Burma

December 31, 2009 at 4:39am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

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A few miscellaneous pictures from a recent trip to Burma. We entered the country from Mae Sai, Thailand, and crossed into Shan State – a part of the country only recently opened to foreigners. Many of the villages across from the Thai border belonged to the Akha nation – an indigenous group native to the area in Burma between Thailand, Laos, and China, otherwise known as the Golden Triangle.

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We rented a van from the border to Kengtung, which was a 4 hour trip along a winding road through the mountains. Half way there we stopped at a restaurant for a meal of catfish fried with onions and peppers (above), fried chicken, chinese-style fried vegetables and tofu, a vegetable omelet, and an herbal soup (above). This meal for four cost us about nine dollars.   

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Cars were still pretty rare where we were, with most people using motorcycles, bicycles, or really beat-up tuk-tuks.

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Kengtung was a lovely valley town equidistant between the Thai and Chinese borders. It has yet to be starbucked. Many of the inhabitants were from the Tai Yai ethnic group and spoke the Thai language fluently, but there were plenty of Akha, Burmese, Chinese, Indian, and other nationalities in town as well. The lake in the center of town was remarkably picturesque at night. But make no mistake about it – Burma is a very poor country. Every night at 10 PM the electricity was shut off across the city. 

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On Christmas we took a day trip to a small village called Doi Mwe high in the mountains surrounding Kengtung. This area was known for its cherry trees and old English houses from the colonial days. In the village there were tons of small eateries with bar-style seating for the locals.

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Indian-style roti bread was easy to find in Kengtung. Roti with egg and black coffee made for a hot and filling breakfast.

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Luckily for us, there was a rather interesting Christmas Eve festival a stone’s throw from our hotel at a local Baptist church. The kids there seemed to really enjoy the music, dancing, and games.

All in all, this was a great trip to a neglected part of a country that is way off the beaten track. I am already wanting to return. Happy New Year all! 

 

 

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Mr. Wilson December 31, 2009 at 2:24pm

Good to hear from you, T! Be sure to contact me with your up-to-date return trip details. I wouldn’t want to strand you at the airport.

Chris December 31, 2009 at 2:34pm

Thanks for the pictures.

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