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Myanmar Trip Log - Day 1

As promised, it will be a long essay on Myanmar Keng Tung. You may wish to view part of the photos I taken on my wife's old Panasonic FX-1. I took 3 rolls of film on my SLR and its still at the labs. I will try to post them later once I convert them to digital.

Day 1
We left the house early at 830am on the Tuk tuk to the border. Both of us have to get out of the vehicle and crossed the immigration by foot. No problems on the Thailand side. Crossed the bridge and approached the immigration of Myanmar. Need 3 photos and 500baht for the trip (lucky I always have a bunch in my wallet) . It took some time as there were a lot of foreigners (French) trekkers trying to go in at the same time. I was waiting at the immigration for my car number before they could release me. So my wife and the Tuk tuk went to grab the car and driver and come back to the immigration to fetch me.

Finally, the car came and we are ready to go. We stop at the market to buy some fruits and change some money while the driver went to photocopy the documents we have. We drove out of town before we hit the first checkpoint. The thing about Myanmar is that they are control freaks. Due to the nature of military junta in control. Leaving a town in Myanmar, you need to report to the town immigration department before you could proceed. The driver told me and my wife that we should temporary not related to each other if the immigration people asked as they will create lots of problem for us(since she's a thai yai and I am a foreigner) First check point was smooth. Quite scary as the soldiers stationing there are carrying rifles and guns.

The road to KengTung from Maesai is about 300km (same as Chiang Mai) . The driver we took is actually someone my wife knew. He's from the same village as my wife. Another guy is with us. He's a young chap who is trying to grab a flight from Keng Tung to Yangoon. He is sitting in the front seat while wify, baby and I are at the back. Usually, the driver will only leave if there are 4 passengers but the young chap needs to rush, so he paid the extra head.

There were 3 checkpoints altogether. None of them gave us trouble and the journey was quite smooth. The driver drop off the young chap at the airport before we proceed to a hotel to checkin.

Wife already chose one for me that is near the village. Its called Harry's Trek House and its own by a former Burmese English teacher. The thing is, foreigners are NOT allowed to stay in any resident's house. They could only lodge in hotels as these hotels are taxed by the gahment. So normally, for foreigner who wish to stay at the locals, they pay the room and leave it empty for the night. (so long got money to the gahment lah). The lady at the hotel insist I stay for a night at the hotel on my first night, mainly for my safety and hers (they could get huge fines or license revoked if they found out). Its cost 400baht for the first night and 200baht for subsequent nights. I obliged the agreement and paid a deposit before we took off to her house.

Her village is known as Kad Tow. And from the Trek house to her place, its another 13km. Along the way, its all rice padi and farms. Quite scenic. We finally reached her place at 2pm plus. We washed up a bit and ate some food. They were cooking Kow Lam. We walked to the temple (just beside her house) and look around. She greeted some friends and neighbours.

In the evening, her mum made Kuay Teow or Kow Soi(Thai Yai) and we slurp up the noodles before I head out with her younger brother to the hotel. The night was chilling. I think got 10 degrees. Vapours are coming out from our mouth or nose when we breadth or speak. Much much colder than Maesai.

At 7pm, we reached the hotel. The room is quite cosy and has all the necessities. There is even hot water and TV! We watched a bit before we sleep at 9 plus. Need to wake up early tomorrow as they are tons if things to do.

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