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Myawadi Travel Blog

 › entry 19 of 100 › view all entries
I'm not proud of this, you know. I know you're not supposed to go to Burma without at least giving long, hard thought to the morality of the issue and trying to keep as much of your money as possible from the government. I nearly didn't go, but I couldn't convince myself that I wasn't making excuses cos I was scared. Which I was.

Filled in the requisite forms at Thai immigration and walked across the Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge. In this no man's land I was collared by a Burmese guy claiming to be a volunteer foreigner-greeter. His English was excellent, and he stuck to me like glue for the next hour; I spent this time waiting for the scam or the hard sell, but it never came. He talked me through immigration, where I surrendered my passport and was given a post-it note with UK PASSPORT #1 hand-written on it. I saw no other westerners in Myawadi that day.

There wasn't a lot to the town. A long, wide street ran to the edge of the town and carried on, laser-straight, disappearing into the jungle. There were barely any motorized vehicles and those I did see were either official-looking or home-made. My guide guy showed me round a wat, which was somehow more interesting than Thai wats, just by virtue of being in Burma. Strangely, in this south-east Asian nowhere, most of the shops and services had English signs.

The guide walked me back to the border but I turned around went back into town. It was blazing hot. I bought a souvenir - a Burmese language football newspaper with a picture from the Villa's last game - and had some lunch in a restaurant with an English sign. There were pages of options on the menu in Burmese and three options in English: sandwich, fries, hamburger. Ordered a hamburger and fries. The staff couldn't do enough for me. More ketchup? More ice for your beer? The burger had a raw cabbage leaf in it; presumably they couldn't get lettuce.

Paid up, collected my passport and walked across the bridge and out of the third world.
Stigen says:
At least you got a nice local burmese meal! When I went to Burma I only stayed for 30 minutes and had to fend off 5 people trying to sell vodka to me.
Posted on: Apr 06, 2011
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