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> Burma...Hows it feeling?
thellie
post Sep 26 2007, 08:51 PM
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thanks for all the info, people. i've read it all, and plenty of other pieces too now.

i'm still on the fence about going, but only from the safety standpoint - safety of myself, and those who i may be in contact with. i have no qualms about putting money into the country, as long as it goes to the right places.

on practical issues, i'm wondering whether i should buy a smaller digital camera instead of taking my nikon d80 - i could take photos more unobtrusively, especially if i can use some sort of remote/cable to click away while the camera is beneath a coat or something... i'm not sure if the military/plain clothes police would haul me off, or confiscate the camera, if they saw me snapping. i also think a spare memory card with a few innocent snaps on would be handy if the need arises (i'm thinking that keeping this card in the camera for most times, and swapping for the more compromising stuff)...

all this is, of course, academic until i get my arse down to bangkok and organise a visa and flight.

and don't worry, the last thing i would do is tell my mum where i'm thinking of going! jesus, she'd go mental... frantics.gif
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Paul
post Sep 26 2007, 09:08 PM
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Hi - I am in a similar boat - I probably won't come as I'd have to cancel things and try to re-arrange flights etc. But - I really want to be there - I don't really know why, just seems the right thing to do, although stupid and dangerous.

????

Still trying to work things out in my head and organize what I can.

It may be that I have to put it off, but I am worried that the next phase of this is going to be dirty and nasty and violent. Probably not a good idea to be there for that.

It is already a bit that way - but at least so far the protesters seem to be showing a great side of humanity and bravely and peacefully putting their feelings across. I suppose it is partly that, that is attracting me to see the events and be a small part of it.

From the Burmese Embassy site in Bangkok, it seems 2 days to get the visas.

Has anyone checked to see if the flights are full or not? I haven't even thought of that yet. Although I have worried about flights to get out and get back to Chiang Rai in time to do the FreeSchools work.

Argghhh!!!!

Anyway - my best wishes to anyone that is in Burma at the moment and particularly the monks and protesters and particularly those that have been arrested.
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Paul
post Sep 26 2007, 09:09 PM
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Oh yeah - your camera ideas are good. Bring the big one as well though, just in case you need it / can use it for something.
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Paul
post Sep 27 2007, 01:32 AM
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Hi - unless I change my mind again soon - I am not going to go, at least in the short term. It all seems to hard to get organized from here and there are still too many uncertainties regarding jobs and tickets and everything.
I still have a strong sense that I'd like to be there - I don't why, and it is probably best not to be there, but...

Anyway - the original poster of this topic - are you going or not? And is there anyone in Burma now that can tell us what is happening?
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thellie
post Sep 27 2007, 02:10 AM
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i've got a pasah-thai lesson at 5pm, so am going to the bank beforehand - i have to be able to get out enough to pay my bills for the last 10-15 hours of lessons, and my apartment for the month before i can think about going.

but if that's tickety boo, then yep, i'm going to book a flight to bangkok for asap.
i'll be checking out cheapo cameras this arvo, along with a 40l backpack if poss.

if i do get the visa, then i think a quick in/out to burma lasting about 4 days will be enough. front and back days for travelling, and 2 in between for scoping. i think it would be handy to take my laptop as well, although that's yet another thing to worry about being confiscated/stolen...
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wakingdream
post Sep 27 2007, 08:44 AM
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QUOTE
i'm still on the fence about going, but only from the safety standpoint - safety of myself, and those who i may be in contact with. i have no qualms about putting money into the country, as long as it goes to the right places


Safety is key. Things are escalating and you may not even be allowed to go, and if you are, you might be restricted to certain areas. I'm not sure but I'm curious as Paul is if foreigners can get in.

Peace, great advice. Be like a tree. Don't interfere. Don't make yourself more noticeable than you likely already are just by being a foreigner.

Interesting news; China has actually (surprisingly) issued a statement to Burmese officials asking them to retrain from using force and violence against their own people.

Let's think about that. Olympics. Normally China would keep out of Burmese goings-on, but now? One word: Olympics.


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curt1591
post Sep 27 2007, 08:48 AM
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http://Avaaz


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wakingdream
post Sep 27 2007, 09:23 AM
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Goo link Curt. I just signed the petition.


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Paul
post Sep 28 2007, 02:11 AM
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Hmmm, I have spent most of the day having decided to go and join Thellie and see what news of Burma we can bring out, and go to witness the historic events.

I got my wife to reluctantly agree to me going and I have been waiting for an opportunity to get away from my mum and get to a phone to try to book tickets to Thailand.

Just before I had the chance - the news that journalists are being surrounded and their rooms ransacked made both of us re-consider. Will we even be able to talk to anyone or see much of what is going on???? Will we be kept away from everything that they don't want us to see?


I have again put off my travel -

but watching the news again here now- I wish I was going - people are on the streets protesting again even after being shot at. It seems they are determined to make this one last. I would really like to support them some how.

but I think I have left my run too late. If you do go Thellie - best of luck.

Maybe i will get there in a couple of weeks.

??????
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wakingdream
post Sep 28 2007, 08:19 AM
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With the way things are going I think reconsidering is probably a good thing. What's really the point if you cannot be anywhere near any of the significant areas. Plus, things seem to be getting more dangerous. You couldn't really talk to anyone about anything anyway if you were to be in an outlying region.


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curt1591
post Sep 28 2007, 09:24 AM
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QUOTE
I got my wife to reluctantly agree to me going and I have been waiting for an opportunity to get away from my mum and get to a phone to try to book tickets to Thailand.


You're not in Thailand?

YOU'RE NOT IN THAILAND ?!


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Paul
post Sep 28 2007, 04:57 PM
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no. I am in the middle of a 2 week trip to Australia.
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thellie
post Sep 28 2007, 06:41 PM
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i've decided to delay my trip there. the situation is deteriorating rapidly, and has become too dangerous for my liking. the japanese journalist was shot in cold blood, whether because he had a camera, or was foreign, or just because he was there is unclear.

if you wish to see the tv footage, here is a link. please note that it is graphic, but filmed from a distance. http://www.breitbart.tv/?p=6116

i'm posting it because it is important to know what's happening, not from any voyeuristic sense.

the authorities are confiscating cameras and mobile phones, and there have been reports that the main journalist hotel was raided a couple of days ago. also, central rangoon has been locked down, as well as the main monasteries being quarantined.

western leaders are opining that the official burmese figure of 9 dead could well be 'multiples' more.

i feel that even if i am able to enter the country, it will be very difficult to see anything or talk to anyone without putting myself or them in grave danger. when paul returns to thailand, i'll chat with him about when we should go.
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wakingdream
post Sep 29 2007, 09:10 AM
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I heard this morning that the Burmese have invited vigilantes from outlying areas to aid in the battle against their people. Basically I think it's like a do-or-die invite.

QUOTE
i've decided to delay my trip there.


Good call bud. Visiting the country after all of this will be really interesting as well. I haven't been for some time so thinking maybe when Jer and I return to SEA in Jan. we might take a trip over. Not sure yet.


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thellie
post Sep 29 2007, 09:41 AM
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i read that as well, on the bbc and the irrawaddy websites. i'm disappointed not to be going yet, on many levels. but there are so many unknowns and variables, that i think it foolish to do anything else.

can i get a visa?
if so, can i get a flight?
if so, can i get into the country?
if so, will my electronic equipment be confiscated?
if not, will i get to areas that aren't sanitised for tourists?
if so, will i be targeted, and those around me, for my presence?

etc etc...

i imagine we will have gone ahead already (me and paul, together or not)... but if not, and you'd like to ship over together, then just say... if i'm in the country at the time smile.gif
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wakingdream
post Sep 29 2007, 01:33 PM
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QUOTE
i imagine we will have gone ahead already (me and paul, together or not)... but if not, and you'd like to ship over together, then just say... if i'm in the country at the time


Thanks! Will definitely let you guys know when we're bound for SEA and maybe we'll get a chance to hook up! smile.gif Will be in Thailand and maybe Laos to see friends too.


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doubledodgy
post Sep 30 2007, 04:52 PM
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Hey Everyone!

Cheers for keeping the forum going and sounds like we have all been struggling with the do we go or not im with you Paul...Really want to go not sure why but it feels right if not completely stupid and unsafe to do so...

We have found it real hard to get a view on the actual happenings over there (much like the rest of the world?) we asume you haven't made a dash for the Burma border then?

Overall i think we are going to leave well alone and chill on the beach's of Thailand trying to keep the itch to go at bay!

If there is anyone in Burma be safe and please message us on here...Laterz
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Paul
post Oct 9 2007, 06:13 AM
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Hi - thanks for the message. No, neither of us has gone yet.

I would like to know more about what is happening now. Hmmm, we'll see.

Ha ha - I would like to be spending time on a beach also, but seems I can't fit either in.

Anyway, have fun, and we'll be sure to write something in here if we do go.
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mgzaymin
post Nov 17 2007, 09:52 PM
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Hi Paul,
How ?? Have you been to Myanmar ??
Myanmar is back to normal but from the tourist industry , we all need you badly . Heavy cancellation due to boycott . Hotels and tourist site are empty and effect badly to people who depend on this.
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Paul
post Nov 18 2007, 04:07 AM
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Hi. How are you?
Nice to hear from you.
I still haven't been. Trying to find time and money is difficult. but I am still trying.
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