Myanmar Journals

Escape from Burma (Myanmar)

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A July 2000 trip to Myanmar by Eleven Shadows

Quote: A harrowing last two days in a beautiful country with an ugly government, complete with meeting Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.

Escape from Burma (Myanmar)

Overview

Quote:
The highlight, if you want to call it that, was being able to meet 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner and leader of the National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi, on Martyr's Day, a day commemorating her father's death.

Quick Tips:

A quick tip would be: don't attend National League For Democracy meetings, especially if you want to keep your film.

Best Way To Get Around:

Walking, bicycling, taxis, cycle rickshaws (especially in Mandalay, where it's not quite as crowded as Yangon).

Eastern Slope Inn Resort

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Hotel | "Inle Inn"

Quote:
Inle Inn had charming with rattan walls and ceilings, and was US$15 for a double.

Another charming place to stay was the Four Sisters Inn, located along the street paralleling the canal. Both places serve very well-prepared food. One of the culinary highlights at Inle Lake was the delicious Shan State style noodles served at breakfast upon special request. They were hearty, delicious, and impossible to describe, as is much of Burmese (Bamar) cuisine.

Inle Lake ended up being my favorite place to stay while in Burma. It was relaxed, beautiful, and charming, with lots of activities to see and do.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 14, 2000

Eastern Slope Inn Resort
2760 Main Street
North Conway, New Hampshire 03860
(603) 374-6500

Shwedagon Paya, Yangon (Rangoon)

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Story/Tip

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This immense complex of Buddhist temples and statues is a veritable Buddhist Disneyland. We only saw a couple of other Westerners while we wandered around Shwedagon Paya. The Burmese tended to hang out here, frequently visiting, reading the paper, presenting offerings to Buddha, or various other activities. As with the rest of Burma, we found them to be extraordinarily friendly.

Eight hairs of the Buddha are said to be housed in Shwedagon Paya.

Visiting Burma (Myanmar)

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Story/Tip

Quote:
When talking to the Burmese, we asked them if it was beneficial for them to have foreign travelers. Uniformly, they responded yes. They also uniformly opposed the economic sanctions from the United States and other Western countries, which were done at Aung San Suu Kyi's beckoning. This is the one area in which the Burmese seem to oppose Aung San Suu Kyi's views, although they clearly venerate and respect her greatly. Their viewpoint is that since Burma never really dealt with Western countries, the sanctions are meaningless. The Burmese military has instead chosen to deal with Pakistan and China for their supplies, including arms. If you actually do visit Burma, consider bringing in...Read More
Quote:
Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize winner, leader of the National League for Democracy, and the democratically elected leader of Myanmar. After being under house arrest for six years, she now has limited freedom but cannot leave Yangon. Her father, General Aung San, was the first leader of Burma’s independence movement and was assassinated in 1947. While returning from the Martyrs Day events at the Arzani Mausoleum commemorating General Aung San’s death, we saw a large crowd outside a building adorned with large red banners with Burmese words and English words saying "National League for Democracy". Intrigued, we wandered over and were told that Aung San Suu Kyi would be arriving in fiftee...Read More

Beautiful Hike near Inle Lake

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Story/Tip

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After a delicious meal of slightly spicy Shan State style noodles at Inle Inn, we took off on a 13.5 mile hike through some remote village nestled in the mountains flanking Inle Lake. We started at 7:45 in the morning, walking directly east of Naungshwe. The first thing we came across was the meditation cave. The cave had a monk who lived there, often living on donations of the surrounding village people, who would bring food to him. We walked barefoot around the cave, peering in dark, dank caves filled with bat guano and candles. I wondered why we were crashing through brush. "Shortcut", our guide offered, as we continued, our legs rubbing against itchy plants. Whenever...Read More

Inle Lake -- Monasteries and Markets

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Story/Tip

Quote:
A pleasant way to spend the day is to hire a boat and guide, and cruise around to see the various workshops, monasteries, and villages in Inle Lake. It's quite a very interesting lake, with many of the villages built completely on stilts over the water. Another fascinating aspect is watching some of the residents row a boat. Famed as leg rowers throughout Burma, they will frequently alternate using their arms by using one leg to row while balancing on the other. We visited the Jumping Cat Monastery located in the middle of the lake. There, the Buddhist monks that reside there have somehow trained the cats to jump through hoops. We kept asking where the Jumping Water Buffalo Monaste...Read More