Bangkok to Yangon – Myanmar, new adventures

Day 68, Monday 12 March 2012, Bangkok – Yangon.

No photos today!

I didn’t sleep well last night but at least my stomach was feeling better today. I went down to try some toast just after 8.00, was still feeling OK by 10.00 so went down for more toast and a coffee as a second test. I spent most of the morning in the air conditioned room as it is quite hot outside and down in the lobby area of the hostel, as we were flying this afternoon there was no point in heading out too far. I did a load of washing and the dust of Siem Reap did not come out, so half my clothes still look dirty ! I also posted another package of souvenirs back to New Zealand and sent my tripod this time, at least I have some space in my pack now.

Check out time was 11.00 so we spent a couple of hours down in the hostel lobby, I had a good chat with an American guy about his trip to Myanmar last year, really got me excited about the trip this afternoon.

We took the train out to the airport and joined a massive queue at the Air Asia counter, and then a massive queue at immigration counter so by time we got into the lounge area we were very close to boarding time. We had a quick burger at BK, my final successful test of the day and then after a small delay we were off to Yangon airport in Myanmar !!!!

It was a great flight, in fact all my flights in Asia so far have been good, much better than the horror stories I used to hear. Air Asia have really forced a lift in the game of some airlines, and I have nothing but good things to say about their flights – so far.

We landed into a setting sun at Yangon and had a very slow trip through their immigration service, not a lot of people just a thorough process. We walked out into the arrival hall to find a driver holding up a sign with “Phil Platt” on it, first time that has ever happened ! Ok we did pay for the service from our Hotel – Winner Inn. I decided that rather than faff about in a strange town, and an untested country with trying to find a way to the hotel I would pay for an organised ride. Worth it I think.

The ride to the hotel was interesting, though it was dark here are my observations so far !

  • Lots of men were the traditional longyi, a type of long wrap around ‘skirt’.
  • Unlike other SE Asian cities there are no scooters or motorbikes, almost unbelievable, however I understand they are banned in Yangon !
  • The cars are mainly old, lots of Nissan Sunnys and old Corrollas, a lot don’t seem to have working headlights, or it may have just been timing as we arrived just after sun down.
  • The majority of cars are right hand drive – which to me is an issue as they drive on the right hand side of the road !!! over taking will be a challenge…
  • There are a few new cars, passed a car yard selling BMW’s so things are changing here.
  • Lot of Korean restaurants and one large hotel we passed had its big sign out the front in Korean…
  • The streets we drove on were wide, clean, semi-well lit, with the lack of scooters it was almost like driving down Great North Rd !
  • We passed a few new looking houses and apartment blocks, but they were mainly empty, lights off and no one home, weird….

The hotel seems Ok, twin room, reasonably comfortable, vaguely old fashioned maybe. Will take some photos tomorrow.

Very limited internet so not sure how blogging will work, have to do via USB drive, and not sure on the speed yet. The American guy I was talking to this morning said there are some cafes around with decent wifi, so maybe hunt one of those out later. But don’t expect a huge amount of posts over the next couple of weeks, I will do my best !!