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  1. #1
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    bustak's Avatar
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    Some people in Burma

    Last month I took a 5 hour bus trip to a town on the Thai-Burma border called Mae Sot. I had some business to tend to, so afterwards I decided to head 25 minutes west in to Burma for a few hours. My gf (now ex) came with, she has never been outside of Thailand, so she was game too.

    Well as we got through customs I had my passport stamped & the ex had her ID stamped we walked along the Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge. As we were walking along this bridge we were greeted by a Burmese man in his mid 50's (he's the cat w/ the green hat in the 2nd picture), who smelled of whiskey & had rotten teeth from chewing that red seed crap. He spoke pretty good English & didn't seem overly-mad.

    He was telling us to be careful of the government & what to & not to take pictures of. As soon as we got in to Burma we thought he was going to bounce, but we were wrong, he kept on following us! We would dip into stores, walked in zig zags, & he was still on our tails. So I offered him some money to go away, around 40 baht, & he refused. He said we'd be safer if he stayed with us. Well my friend was getting really scared, then all of the sudden a guy from the Burmese Customs office came along & grabbed him & took him off to god knows where! Well to say the least we kept on seeing that government official through out the day.

    I thought there would be a lot of foreigners in this area of Burma, but I was WRONG. For the 4 hours we spent there, we only saw 1 older English couple. The ex, who's Thai was getting a lot of stares, because it was obvious she wasn't Burmese, so I was getting CRAZY stares for being a westerner!

    Some of the people were really aggressive & weirded out by our presence, my friend wanted to leave after the 1st 30 minutes.

    I was able to buy a few hours out of her to stay in Burma, so in that time I took pictures even more furious than usual, because I knew time was limited. As you can tell most of the pictures are in 3 separate locations: along a busy street, in a market, & along Friendship Bridge. Burma was such a interesting place, that even in that small section of Earth I was able to point the camera @ some incredible/interesting stuff.

















































    "I'm never gonna work another day in my life
    The gods told me to relax
    They said I'm gonna be fixed up right
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  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
    rawlins's Avatar
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    Good pictures again.... You capture some good characters - does anybody ever get cheesed off at you taking their photo or do you always ask permission first?

    I fancy a trip to Yangoon some time.... Have to tick Burma off my list... Too lazy to get visas sorted out though... Some day.

  3. #3
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    If I don't ask for permission, people usually don't realize I snapped their photo.

    A lot of the people who are looking @ me in these shots are looking at me for being a white guy in Burma, not snapping a "from the hip shot."

  4. #4
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    Great pics again - the machinery won't let me give you another green yet.

  5. #5
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    ^ x2

    keep 'em coming

    thanxs

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    Damn fine photos. Really well done.

  7. #7
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    What's the story here ?

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    None of your pics show for me. I've been able to see other pics on this forum. What's up?

  9. #9
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    work for me.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by natalie8 View Post
    None of your pics show for me. I've been able to see other pics on this forum. What's up?
    Natalie are you really in Dubai? If so flickr is banned there.

    The pictures I'm posting are from my flickr account. Sorry about that.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Begbie View Post


    What's the story here ?
    The "lady" on the right is my ex-gf.

    Seriously a couple of Burmese lb's started calling out to me when I walked by, so I took a hip shot of these 2. This one turned out bad, because I was carrying my gf's bag @ the time, so I had to adjust it a lot in PS.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bustak View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by natalie8 View Post
    None of your pics show for me. I've been able to see other pics on this forum. What's up?
    Natalie are you really in Dubai? If so flickr is banned there.

    The pictures I'm posting are from my flickr account. Sorry about that.
    I am. that's a major drag. I have a Flickr acc't. I guess I won't be able to see my pics? I should try it. If that's the case, can we figure out a way for you to send your pics to me? Of all the threads with pics, yours is the one I really want to see. I've never travelld in Burma, but my mother and stepfather have a few times. They have Burmese friends who have warned them about similar things and I really want to see a pictorial experience. :-(

  13. #13
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    I just tried it and no go.

  14. #14
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    ^ PM me your e-mail address, I can send you these. I have them in my gmail account.

    What are you doing in Dubai? Making a bunch of cash teaching English?

  15. #15
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    Thanks, bustak. I'll PM you in a minute. I'm not teaching here, I'm looking for a job in my previous field, which is sales / marketing. There are loads of jobs available, so I pretty much have my pick of the crop.

  16. #16
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    qulaity pic, the one of the toy soldier is my favourite

    one of those ladyboys looks like shes got green ears growing out of the top her head hehe, is that a side effect from all those hormone pills???

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    Quote Originally Posted by unkleblacky View Post
    one of those ladyboys looks like shes got green ears growing out of the top her head hehe, is that a side effect from all those hormone pills???
    555555555555, I didn't notice that, funny!

  18. #18
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    Great photos. Thanks for outting them up.

    No - I hadn't noticed the green ears until unkleblacky pointed them out.

  19. #19
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    bustak- great pics, more of that

  20. #20
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    The guy making the lunge towards you....was he p1ssed about having his mug shot taken ?? Good pics BTW.

  21. #21
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    i had a rather unpleasent experince in Burma last time. lots of stares and no happy faces as you would of got over the border. i also got rather close to the Karen Buddist rebel army base camp. i realised this when the wall i was following turned to barbed wire and coundn't understand why 2 girls 'escaped' from under the concrete wall. talk about putting my foot in it. although i never went to check why, i soon found i shouldn't be here, and i could feel their anger on my back.

    Also, we pissed of some burmese monks who ranted and raved to us in English much to our suprise. i know its was both our fault, and i'm never one to make mistakes in a country outside of UK. i would always wear jeans and slippers if i was going to a temple, and take my shoes off etc. we both hardly saw the 'stupa' which was covered in ivy, a concrete floor [unlike tiles i have seen], with grass growing through, and all we did was walk through the area which was only a couple of metres wide.

    its like seeing a dirty beach with dog mess and broken glass, you wouldnt walk barefoot would you?

    anyway, the monk comes charging out and made us both really small, saying if we want to go through, leave our shoes behind etc. ouch, sorry.

    had some great local food which was a couple of clicks away. you're never gonna know whats inside those saucepans without lifting the lids and pointing

    and as for Mai-Sai, oh dear, have i got a story there!!

    i hope you dont mind me adding some of my photos of Mai Sod to yours. 18 months ago, i was in Thailand for 3 month, which i needed to cross over both times for a day in Burma. i didnt take many snaps as i didn't want to piss people off



    these girls were giggly, till i asked them for a photo. they nodded, but sat rigit. only laughed again when i showed them their picture.

    nice back garden. least the rubbish is all in one spot

    Burma left, Thailand - Mae sod right

    say no to drugs


    ok, these following pictures are from Thailand, but they are Burmese temples in Mai Sod, so that why i decided to put them here.



    something about Burmese Buddha's makes them more attractive than other Buddha's iv seen


    Balancing Rock stupa in Mae Sod.

    Last edited by WujouMao; 18-12-2008 at 02:41 AM.

  22. #22
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    ^ nice pictures. Thanks for the stories, sounds like a blast.

    yeah, I was calling Burma LoF, the Land of Frowns. The people seemed pretty miserable (understandably).

    When I get a chance I'm going to travel around Burma, see the countryside, try & talk to the people. I was only there for a few hours.

  23. #23
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    there is rather a disturbing story to these pictures, one that i had the please to expericance
    left side is Thailand, till the line of trees which is [Burma] Mynamar. right side of river, [Burma] Mynamar


    this little mishap happened 22/4/07 when i was in Maesai. i looked in LP and decided that the nicest place to stay would be in the maesai guest house, with nice views to burma, just 50 foot away [closer in some places] so close, you can almost touch it. as i like walking, and wandering places, not touristy areas etc, i remember my book said there are some intresting walking trails behind maesai guest house. so off i trot, walk the path out of the guesthouse, and chipped right. didnt think of anything when i saw the thai ranger army guardhouse. they never looked up. one was reading, the other cooking on a stove. i walked over to the fence, to have a gander at burma on the other side of the water. then i carried walking along the well walked path. some burmese people [which i noticed were burmese cos of the face powder on their cheeks.

    hello, where are you going they said

    min go la ba. [hello] for a walk i said. i carried on, through the barbed waire fence, again, never took any attention. i noticed that the gate had folded back, and grass and weeds were growing through, besides the path was well worn after all. 2 k's down the track, i saw a bridge in the distance from the burma side to the 'thai' side. i wondered why so. even more so when i saw burmese lettering on the top of the iron poles over the bridge.

    a man naked, apart from camaflarged shorts said hello and come here, sit down. i said hi,, but no thanks. i just would like some water [Yei] which i found in the icebox. the shop was small with the normal sort of nicnacks you get in any shop in the middle of no where. i noticed the bottle again had burmese lettering, so i asked the question i was dreading. with a finger pointing to the earth, i asked Burma???

    yes he said. me eyes widened, to which he saw, and said GO! GO!, and did the moving motion with his hands. i gave him 20 baht for the water, not bothering to ask for 15 bhat back. i just wanted to get back the way i came. how can you look carm, when you know you are in serious shtoom?

    i dont know why, but the thai army rangers still never looked up, although there were 5 now, and one was still reading a book. i was gone for 30 or 40 mins, and it was about 4.30 pm when i got back to the rangers. they cant be idiots. there is no where else i could of gone in 30 mins apart from taking an illigeal walk to burma.

    i'm very luckly i didnt get caught, mainly from the burmese, as when i was in burma in next day , i took the road parallel to thailand to the end of the village checkpoint, near the bridge, and i noticed that it had a a few huts, some depressed junta with guns and didnt look friendly. beyond that, was the bridge. i can quite thankfully say i was very lucky

    that road with Maesai guesthouse ends right there. after that its burma. maybe i should of paid more attention. i thought if it was no entry, at least i would be told off by the rangers, or said that, a notice at the barbed fence to warn this is now burma beyond that point. i jus assumed that burma would be on the other side of the water all along [not really paying much attention to the map of chiang rai province, did i notice maesai GH is on the edge of the 'top Northern most edge of thailand'

    and here's is the barbed wire fence to separate Burma and Thailand

    someone likes english football

    so this is what i thought was thailand and burma across the water. oh how wrong i was.


    thats all the photos i have of Burma, and the little mishap was just one of things only a farang could get into lol

  24. #24
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    I haven't been to that border crossing, tho I've been dozens of times to the border crossing at Mae Sai/Tachilek, northernmost Thailand. I don't feel the odd-man-out syndrome near as much as you describe at the place you went to. Sure I get some odd looks, but I've traveled every back road, spent the night in various places, been off the beaten track, even crossed forbidden interior borders, and not had much more responses than curious looks from locals for my shenanigans.
    I like Burma v. much. Every day is an adventure, no matter what direction you go. It's like it has added dimensions compared to Thailand, which generally feels two dimensional - with Thais more likely cut from the same cookie cutter mold - thinking, acting, responding, dressing generally alike. Nice pics, and I too particularly like the toy soldier on the street. BTW, I once had a Burmese soldier point a loaded rifle at me - but that's a story for another time.

  25. #25
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    Also been to Burma but on my last visit and experiencing some negative shit decided on the advice of an experienced Journo who we met on departure that the only reason to go there is to do some thing positive for the country.Most will not even quietly discuss anything about the situation there. Not a good tourist destination,better options around than risking a trip there.

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