Adventures in Asia

by Greg & Francie

Burma tomorrow!

Francie and I are very excited to fly into Burma-also known as Myanmar–tomorrow. Here is a map of Burma brought to you by Texas A&M University.

I have wanted to go to Burma ever since my time at The Carter Center where I monitored developments in the country. There has been a military coup in Burma since 1991–the full history can be found here.

Myanmar is a very safe to travel for Americans. Unfortunately, we will probably not be able to post much this month, because the government censors almost all internet traffic into and out of the country. Apparently there are a few places where we may be able to post or send email from.

Here is our general schedule:

April 10th–Fly into Rangon.
April 12th–Fly to MyitKyina (in the far north)
April 14th–work our way south to Katha
April 16-17th–Riverboat down to Mandalay
April 18th-21st–Explore Mandalay and surrounding ancient cities.
April 22nd–Boat to Bagan.
April 23-27th–Explore ancient ruins at Bagan.
April 28-May 1st—Kalaw hike to Inlet Lake
May 2-3rd–Inlet Lake
May 4th-5th–Rangon again.
May 6th–fly back to Bangkok.

In genreral, the plan is to get north quickly and work our way back south again via buses and boats. The U.S. Embassy in Rangon will probably be the best way to track us down in case of emergency. Although we hope to be able to check email once a week.

After we return from Bangkok we will have a week to post, and get our Chinese visas before flying to south China on May 12th.

Exciting. Bye!!!

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April 8, 2007 Posted by | Misc, SE Asia, Travel | 2 Comments

Bangkok!

Ok, ok. I am starting to enjoy Bangkok a lot more as we have more time to spend in the city. On previous trips I have only been here for a couple of days and only stayed in the main strip of guest houses etc.

This trip Francie and I have explored a lot more especially where the expats hang out. We have also done a lot of shopping (2 pairs of designer jeans, 3 watches, 2 pairs of super-cool shoes–price $100). Here is the wonderful MBK shopping mall.

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MBK also has an international food court with food types catered by famous establishments around town. We had some great pasta and dim sum.

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There is also a very smart service that the Thai are offering to us Farang (foreigners)–bring your iPod in and they will manually sync music or videos onto the device (sorry, no zune). Of course, this can be a cd you bring or they have conveniently pirated every song, album, movie or tv show for your viewing pleasure. The sinker for the tourist is that it is quick (4 min for a movie) and they don’t erase your current iPod library. Cost? About $2.50 for a video and $1 for music.

This is really creating a huge new iPod market because most people didnt want to buy individual discs.

I have to go now so I can mail back all the stuff we bought. I thought I would post pictures of the purchases for Tracy, Tom, Weezie and Tian to drool over but there just isn’t time! More shopping must be had.

April 8, 2007 Posted by | SE Asia, Thailand, Travel | 3 Comments

Sawadee Ronald McDonald!

As promised, for my reader’s sake, I stopped at McDonald’s and had some cheeseburgers, fries and a coke!  Francie stole most of the fries just like my sister Pam use to do. 
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To date, this is the first time I have eaten at a western food establishment in over three months (Swensen’s ice cream doesn’t count).  The food, and ketchup, taste just as they should.  I even Super Sized the meal.

Sawadee is ‘hello’ in Thailand. 

April 8, 2007 Posted by | Thailand, Wildlife | Leave a comment

Look! Monorails do exist in the world!

I find it amusing that Thailand, what some consider to be a developing country, can have a monorail but Seattle can’t get its act together after three referendums to successfully build a monorail. 
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April 8, 2007 Posted by | SE Asia, Thailand, Uncategorized | Leave a comment