Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag From The Land of Smile to The Golden Land!
28 november 2017
From The Land of Smile to The Golden Land!
After 5,5 years I was for a short time back again in Thailand. Long enough (3 days) to experience what has been changed. It didn't take long before I noticed that Thailand has become more expensive. But there are also things that will never change.
• Food will never be served together with your table companions. And there is not really a strategy behind serving the various dishes. So you should not be surprised if you first get the dessert before you will get the main course.
• It does not matter who you are and how old you are, but when you walk in the one and only backpackers' street of Thailand, 'Koh San Road', you get many offers for the Ping Pong Show.
• Everywhere you see images of the Thai Royal family. Last year the immensely popular majesty Bhumibol died and now his son took his place. The people have a lot of respect for the Royal Family and whetever they fell about them, they will never speak negative about the Royal family.
• You should be at all times really alert during the Full Moon Party. There are always many locals who are active and try to get some nice souvenirs. and take advantage of drunk, partying and therefore less observant tourists.
Myanmar has been inaccessible for people like me for years. Myanmar has been shut down from the outside world for years. This fact makes it so interesting to be able to see for yourself how things are really going on here.
It does not matter how long you are staying. Myanmar continues to amaze you ...
If you want to go to an undiscovered (part of a) country, even with Myanmar you have to hurry a bit. Some borders were only open for foreigners since 2013. But more and more travelers and gooders find their way to former Burma. Cities such as Inle Lake (known from the traditional fishermen), Yangon / Rangoon (with 5.2 million inhabitants the largest city) and Bagan (with more than 4,400 temples the attraction of Myanmar) is already quite crowded with tourists. Off the beaten path is currently more difficult because as a tourist you can not go everywhere (or you have to knock at the door of a monastery) and it is not totally safe with the Rohingya situation.
Of course we have deviated from the beaten track to discover authentic Myanmar, now it is still possible. And I have now experienced what it is like to be queen Maxima. Locals are hurrying to the side of the road to say hello, children who have never seen a tourist and as pure as they are enthusiastic, running from their dilapidated huts to you, and welcome you. Teenagers who want to make selfies (read: whole photoshoots) so that they can show at school what a real white tourist (with braces) looks like. Parents cheerfully calling "Mingalaba". You feel completely welcomed by those people in this Golden country.
We had only three weeks, but we travelled fast, we planned efficiently, we have seen many highlights. At the end we traveled south and we enjoyed the lovely empty beaches, the clear water, the untouched landscapes, the pure Asian atmospheres, the traditional villages, the offline zone and the hospitality of the poor Burmese people.
Did you know...
• Myanmar is the only country in the world where they drive on the right side of the road and where the wheel is also on the right?
• With 89% of the population is Buddhist and this is the most Buddhist country in the world?
• Women walking around with golden faces (golden creations on their faces)? They call it Thanakha (from the Thanakha plant) and serves as sunburn, but is also used against acne.
• Burmese have no white smiles? Their addiction Betel Nut (tobacco they chew) explained the red smiles and the rotten teeth.
• Burmese who speak English are very rare? But with Mingalaba (hello) and kyei zu tinbadeh (thank you) you can have whole conversations.
• WiFi and smartphones also exist in this poor country? But the internet is painfully slow that you can better not use it because it produces more frustration than satisfaction.
• That meals are prepared with a lot of oil, that this the main ingredient of every dish?
• The prices for accommodation are proportionately expensive if you compare this with neighbour countries as Thailand and Vietnam?
• They easily fit with the whole family of four on one scooter?
• Burmese people are one of the friendliest peoples that I ever met? They are always friendly and sincere, they will help you without expecting anything in return. Even though they have so little, that what they have they give it away. Not even one single moment I felt unsafe.
I stayed here relatively a short period, but it was long enough to notice that Myanmar is following neighbour country Thailand. And that it is at the expense of the authenticity of this beautiful country and the spontaneously and sincerity of the friendly people. In a while you will see many more Western influences. But let's hope this will take a very long time.
Back home we had a stopover in China. We managed to change an 8 hour stop at a Chinese airport to a quick glimpse outside the futuristic world of China. To be honest, this was the first time a experienced a culture shock. And the Chinese world is much closer to our Dutch lives than poor Myanmar.
1. In Myanmar, we knew in advance that English-speaking Burmese people would be rare. But that there are less English speaking Chinese people at such an international place like the airport in the huge metropolis of Guangzhou then in Myanmar was surprising.
2. With all our Dutch standards and values, we patiently wait for the subway to take us to the center. When the doors opened, it was as if a couple of runaway bulls entered the metro. Waiting until everyone got off, didn't came up. They pushed and poke of their life depended on it.
3. No matter where I looked, I only saw Chinese people (and believe me, they are with many), who were completely absorbed in their smartphone activities. Everyone was using his mobile in the subway, but we saw also Chinese hit those poles on the street because their mobile phones demanded all their attention.
Well, The Netherlands is not so bad after all...
Next trip ... ICELAND!
Foto's bij verslag (12)
1 december 2017 19:46 | Door: Lucy van de Geijn
Ik zie wel dat je het weer goed naar je zin hebt, maar al met al Nederland nog niet zo slecht vindt. Ja, dan zou ik zeggen, kom maar gauw terug. Veilige terugreis, maar vooral gezond terug. <3 <3 <3