Raiders to experience Myanmar customs and characteristics

When the news said that Myanmar became the penultimate country in the world to lift the blockade on Facebook, I thought to myself that if this country does not go, it may be too late. From the beginning of the democratization reform in 2010 to the implementation of universal suffrage this year, Myanmar, which has been closed for decades, began to enter the world family. Although economic development and life are improving, for a traveler, its unique customs and characteristics may be slowly fading.







▲ On the thousand-year-old stupa, the tacit and the people around were dazed and watched the dusk and sunset.



I saw this map of Southeast Asia at the ASEAN Pavilion of the National Museum of Myanmar.

I bought Dafa with my air ticket (see my historical article), and I bought 1,300 non-low cost airline tickets from Shanghai to Yangon (yes, it is cheaper than flying to Beijing). Started the adventure of this mysterious country.

Domestic air tickets not incompatible with Myanmar's economy

The journey time from Yangon to Bagan is only one hour, and each round trip cost US $ 100, more than the cost of my long-distance airfare from Shanghai to Myanmar. This is a very stable price and it is impossible for every foreigner to get a cheaper ticket. Analyze the reason. In poor countries, most of the facilities and consumption of the majority of the people in the country are difficult to have the opportunity to participate in their entire lives, such as airplanes, and the rich oligarchs in these countries do not lose the wealthy people of ordinary countries. . This phenomenon can be observed in many countries with a huge gap between rich and poor, such as the commercial centers of New Delhi and Manila. The consumption of the same restaurants and hotels is higher than that of Shanghai.

Of course, if there is enough time, most people will choose to take the night bus from Yangon to Bagan, the cost is one-eighth of the plane, and can save one night's accommodation. However, due to my tight time, I can only choose to exchange time with money.

Yangon ’s domestic terminal is very interesting. Several airline counters in the country are lined up like a kiosk. A small table is placed behind the counter. Passengers can go to the back to ask and buy tickets.





▲ Flight map

Myanmar: Myanmar or Burma

There is a strange phenomenon in Myanmar. In most travel books, it has two names, such as the cover of the English version of "lonely planet". Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar, still has two different names. Some people call it Rangoon and some people call it Yangon.

why? It turned out that Burma was the name of the area in British Burma. When Burma became independent in 1948, this name was used as the country name. In 1989, the authoritarian military government changed the country name Burma to Myanmar, on the grounds that the colonial color was eliminated, and the new name could more representative of all domestic nations. The name change at that time was fiercely opposed by Aung San Suu Kyi, on the grounds that it lacked procedural justice and changed the country's name randomly without a referendum. The "former father" British government also expressed firm opposition at the time.

Yangon's name change is also a process.

More than two decades later, Aung San Suu Kyi gained leadership, and Myanmar's name has already been deeply rooted in people's hearts, so there is no mention of changing the name of the country.







set off! :)





When the plane was taxiing and taking off, a staff member wearing an airport uniform stood holding his son outside and looked at us. The cute boy with "Turnaka" painted on his face kept waving goodbye to us until the plane took off and disappeared In sight.



▲ Children who waved goodbye to passengers until the plane took off and disappeared on the ground



▲ It is interesting to claim the luggage by yourself after getting off the plane.

This plane is a small propeller plane, the cabin is much smaller than the ordinary plane, and it even flew full. My flight was at 9:30 in the morning, but the crew had arrived at 8:50, so I opened early (general Speaking, the plane only flies late, not early ...)

The baggage collection method is also very interesting, because Bagan Airport does not have a conveyor belt, so after arriving at the airport, people with baggage need to walk behind the plane, and the staff will take the checked baggage off the plane and claim it directly. The original and simple process is also very interesting.

When I first arrived in Myanmar as a foreigner, I was very confused about a phenomenon in Myanmar: Myanmar women, children, and even a few young men all painted a yellow powder on both sides of their faces. Sometimes this yellow powder will have special Pattern.



Beautiful Burmese girl in Bagan.



This kind of yellow powder is a kind of natural sunscreen beauty cream made by local people in Myanmar. It is called "Turnaka" and its scientific name is "Yellow Neem Powder". This kind of Neem is a kind of tree grown in the native Burmese. It is extracted and used by local people and becomes a part of its traditional culture.





South Asia and Southeast Asia are very hot all the year round. In the area centered on Bangladesh, it is very popular for men to wear skirt-like clothes to facilitate heat dissipation. When I first walked to the streets of Yangon, looking at the skirt man on the street, it was quite shocking visually. India has been there before, but I only saw it last time in Calcutta, which is adjacent to Myanmar and Bangladesh. At that time, I thought these people were wrapped in sheets and went to the street. . However, this custom has also been abandoned in other parts of India.













When the President of Myanmar met with Obama, he also wore such a national style "skirt".

It turns out that Burmese love to chew betel nuts, and the red juice infiltrates the mouth for a long time, which not only causes red teeth, but also the red stains that can be seen everywhere on the city roads.



As the most closed country in Southeast Asia, Burmese people have poor English. When I took a taxi and found five drivers, they couldn't understand the national museum. They didn't directly do business. Fortunately, they had Google Translator. British Burma colonized decades later than British India. It is a pity that this language is not as popular as India.



When the driver was driving, I found a strange phenomenon. Every few minutes, the driver would open the door and spit out a thick red spit. When I arrived at my destination and gave the money, I saw the driver's face in the front, only to find that he was a blood-red tooth. In the next Burma itinerary, men with such blood-red teeth abound.



Many birds stay on the telephone pole.

Myanmar is the only Southeast Asian country that borders India and China at the same time, and ancient Southeast Asia is most affected by the cultures of these two countries. Like India, Myanmar is also an ethnographic museum. The typical appearance of Southeast Asia, the appearance of China, and the deep black outline of South India are all integrated in the largest city in Myanmar, "Shanghai in Myanmar"-Yangon.

These are the three girls in the mobile phone store who helped me install the Internet card. The typical is the distribution of the three races mentioned earlier. The first from the left is East Asia (two sides wide), the second from the left is Southeast Asia, the third from the left is the most beautiful, and the appearance of India.





The old man in the red dress on the flyover has been watching me, and later asked me if I am Singaporean in English. I said that I came from Shanghai, China. Then the old man even started to speak Chinese with me. It's a big city, but it has never been to China.



Although it is a Buddhist country, it borders India, and there are also Hindu temples on the road.



In the countryside of Yangon, far away from the urban area, when I was walking in the rain and looking for a massage parlor, I met a child playing in the mud. Their simple happiness infected me!





On the last day of Yangon, I was looking for a Burmese restaurant recommended by locals, and it took a 50-minute taxi ride. The first one I found was closed. I asked a person in a family hospital opposite, what happened to this restaurant. An uncle walked out after seeing the illness, answered my question, took out his mobile phone and found another branch, and then said go, take my car.

Getting on the bus, the driver is another young man, the office guy of Uncle's own company. Uncle sleeps in the back seat and we start chatting. Talk about his business trip to Shanghai, talk about places he feels worth visiting in Myanmar, and talk about his divorced wife.

The second branch was also closed. Uncle even asked the driver to drive to the third branch 7 kilometers away. I said no trouble. Please send me to any Burmese restaurant you think is good. Just drop me. To the third branch. .



Thanks to the Burmese uncle and his young driver who took me so far to find restaurants.



This is the third branch of the seafood restaurant that I found later, the price is not expensive, all local people. The fact that the waiters do not understand English can tell the authenticity of the restaurant.



The waiter took a shower after shift, right next to my table. .



The downtown night market at dusk is very lively. Most stalls sell mobile phones. Can you imagine monks wearing sunglasses, buying mobile phones and playing selfies?





My favorite fruit, mango :)



Thank you to my friend Forest in Yangon, Myanmar people who speak Chinese.

Suddenly collapsed seats on the bus

After flying back to Yangon from Bagan, I used to take a taxi to and from the airport in Myanmar a few days ago. I wanted to save money on this day, and in order to experience the lives of local people, I decided to take a bus back to the city.

It took 15 minutes to get to the station. Moreover, it is found that the public transport in Myanmar, like India, has almost no Arabic numerals. I know which way I want to take, but I don't know which car I want to take.





The beautiful lady in blue told me which car is the 51st road I want to take. :)



Naturally, it was Xiaoqiang's way of asking for directions. I successfully took the 51 route I want to take. The car is very old, hot and slow. But it was a very interesting experience, reminding me of my previous bus ride in Mumbai. Traveling is to experience locals and be a local for a few days.

In the end, a RMB one bus fare replaced the taxi fare of $ 10. :)



It's just that there is a small episode, I sit in the last row of this bus, and then after a sharp turn, this seat. . . Collapsed. . .





In Burma and Vietnam, which have been closed for a long time due to institutional reasons, but are experiencing rapid opening up, Southeast Asian countries can be seen everywhere.

The electric locomotive I rented is made in China, the language of the display is Chinese, the Korean printed on the bus and bus, the guide book of the National Museum, the layout instructions for the infield are only included in addition to the English and Burmese languages In Japanese-the whole museum was built with Japanese aid. In the relatively affluent cities of Southeast Asia, such as Malaysia and Thailand, there is no such obvious picture of East Asian capital occupation.



The buses are full of Japanese and Korean, and many are vehicles that have been eliminated from these two countries.

From East Asian to Southeast Asia, there is still a sense of intimacy, and the consumption is relatively cheap. They are all Asian. When they meet Westerners, they have a feeling of conversation and even a bit of landlord. Does it feel similar to Western Europeans traveling to the relatively poor Eastern European back garden? Traveling to South and Southeast Asia more often, and seeing the national brands occupying other countries, I am also a little proud of being an East Asian.

Featureless Burmese cuisine

Although Myanmar has retained many unique customs, Burmese cuisine is still disappointing. Because most of the time I wonder if there is the term "Burmese cuisine". In most restaurants, under the menu of Burmese dishes in the menu, there is always the only option of curry chicken / fish / beef. In the big category of the menu, the contents of Indian food, Thai food, and Chinese food (the three major neighbors of Myanmar) are always on the front page of Burmese food.

But aren't curry chicken and fish also Indian?



▲ The main food under the Burmese cuisine is basically the curry series ...

When I met a traveler from Beijing on the plane, it happened to be the same hotel I booked, so I took a taxi together. He lives in a quadruple room, and I live in a single room. After the luggage was placed, I went to his room to play. There was a Japanese, a Korean, and a German in the quadruple room. We chatted for a long time together.

These three young people, all 25 and 26 years old, are on a long journey in weeks. In addition to fear of poor sleep, this quadruple room with mixed nationalities is really interesting.

When it comes to the next step, the Japanese said they would go to Bagan for 2 weeks, and I was about to go, but because the holiday was short, I only went for two days. I sigh, what am I doing at the age of 25? If the global experience started a few years ago, the anxiety about time and future will be much smaller now.



We arrived at Yangon Airport at two o'clock in the morning ... Yangon, looking at the sun. Yangon's Chinese name is really nice.



In this simple downtown downtown hostel, a photo of the boss with Aung San Suu was hung at a prominent position at the front desk.

Aung San Suu Kyi ’s father, General Aung San, was the leader of the Burmese independence movement. Unfortunately, before Burma ’s independence, he died in the assassination of political struggle. Aung San Suu Kyi is the core figure of Myanmar's democratization and is now the most famous symbol of Myanmar. Her portraits are everywhere in the city. There is a film about her, starring Hong Kong actress Yang Ziqiong, the film name is "the lady". If you are interested in that period of history, you can take a look.

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is a symbol of Myanmar, just like the Great Wall is to China. I don't usually have a lot of colds for scenic spots. But while hanging out at Shwedagon Pagoda in the evening, I encountered an interesting thing.

To the right of the Buddha statue is a portrait of a Thai king.

I do n’t know if I do n’t compare, the handsome guys of Thais are indeed of high standard in Southeast Asia. This is also related to the fact that there are many ethnic Chinese in Thailand.

And what I mean by "long decent" does not necessarily mean "beautiful." Apart from the facial features gap caused by the hybrid, the bigger gap is the gap between the dress and temperament of the two countries in terms of economy and openness. Substances affect the appearance of people. Just like the streets of Shanghai ten years ago, how big is the difference between people's style and Tokyo. And now?









A group of handsome men and women are chanting prayerfully and silently in a room. Their temperament and appearance are very decent, and they are very different from the passers-by I have seen in Yangon these few days. I began to think that this was Yangon's upper class chanting Buddha collectively.





It wasn't until I walked behind them that I saw a portrait of a Thai king next to the Buddha statue in front of this group of people. . No wonder!

Bagan is an ancient city in Myanmar. Nowadays, there are more than 2,000 stupas standing there. Its landscape of “going out to see stupas and meeting Buddhas step by step” makes it the most important destination for foreigners to come to Myanmar.

I was hesitant to choose another destination in Myanmar. Should I go to Mandalay or Bagan? In the end I chose the latter.

In fact, although there are a lot of pagodas in Bagan, they are pretty much the same, plus they have to go barefoot, and I wear socks and sneakers, which is inconvenient every time I put on or take off. So after entering three or four temples, I walked past the pagoda and did not enter ...

Beside each slightly popular tower, there are many hawkers to sell goods. Before I started to enter the pagoda a few times, I would bring a safety helmet and an umbrella when I got off the bus. Later, someone reminded me that it was left on the locomotive and nobody took it. Later, I did as I did, and every time I came back, I saw the objects quietly in place. Some were moved by the simple folk customs. :)

Bagan dynasty, a period of history

Speaking of Bagan, we must talk about the Bagan Dynasty, which is an ancient country in Southeast Asia. At the beginning of the eleventh century, King Anulu Tuo conquered the surrounding tribes and established the first unified feudal dynasty in Myanmar's history, including Burma, Shan, and Meng.

King Anulu Tuo is a devout Buddhist. Since his reign, successive kings have been building a large number of pagodas and temples in Bagan. Before being destroyed by the Yuan Dynasty in 1287, the Bagan dynasty built more than 13,000 stupas in more than 200 years, and some said that more than 4.44 million were built within a tens of kilometers of Bagan, making Bagan enjoy "four million" "Pagoda City" title.

After the invasion of the Mongols in the 13th century, the dynasty quickly declined. In the past thousand years, due to the southward shift of the political center of Myanmar, the destruction of several wars and the invasion of the British in the 19th century, the pagoda in Bagan was severely damaged, some collapsed, and some destroyed. Deposit 2217.



▲ This cover made me decide to go to Bagan.

Since this photo is printed on the LP cover, why don't I go and see it? In the three days here, I have harvested the most memorable sunset and the most exciting night ride in life.



▲ Can people think about many confusions before sunset?



▲ A group of funny and friendly Sichuanese people I met on the road, played together for a long time, and we also maintained close contact after returning to China.



▲ Rely on it for three days in Bagan, hard work!

June is the rainy season in Myanmar. It has been raining since coming to Bagan. I rented an electric locomotive from the hotel and drove on the muddy dirt road, looking at these pagodas thousands of years ago against google earth.



God cares about me. After driving in the rain for an afternoon, it was clear at sunset! !

On this day I came to Shinbinthalyaung Tower, the most famous place to watch the sunset. There are many tourists here and it is a little crowded. The sun rises and falls day after day, at the seaside, in the high mountains, in the plains, every day, countless people are rushing to feel the magical power of the Creator.









▲ Dusk silhouette of Vantaa



▲ A pair of Burmese couples in a group photo, is the most beautiful pair of locals on this trip



▲ Buddhist pagoda and monk by the river





▲ The infrastructure of Bagan is very poor, most of the time the car is driving on such a dirt road.

In the late night of Bagan countryside

Too accustomed to city lights and starry sky, how many years have you not been in an outdoor environment where you can't reach your fingers? Until the last night in Bagan, I was riding a locomotive. On a rural dirt road in Bagan, where there were no street lights, no one person or one car, when I rode 7 kilometers back to the hotel, I occasionally turned my head back to the back of the car. The absolute darkness shook me. Back to the hotel, I haven't been relieved for a long time. Seeing the "five fingers" in the outdoor environment? Until the last night in Bagan, I was riding a locomotive. On a rural road in Bagan with no street lights, no one person or one car, I drove 7 kilometers back to the hotel occasionally The back of the car turned around once, and the absolute darkness in front of me shocked me. When I returned to the hotel, I didn't relax for a long time.



▲ No one, no car, the whole world is completely dark and quiet.



▲ Back to the hotel, the experience just made me unable to calm down for a long time.

The accommodation in Bagan is mainly concentrated in Nangwu Town, Old Bagan and New Bagan.

Among them, Nianwu Town is the closest to the airport and has become a backpacker's settlement. There are more restaurants, cheap hotels and other tourist support services. It is the most lively place in the region, although it is also a village;

Old Bagan is the core of Bagan. The local government considered the protection of the ancient city. In the early years, all residents were moved out to New Bagan. Most of the large-scale high-end hotels and resorts are in Old Bagan, and the closest to the pagodas.

New Bagan is the new residential area where old Bagan moved out, and it is also a tourist center. There are more mid-range hotels, where you can also see the living conditions of the most locals;



▲ The lively Niangwu Town at night.





The hotel in Bagan is a little extravagant. I chose Bagan Thande Hotel in Old Bagan. The fancy is its invincible river view, and the hotel is in the heart of Old Bagan, very close to the main pagoda. The river view room picture above BOOKING is like this:







And because it has been raining, the view I see is like this. (Rolling his eyes)



I was in a daze with a group of foreigners, watching the last sunset



The last day I looked for a sunset tower called Bulethi, which is the recommended place on Lonely Planet. There are far fewer people here than yesterday, and it is also more dangerous and exciting-this tower has no railings, the pavement on the top of the tower is narrow, and the ground is still inclined downwards. If you don't pay attention, you may fall. All the young people here came to the west. They slept in a circle on the top of the tower, staring blankly, looking out into the distance, waiting for the sun to set.



▲ Foreigners sleep in a circle on this steep narrow narrow tower platform.





▲ The scene is very quiet, everyone is waiting for that moment to come.

When it comes to Myanmar and Vietnam, which are currently lagging behind in Southeast Asia, it is a pity that, contrary to the status quo, these two countries are the two most powerful countries in the history of Southeast Asia.

Historically, Myanmar ’s Dongyu dynasty once destroyed Thailand and expanded eastwards to the Changshan Mountains on the Vietnam border. Going north to fight in the Ming and Qing Dynasties and China, the Central Plains Dynasty did not take advantage of it. Going west occupied a group of Tubons in northeastern India.

This is especially true in Vietnam, which has been pinned down by China for thousands of years, but has even invaded south from the small Red River Delta all the way, annexed the Jangpo country (the species of the Zhanpo people), and occupied most of the Khmer (Cambodia) territory Ho Chi Minh City used to be Cambodian). In modern times, it even annexed Cambodia and controlled Laos. If China ’s national interests did not allow its borders to be strong, and the war against Vietnam would be carried out, Laos and Cambodia are already Vietnamese territory.

It's a bit far. However, Myanmar's unique geographical location and resource advantages, coupled with the system conditions that are now fully open, the second poorest cap in Asia should soon be removed. After all, after World War II, it was once the richest country in Asia.

However, Nepal ’s monuments were collapsed by the earthquake and can be restored. But when the fragile tradition is melted down by "surging globalization" and missed, it is really missed.

If you want to come to Myanmar, please hurry.





▲ Stupa in the middle of the night.



▲ The last sunset.

Goodbye, Bagan. I will miss the sunset and the stars here. On that night, I rode a locomotive between thousands of pagodas. The speed in the darkness gave me the ultimate pleasure and freedom.





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