Thoughts on Burma, Retrospective

My visa would expire in a little over a week, so it was time to think about getting back to Thailand. The country is hermetically sealed from its neighbors, the only way in or out is via airplane from Yangon to Bangkok. March 27th was National Armed Forces Day, so the government shut down the … Continue reading

Great Expectations (The Journey to Mandalay, Burma)

Mandalay – The Janky Bus – Ford the River! – My Fear of Monks – Suffering – Riding on the Roof Mandalay was disgusting.  I was utterly disappointed.  I made a vow to myself to never expect anything from a city ever again.  From now on, I would expect every city to be horrible so … Continue reading

Machine Guns and Opium (Shan State, Burma)

History of Shan State – The Land of Poppies – Inle Lake – Travel Philosophy Burma.  This is the name political activists use to refer to this country.  The military junta (SLORC) calls it Myanmar, claiming that Burma is a vestige of colonialism.  Oddly, enough they are correct. Burma comes from an English mispronunciation of … Continue reading

Cherry Tops (Yangoon, Burma)

Cherry Tops – First impressions – The streets of Yangon – Taboo conversations – Gestapo arrives – Wake-up call “Cherry tops.” At first I didn’t understand what my Irish friend meant.  It took me a few seconds to translate his cockney rhyming slang, but then I got it: Cherry tops was slang for Cops, referring … Continue reading

Going Off the Radar (Bangkok to Burma)

This will be my last dispatch for awhile. I am sitting in a cafe in Bangkok, preparing myself mentally and physically for what comes next. Tomorrow morning on Friday the 13th I leave Thailand and enter into Burma, the country that has intrigued me for the past few weeks. Burma’s physical proximity to Thailand strongly contrasts her … Continue reading

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Hard decisions – The Banana Pancake Trail – Sheep or Shepherd? – Burma on my mind – Jay and I break up – You have some homework to do We returned to Chiang Mai for a few days.  Jay decided to go trekking and riding elephants in the hills but I remained in Chiang Mai, … Continue reading