Last winter, pepper, Jordan and I made a trip to Myanmar with some time in Thailand. Even though it has been about 16 months, I have not written about our experiences. Well, I’m trying to catch up!
Last year, for our three week break we decided to go to Myanmar. That wasn’t so easy. America was, at the time, still putting Myanmar (Burma) in the same category as North Korea, Cuba, and Iran. However, many other “first world” countries didn’t consider it quite so forbidden. Granted, that list of countries also coincides with Coke’s list of countries they didn’t do official business in, we certainly experienced “westerners” there. Weeks after our trip, Hillary Clinton went to Myanmar and tensions between the US and the country were quickly relaxing. In fact, our guidebook, merely 6 months after the publishing date, was so woefully out of date that we really had to readjust our approach to the country. But I’m getting ahead of myself… Back to Thailand.
We arrived in Bangkok, Thailand on December 18th. Pepper and Jordan had both been there a few times, but this was my first trip to the kingdom. Right out of the airport things are different. There are statues and billboards celebrating the King’s birthday. King? Yes, this country loves it’s king. If you go to a movie, be prepared to stand up before the flick starts in recognition of the king. It’s cultural. I had one Thai citizen tell me about how the king encouraged rolling your toothpaste to get the last bit of usable toothpaste out of the tube. My god, if every country had someone in charge that could throw around little tips that improved life for everyone… “turn off the water when you brush your teeth” and “spay and neuter your pets” and “turn off the light when you leave the room”… then the world would certainly be a better place.
We spent a few days in Bangkok. Enough time to apply for a Myanmar visa, pick it up the next day and go and see the major highlights. Then we went to the beach for a few days to celebrate Christmas. Details from that trip will be in a separate post.