Bangkok is overwhelming, it is modern and has anything any modern city in the West has. The Grand Palace with all the history of Siam, later know as Thailand has incredible art and the food is a dining experience. But as a typical American, the first thing I did when I arrived there from Myanmar was go to the Burger King. Up country has several elephant and tiger sanctuary. A popular one run by Monks is “Tiger Temple”. I spent a few hours there and produced a video you can find on the MarkBresher U-Tube channel.
Inlay Lake is in the northern area of Myanmar. Three plane flights and a buss ride from Yangon. It is remote to say the least. Everyone lives above the lake on homes and buildings made of stilts. Water from the mountains to the north find it’s way to the Inlay Valley. The lake rises five feet in the rainy season and the homes need to be above the rising water. They actually move earth around on jetties and build areas of earth to plant gardens for food. While most of us think nothing about going out to the car and cruising off to the market, they get in the family canoe or jetty and paddle off to the market.
Yangon or Rangoon depending what generation your in is the largest city in Myanmar. The population is dense and the traffic is an example of that. They do not allow motorcycles in the city, they cause too much confusion. Its confusing enough, and I thought Mexico traffic was crazy. Yangon is the home of the Shwedegon Pagoda. People come from all over Southeast Asia to pray and meditate at this holy shrine. There is no fast food joints there….Yet. They have these roadside portable stands and colorful plastic chairs for you to sit on and the food is made to your order. At the end of the day, they pack up the food cart and all the little chairs and go home. This happens all over town. I would love to have the importing business on all those little plastic chairs. There must be thousands of them all over the city and the country for that matter. Yangon is a city with people just waiting to get involved in commerce and trade, manufacturing and tourism. With the new government reforms Myanmar will soon be courted by international corporations. Labor will be cheep and people are wanting a higher standard of living. Could Myanmar be one of the next booming economies in Asia? Oh, I have to mention this. Evidently the past military ruler loved James Bond movies. They were shown all over. I’m 6′ 2″ and stand out in any crowd. The kids think I’m James Bond.
Bagan has to be one of the most interesting places on the planet. It’s amazing to see all these temples scattered over miles in the Began Valley. You can spend hours watching people come and go using horses, bicycles, motor cycles from the 60′s, cars and trucks that have been assembled from maybe two or three different old vehicles. When you have very little “necessity is the mother of invention”. As you travel farther up in Burma and get away from the big city of Yangon you travel back through time, and Yangon is 40 years in the past to start with. Traveling to Southeast Asia is an experience to say the least.