I am in Myanmar

Arrived in Myanmar, Yangon. I have never experienced a country this chaotic with its own set of rules. It is even on its own time, 30 minutes back from Bangkok. The arrival at the airport was seamless. The airport looked as if it were built yesterday.

It is difficult to describe the essence of this country with photos or words. My first impression: madness.

Cars are imported from China and a variety of countries so they have cars on the road with the driver’s side on both the left and the right side and they share the road simultaneously. Will take a photo of this tomorrow.

The country is a cash only economy. No plastic anywhere! This means no reservations at all. You need to be present with cash. They accept only NEW US dollars, nothing in used condition. There are no ATM machines, although I will search for one tomorrow.

This country is the first country I have ever been to that desires large bank notes. The exchange rate for $100 bills is $846 and for smaller notes $810 or less. It’s insanity.

The guesthouses are very expensive for poor quality. Tourism has boomed and there are not enough accommodations for the influx of tourists. I looked at 5 or more guesthouses today and settled on one, that I consider possibly the worst place I have ever stayed in life. It is a windowless box that feels dirty. Tomorrow I am taking an overnight bus north partially to save money on accommodations. I met a girl from Holland on the plane who is spending the next few days with me because we want to see the same sites.

Most guest houses were charging $20-50 for a single room. I likely will stay no more than a week in Myanmar because the lodging is twice the price compared to all other developing countries. It is not affordable or sustainable if you can only use the money you brought into the country and it poses a problem if they won’t accept it based on the condition of the dollar.

Pictures: Air Asia flight, temple that is the center of a traffic circle, city hall circled by barbed wire, (men wear skirt like sarongs called longyi), lunch and the boy at the front desk who is 9 years old – giving me directions and information. Weird to accept information as truthful and accurate from someone so young. tomorrow.

I like this country so far but it is a very different experience. 20121212-193722.jpg20121212-193747.jpg a 20121212-193804.jpg

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