I say goodbye to Natasa, at her Bangkok airport then take a bus to my Bangkok budget airport,
FOR MY FREE NIGHTS ACCOMADATION
I applied online for my visa “on arrival” ($90), then they requested another $30(U.S.),, cash, at the airport. I hand him a $10 and $20, he rejects the $20. WTF? There was a slight crease in the $20. No tears, creases, dirt, old notes, only fresh off the press money is accepted. I get through the border check and
THERE’S THIS GUY WAITING FOR ME
At first I thought it was my free hotel ride, wrong! He’s there to see that I exchange my dollars to Kyat, at the government exchange office at the airport. We get outside and I realize, he’s not my ride, but he’s taking me for a ride, WELCOME TO MYANMAR!
At the hotel they asked to be paid in dollars, small problem, I left them at the airport.
I cycled through Vietnam in 1994. When I got off the plane from Bangkok, I felt like I was in a slow motion movie, everyone was riding bicycles. When I returned in 2000, it was motorcycle city. It is some what similar time here: small businesses, bicycle taxis, bicycle transportation, dirt roads, but no motorcycles? There is no safety equipment for workers.
SLEDGE HAMMERING, DIGGING and PICKING, IN FLIP FLOPS (no work boots, anywhere) nice American Flag shorts.
I haven’t had much time to unwind from Thailand’s whirlwind tour with Natasa. I sat around the hotel the first day, then I discover there’s a train that circles the whole city, 3 hours. Just sitting sounds pretty good to me. The train station was an interesting wait (the train was an hour late).
I TAKE A TAXI, WHAT A MISTAKE
No motorcycles are allowed downtown Yangon. The rumor is that a generals car was hit or his foot was run over?, by a motorcycle. Whatever the story, he decreed no motorcycles are allowed downtown!
They seem to want to model their economy after the U.S. and China, good luck with that.
I LEARN LATER THAT IT’S A NO NO TO HAVE YOUR BACK TO THE BUDDA
I have 5 days in Yangon, so it’s still Jeff’s Bike Tour, so I rent a bike. Why was I waiting? This was the best decision, so far. The first road I venture down is a military compound, I’m turned back. I ride into town, bicycles aren’t welcomed everywhere.
IV’E NEVER BEEN THIS CLOSE TO A HIPPO
The people seem friendly, I think the bicycle allows you to connect with people versus a taxi, that is stuck in traffic. I plan to take a bus to Inle Lake (10 hours). Most of the buses are night buses, so you arrive at 3, 4, 5? in the morning in a unfamiliar city. Another government decreed idea?
Thanks for reading
NEXT? INLE LAKE: boating, biking, shopping, massage ($4)
Wordpress made a new program and the linkage doesn’t work, so when it’s fixed I’ll let you know.