Myanmar Journals

Kawthaung: Knee Deep in Chai

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An August 2008 trip to Myanmar by SeenThat

Kawthaung Photo, Kawthaung, Myanmar More Photos
Quote: Kawthaung is the southernmost border cross between Thailand and Myanmar, crossing the Kra River, I found myself knee-deep in chai.

Burmese Chai

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Restaurant

Kawthaung - Chai Photo, Kawthaung, Myanmar
Quote:
Few beverages are more varied in their preparation, or more confused to the English speaking world than chai. Without repeating common errors, "chai" means just tea in most languages (it is derived from the Chinese "cha"); the spiced version originating in India should be called "masala chai" (literally "spiced tea"). In Myanmar, "chai" is black tea brewed with milk and not the Indian "chai-masala" popularly known in the West as "chai." Despite its origin, chai for me is the flavor and smell of Myanmar; regardless the part of the country I was visiting, it was ubiquitous an...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 16, 2008

Kawthaung Photo, Kawthaung, Myanmar
Quote:
For those eligible for a Thai 30-days visa-on-arrival, there is a possibility to get another thirty days stamp by crossing to a neighbor country and returning; as of 2008, this can be done twice in a row, offering thus a de facto ninety days visa to Thailand.By far, Myanmar offers the handiest opportunity. I have reviewed its border crosses with Thailand in another journal; this entry is dedicated to Kawthaung, the most complex cross point.The Pro...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 15, 2008

Rainy Ranong: Fish and Fruits

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Attraction

Morning Market - Ranong Photo, Ranong, Thailand
Quote:
Regardless the season during my visits to Ranong, the weather was constant: grey and rainy, hot and humid. Just the perfect conditions for giving that special moldy look, a touch of classy grayish patina, to all exposed surfaces.Ranong's RationaleIn the traveler's universe, the main reason for visiting Ranong is the fact that from there it is possible to cross the border to Kawthaung in Myanmar, enabling thus to renew the Thai visa.What, When and WhereThe name "Ranong" is a Thai corruption of the name "Rundung," which was a Malay principality of the Kedah Malay Sultanate. It was annexed by Siam after repeated Thai invasions during the 17th ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 16, 2008

Knee-Deep in Chai

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Attraction

Kawthaung Photo, Kawthaung, Myanmar
Quote:
Walking on ChaiA recurring sight in Myanmar - regardless the place I visited - was the half-paved streets, where light-brown puddles competed with goats in creating obstacles for the passersby and cars. Being in an exceptionally rainy area, while exploring Kawthaung I found myself almost knee-deep in chai colored puddles.Where is Kawthaung?The Union of Myanmar is divided into seven states (pyine) and seven divisions (yin). Tanintharyi Division covers the long narrow southern part of the country on the Kra Isthmus, bordering the Andaman Sea to the west and ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 16, 2008

The Burmese Human Landscape

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Story/Tip

Kawthaung Photo, Kawthaung, Myanmar
Quote:
Burmese PeopleMyanmar is an ethnically diverse country, much more so than neighbor Thailand. More than a hundred ethnic groups and languages exist there; but Kawthaung is within the Tanintharyi Division and near the Mon State, thus, most of its population is Bamar with a significant Mon presence. Malays, Chinese and Indians are significant minorities and have an important role in the local commerce and industry. Understanding the basic groups present and their most visible customs would help to improve the quality of a visit to the place.Theravada Buddhism...Read More