was allowed to show his legs and we weren't? Unfair! Lol.

    My net is acting up & can't post pics. Will try next time... need to do some comp work too.
    Last edited by katie23; 02-05-2016 at 07:03 PM.

  23. #73
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    Nice pics..

    When ya coming to Cambo?

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    @headworx - the denominations of kyat now are: 5,000, 1,000, 500, 200, 100 & 50. So easier to count money.
    Well that would make life a LOT easier!.

    I don't recall where the 5th picture was taken, or what the name of that Pagoda was. We traveled around a lot so it could have been anywhere, but obviously it was in a larger city with cars instead of ox-carts as the main means of transport.

    Katie back then, it was quite rare to see any men not wearing a longyi and sandals unless they were businessmen in a major city or Military. Due to company safety policy we gave all our workers jeans and coveralls + boots to wear during their work hours and they didn't like having to wear any of it!. But they were paid very well (USD $100 a month minimum + meals + accommodation) so they cheerfully complied . The people in my first foto are a road building crew, everything was done by hand (no machinery at all was used) so it was back-breaking hot work from sunup till sundown. They got paid USD $3 a week!.

    I haven't been back there since the projects we did ended, so the photos shared in this thread have shown us how things were and how things are now. Interesting.

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Headworx View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    @headworx - the denominations of kyat now are: 5,000, 1,000, 500, 200, 100 & 50. So easier to count money.
    Well that would make life a LOT easier!.

    I don't recall where the 5th picture was taken, or what the name of that Pagoda was. We traveled around a lot so it could have been anywhere, but obviously it was in a larger city with cars instead of ox-carts as the main means of transport.

    Katie back then, it was quite rare to see any men not wearing a longyi and sandals unless they were businessmen in a major city or Military. Due to company safety policy we gave all our workers jeans and coveralls + boots to wear during their work hours and they didn't like having to wear any of it!. But they were paid very well (USD $100 a month minimum + meals + accommodation) so they cheerfully complied . The people in my first foto are a road building crew, everything was done by hand (no machinery at all was used) so it was back-breaking hot work from sunup till sundown. They got paid USD $3 a week!.

    I haven't been back there since the projects we did ended, so the photos shared in this thread have shown us how things were and how things are now. Interesting.
    Find any oil?

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