Sunday, January 08, 2006

Another World

Walking over the bridge to Myanmar was like some sort of warp in time and space. Although the two countries are simply separated by a river, the differences are striking. From paved roads and modern vehicles to dust and trucks that you might find in some junk yard 30 years ago. There were hardly any motorized vehicles, but mostly samlaaws (a push bike with a cart in front that you sit in). The street was wide and the stores were not organized. Aside from the people who want to be your guide and follow you around explaining anything they knew in bad English though you try and politely turn them down, and the countless samlaaw drivers that want to take you for a ride, the people and children were quite shy and all smiles.

It seems strange how different two countries can be even though they are so close. It almost made me feel uneasy, I guess that I have become accustomed to many of the Thai ways of life that to see and experience a culture so different was shocking.

The small slice of Myanmar was interesting, however the political situation there is far from favorable with its military government. Apparently the citizens are forbidden to talk about politics to any foreigner. One traveler told us that on his day trip in Myanmar, the guide he had when asked about politics, looked around and smiled nervously, speaking through his teeth said 'they will kill me'. It is also very difficult to ensure that your money is going to the people and not to support the government. With this information we have decided that we will not be traveling further into Myanmar.

Here are some pictures to show some of the differences.
SANY0027
Samlaaw

There are more interesting photos but I don't have time to post them now so here is the link

2 Comments:

At 8:21 AM, Blogger alter ego said...

Hey hun!
Did you accept a ride from the saamlaw thingies? I hope so! Those look like fun!
That reminds me of accepting rides from vespas in rural parts of China. My mom and I were stubborn about not getting rides at first, but the humidity wouldn't have gotten fixed without some wind in my hair.
Anyway, I hope you are having a great time. I miss you a ton and always think about yoU!
love, Cathy

 
At 8:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey gurl
thats looks hot! like really, it does look hot over there. contact me soon okies.
love laurie!

 

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