Greetings from Myanmar


The Largest country in SE Asia:

The country became independent from the United Kingdom on 4 January 1948, as the “Union of Burma”. It became the “Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma”. At that time, areas were split into Pakistan, Bangladesh, China & India.

Here you will see the diversity, from the split of the countries: Indians, Chinese & Burmese. They’re religion has remained as you can tell by their attire, but many have assimilated to a Burmese Culture eating similarly the same food.

More diverse than the US. It’s 87% Buddhist, but you will see a Hindu woman walking along the road with a Burmese couple. Steps away a Muslim man buying from a street cart from a Chinese man. People live among each other peacefully, it is a Union from what I see. They must stick together or they will never gain independence.

Please read on the Political Conditions of Myanmar to better understand where I am. I shouldn’t write much from here, and you will see why. But it is a BEAUTIFUL country, perhaps my favorite. Uninhabited by tourists, as it was a bit work to get our visa’s. It was a 4 page application we mailed into the Embassy of Myanmar in DC which took 6 business days to return. But I’m so glad I’m here.

After missing our 7:15 am flight, We arrived in Myanmar (Burma) around 2 pm. We took a taxi to White House Hotel, a family owned Guesthouse in Yangon, the capital. This guesthouse is 9 stories high, and I took the 8th floor. Elevator was not working so you can imagine quite the workout. The hotel is owned by a Burmese family, 2 brothers running it with younger female relatives working.

Hotel is 7$ a night, dropped off our bags and took a walk through the city for Burmese food. Found the place the hotel owners recommended and ordered a Mutton Curry (lamb). Most meals are 1/5 meat, 3/5 veggies and rice. Meals are always accompanied by a plate of veggies and a soup. It’s a poor country so most food is grown locally, or even their backyards.. but a rich in agriculture country. Most all their plants and fruits are from here, so no need for international trade of crops.

There is not much to do in Yangon as it is a city, definitely about 50 years backwards from any modern city. We visited the nearby temple that was recommended to us.. By luck, it was an annual festival, so we got to see all the locals in & out, to pay homage. Took about a 40 minute walk to this temple, sprinkled a bit, as we are in Monsoon season here in SE Asia. They required us to take off our shoes. It was quite gross walking up the steps with no shoes, dirty water on the floor and millions of people that have walked through there. My feet is feeling okay thus far, so hopefully no fungus or diseases. It was a beautiful temple with many gold pagoda’s… but truthfully, after seeing 1 temple, you feel that you’ve seen it all, with the exception of a few special ones, such as Angkor Wat which I’m looking forward to in Cambodia.

Got back around 7 pm.. it was pouring rain. Met a girl from Poland who had been traveling alone for 2 weeks, she was meeting her bf in Bangok the next day. It’s meeting the other backpackers along the road that makes the experience that much better, by hearing their insights on why they travel, and places they recommend going. It is like the most up-to-date Travel guide!

Burmese Customs/Mannerisms:

-Everyone puts white mud like paint on both side of cheeks, to protect from sun. Until I asked, I thought it was a religious custom.

-Most men have tattoo’s of some sort. Many are just black writing, and faded.

-Men wear longyi’s.. a cloth that wraps around like a long skirt. Common in 3rd world countries by tropical areas

-When they hand something to you, they place one hand out, and the other hand perpindicular to the offering hand, as respect.

-National school uniform is white on top, green on bottom.

-Religion is mainly buddhist, mixed with Hindu, Muslim, Catholic, Christian. They all seem to live among each other peacefully. (Why can’t the world do that?)

-Buddhist monks go to the monastery as a choice. They are to remain celebate, but they can get out any time too.

-Many temples, pagoda’s everywhere. A lot of gold temples.

-Most meals cost about 1-2$. Bottle of water is 30 cents. Coffee/tea is about 30 cents. Beer is 1-2$

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