Bye Bye Myanmar

Trip Start Apr 23, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Myanmar  ,
Wednesday, April 20, 2011

KBZ rocks. Very new planes and excellent service. Spent our last day and a half in Myanmar restuffing our bags with the luggage we had left in Yangon and revisiting some of our favourite haunts. On the recommendation of some other travellers we had met in Inle we wandered down to investigate the 50th s(treet Bar. Wow...amazing menu (you paid for it of course!!) draft beer and red wine AND the AFL! AND an excellent exchange rate if you wantd to spend $US...which we did because we were trying not to change any more money into Kyats!!
 AND wifi... not that we used it but FYI.
We have had an amazing time in this wonderful country. We finally felt like we were really travelling once again. The internet was totally crap so  all the travellers had to get their noses out of their I-phones and notebooks and actually talk to each other and the locals. It was a bit of a challenge for Tim who was still trying to work but we muddled through. We met so many lovely people and had  so many fantastic experiences  The people were so  beautiful. We have never (in 79 countries) had so many people say hello and express absolute delight that we were visiting their country. The hospitality was mind blowing especially considering how poor the average local is. I actually had the cutest kids in the world just walk up and give me flowers in the street!!!! The governement might be totally OFF but you can certainly contribute to the people if you travel in this country. We estimate about 90% of our money went directly to the people rather than into the General's coffers. We spent ~$2000 in $28 days. We calculate that about $100 of that went directly to the Government in the form of entry fees, 1 train ride and exit fees. Then there was the ~$25 for visas. About $800 in US was  spent at non-government hotels,  on two plane tickets on a new private airline and on a few souveniers and the rest we changed into Kyats and spent on buses, in local restaurants, local guides and taxis and beers/snacks/internet etc.

We can only encourage everyone to go before it gets crazy like other countries in South East Asia.  The people want you to visit them. Just be careful where you direct your funds, behave like a respectful guest when you get there and you will be rewarded in spades by the interactions you will have.
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