I have finally arrived in Myanmar! I couldn’t be more excited to be here and I can’t wait to explore! As much as I loved Thailand I was ready for the change in scenery. I decided to travel the luxurious way and bought a round trip flight from Chiang Mai into Myanmar. I typically would take the cheap route and travel via land but I had read some disconcerting articles about the land borders to Myanmar. I know I would have been fine and a lot of the articles I was reading were old and out dated. But I really didn’t want to deal with it.
I’m a complete idiot and overstayed my Thailand visa by 3 days. I apparently can’t read or was tired and just not paying attention and booked my flight for 3 days after the expiration of my visa. When I realized this I freaked and was picturing myself being thrown in Thai prison with no phone call home. A quick little google search revealed to me that it really isn’t that big of a deal, Whew! However, I did have to pay roughly about $50 USD and it took a measly 15 extra minutes in immigration filling out paperwork. Minor setback. Lesson learned
I’m assuming most of you haven’t had the pleasure of flying AirAsia ever before, so let me enlighten you. They do things a little bit differently then what I am used to. First of all, they never run on time, I’d say on average 30 minutes late. Once you board the plane you are rushed to sit down and get ready to fly asap. It’s pretty stressful. None of the flight attendants are happy people and they absolutely do not smile. It’s kind of creepy actually. There is no leg room, room for shifting or moving and you quickly become really up close and personal with your neighbor. Middle seats are not fun! I felt like I couldn’t even breathe. They charge you for water or any other beverage.
Myanmar is a giant step up from Thailand as far as I can tell. Almost everything is in English, which I absolutely did not expect. So far I have had no trouble with a language barrier. I thought it would be the complete opposite. In Thailand nothing is in English, so I just expected it would be the same or worse here. Pleasant surprise! The streets are much cleaner, there are a lot of really nice buildings. Some crappy ones as well, but a good even mix. In Yangon there are no scooters or motorbikes. Like zero, must not be legal or something. I have no idea if all of Myanmar is like this or what. I’m so used to motorbikes now that I was stunned not to see any. They drive on the right side of the road, where as in Thailand they drive on the left side of the road and I had just gotten used to that. Now I’m all confused again!
I had just gotten used to Thai Baht currency and was feeling really comfortable with it. The Myanmar Kyat (pronounced Chat) is extremely different and is really giving me a run for my money (no pun intended) most things cost 20K Kyat. Their major bills are 10K and 5k. So different. Anyways, I’m currently feeling really out of place but I haven’t even been in the country for 2 hours. I’ll give it some time! Tomorrow the hostel I am staying at is putting on a little city tour free of charge. I’m going to give that a go. I will hopefully meet some great people staying in my hostel and hopefully see some city sights and get the lay of the land.
Just so you know, the mosquitos are just as bad, if not worse! Yes, I’m taking my malaria pills. Luckily, they haven’t made me sick, just really tired.
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