A Reliable Guide in Rangoon(Yangon)
Our family vacation took place in Rangoon,Bagan,Inle lake,Mandalay and Myitkyina for 27 days,accompanied by a registered tour guide named Kyaw Zay Latt@Eugene.He is a resourceful guide.It was he who made our family vacation to Myanmar (Burma)a wonderful experience.I do recommend him to all other would-be-visitors to Myanmar.Though often on a tour to the remote areas,he is based in Rangoon.His contact email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.Daily rate is $20.
WALK AROUND- IN A LONGYI....
WALK AROUND- IN A LONGYI. Seriously, people will treat you nicer and you will fit in better by wearing a longyi. And they're more comfortable than pants. Don't take much with you to Burma as you can buy shirts for $1 and longyi for $1 or less.
And make sure to pick up a local, government newspaper as a collector's item- there are some classic quotes to take from it. Just walking around and meeting people. Wherever you go, whereever you sit, people will casually stroll up to you and sit down. After a minute they will start a conversation with you, and within 2 mintutes you will hear their life story and how much they HATE the government. Truly fascinating, but after 2 weeks of it, it gets tiring.
The worst part is that they obviously all want something from you, which is understandable, and they are so nice about it. But when you have people asking you in one breath to smuggle a letter out of the country, and then int the next telling you that they agree with Ann San that foreigners should stay out of Burma... you see what I mean?
And this is the perfect 'model' Burmese kitchen! Kidding.
O.K., don't laugh at me now... but I have never seen a real well before in my entire life. So, finding these nice Burmese women (see photo below) washing their dishes by the well was soooo interesting for me! I offered to help them with the dishes... but they shoo-ed me away! ;-(
P.S. Just between us, I was really sad to discover that the Burmese women here were treated like 2nd class citizens. For example, when there are guests to be entertained, they don't eat together with the men... They kept on serving the guests and put everyone's needs above theirs!! After a while, I stood up from the dinner table and told them (the women) to sit down with me otherwise I was going to join them in the kitchen too! Oh, believe me, they were horrified. They sat down with me for just a short while (I guess to please me)...before disappearing into the kitchen again! Sigh.
When visiting a temple ....
You will be expected to remove your footwear and then walk clockwise around the temple. The reason for this is a symbolic sign of respect by keeping your right hand, which is deemed cleaner than your left, towards the holy shrine.
Apparently, it is still fashionable to chew on betel nut and tobacco in Myanmar, expecially amongs the older generations. Walking down the street you might just run into spitoons strategically placed on the pavements.