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Monday, October 02, 2006

Myanmar, day 1 -- Arrive in Yangon

Yangon International Airport
I, my mum and our two fellow travellers landed at Yangon International Airport early in the afternoon. A shuttle bus took us from the plane to the terminal -- a less-than-one-minute ride. Clearing customs was a breeze. I was amused to see that it takes two officials to clear each traveller. Picking up our luggage was also easy-peasy.

Getting out of the airport was relatively painless since our travel agency had arranged for transport. The only thing that caught us by surprise was when several porters came forward to help us with our luggage. So we had to dig up a small tip. Fortunately, we had some spare kyat (Myanmar currency, pronounced "chet").

The half-hour journey to Yuzana Garden Hotel gave me my first taste of culture shock. Vehicles, which are right-hand-drive, are driven on the right side of the road. And everone just swerves and drifts without indication -- without crashing into anyone else. It's like all of the drivers have a shared telepathy.

Traffic also rarely stopped, usually only at the occasional red light junction. And then street peddler would appear to hawk their wares.

A typical building in the city.
The locals at a roadside eatery.

At the hotel, we were treated to coconut juice while the staffers arranged for our room. Our room, on the third storey (or second floor, as this former British colony calls it) had a ceiling that was waaay up there. But the floor was strangely dusty...

My aunt and uncle arrived soon after with the other two ladies. First thing to do was to convert currency. US$1 = 1,345 kyat (about S$1 = 850 kyat).

Dinner was at Western Park Restaurant (I think that's the name) -- which has a small bin at every table! -- with my uncle's ex-colleagues. It's a Chinese restaurant that serves pretty decent Chinese food. We had suckling pig, roasted duck, crab, fish (cooked in two styles) and more for slightly over 100,000 kyat. Six female singers provided live entertainment that night, crooning Myanmarese and English songs.

That night, I tuned in to Channel NewsAsia. Which was intriguing to me; I had a choice of BBC or CNN, and still chose CNA.

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2 comments:

Chin said...

Testing Zoto? Any good features?

Yuhui said...

2GB of storage. Good for one-time storage like this. :)

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