05 Feb - 08 Feb 2012 Yangon

Republic of the Union of Myanmar aka Burma
Konzaydan Street 69
White House Hotel +951240780 whitehouse.mm@gmail.com
Spacious and clean double room (no. 702), with private bathroom, for US$ 25.- per night, including a bottomless, vegetarian buffet brunch for two.

Click below for an interactive road map of the White House Hotel in Yangon and for directions:

Strolling through the Theingyi Zei, Rangoon’s biggest market, which hasn’t changed much since George Orwell’s Burmese Days (“There were vast pomelos hanging on strings like green moons, red bananas, baskets of heliotrope-coloured prawns the size of lobsters, brittle dried fish tied in bundles, crimson chilis, ducks split open and cured like hams, green coco-nuts, the larvae of the rhinoceros beetle, sections of sugar-cane, dahs, lacquered sandals, check silk longyis, aphrodisiacs in the form of large soap-like pills, glazed earthenware jars four feet high, Chinese sweetmeats made of garlic and sugar, green and white cigars, purple brinjals, persimmon-seed necklaces, chickens cheeping in wicker cages, brass Buddhas, heart-shaped betel leaves, bottles of Kruschen salts, switches of false hair, red-clay cooking-pots, steel shoes for bullocks, paper-mâché marionettes, strips of alligator hide with magical properties…”), only extended by tons over tons of cheapish 21st-century consumerist dreck from Red China.

Saying goodbye to Myanmar/Burma and circumnavigating sprawling Yangon, formerly Rangoon, where about 12% of Myanmar’s 56 million people live, by means of the Yangon Circle Line, a relaxed 3-hour railway trip (US$ 1.- per foreigner) through a suburban litterscape, which departs/arrives at the main railway station (platform 6/7) and stops at 37 stations en-route.

"When the red sun sets
on the railroad town,
And the bars begin to laugh
with a happy sound,
I'll still be here
right by your side,
There'll not be anyone
in my heart but you..."

Sharing with fellow travellers Alba & Juan from Spain/Argentina a pre-booked taxi (pre-booked from our hotel for MMK 7,000.- or US$ 8.50, 30 min) to Yangon’s International Airport (Mingaladon), thus leaving a corner of Asia that in many ways has changed little since British colonial times, paying the compulsory passenger service charge of US$ 10.- per person (in crisp, clean and ironed bills), flying uneventfully with Thai Air Asia (“Now Everyone Can Fly”) in an Airbus A 320-200 from Yangon back to Bangkok’s futuristic Suvarnabhumi International Airport for US$ 70.- per person, one way and all inclusive, changing our watches in mid-air from Burma Standard Time (GMT/UTC + 6:30 hours) to Indochina Time (GMT/UTC + 7:00 hours), being issued with a 30-day visit permit for Thailand on arrival, free of charge, and thereafter taking the flashy Airport Rail Link’s City Line to Phaya Thai Station (THB 45.- or US$ 1.50 per person) and eventually the BTS Skytrain straight to our safe house in Khlong San (THB 40.- or US$ 1.35 per person): “Thwàbaoùnmeh Burma, and sawatdee-kha/khrap Thailand, you wonderful land of faked smiles and true massages with or without (nonfaked) happy endings…”

Click below for more blog posts about Burma

Click below for a summary of this year's travels
2012 Map Konni & Matt

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