A Walk into Myanmar

Day four of the Golden Triangle Tour and it is a non-riding rest day in Mae Sai, the northern most part of Thailand.

Having felt a bit queasy again since last night, the first job of the day was to get some more Cipro. A nip across the road to the pharmacy and I had a pack of 10 (generic) Cipro tablets for the equivalent of $3 – antibiotics with no prescription needed. Gotta love Thailand!

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Prescription-free antibiotics for $3

At 9.50am, we left the hotel as a group to walk across the bridge to Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). Immigration control was very simple – we just had to pay 500 Baht (about $15) at the Myanmar side.

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Bridge and border crossing into Myanmar

It seems that the main attraction in the border town in Myanmar is its market, that sells a wide variety of products, but they are ALL knock-offs (fakes). As Pae told us, the only thing they sell that is real is water. The very first thing we were offered as we entered the market was Viagra! As we walked around, there were shops selling fake bags, fake sunglasses, fake watches, fake cigarettes, fake wine, beer and spirits, pretty much fake everything. There is even a shop that sells fake motorcycle gear – from boots, gloves and jackets to t-shirts, caps and a bunch of other stuff. Amongst all of these shops, there were a couple selling local ‘medicinal’ items such as bear penis and gall bladders.

 

After wandering around the market for a while, we walked to a nearby coffee shop for lunch.

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Burmese tea
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Lots of small plates were delivered to the table to accompany lunch items
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Three of the waitresses

People in Myanmar, particularly women, like to paint their faces with a yellow cosmetic paste from the ground-up bark of the thanaka tree. For more information, click here

After lunch, some went to the Burmese barber for a hair-cut and shave whilst the rest of us headed back over the border into Thailand.

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Roundabout in the Myanmar border town “City of the Golden Triangle”

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We were only in Myanmar for a little over two hours, so it is hard to really say we visited the country – but we did get stamps in our passports.

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Back on the Thai side
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Monks shopping for tourist souvenirs on the Thai side
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The main road through Mae Sai
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Our hotel – Piyaporn Place Hotel – with a local song-tau (kind of a taxi bus) in the foreground

Tomorrow we will be back on the bikes and will ride in a westerly direction. In the meantime, there is time for another two-hour massage before dinner 🙂

 

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