My theme this year is Burma AKA Myanmar. I used to live in Laos, so this was a return to Southeast Asia that I looked forward to. I spent a little over three weeks exploring this country, learning a bit about its culture: its history, religion, and language. I thought others might enjoy some of what I learned and see some of what I saw.
Money is called Kyat /chat/ 1,000 Kyat is $1. In Burma they’ll take dollars, but they prefer fives and larger bills. If your bills are torn or in any way damaged, they’re not acceptable, so you have to carry new bills if you want to spend US currency. The Kyat are often in really bad shape.
|Palace Grounds in Mandalay
Mandalay is one of most beautiful cities I visited. It’s very modern and its gardens invite you to stroll, even on a steamy day. It’s the second-largest city in Burma and was the last royal capital. It’s north of Yangon and sits on the east bank of the Irrawaddy River. Over a million people live here.
|Mandalay Street Vendor|
The Markets of Burma are a sensory overload. They’re always filled with color and scents of the most wonderful spices and cooked foods. Then there’s the reality of markets with freshly killed animals. Their meat doesn’t come in tidy plastic wrap.
|Each tribe has a unique scarf to mark them as members of that group.|
|Some bargaining going on here.|
|Spices by the pound.|
Have you traveled or lived in places to experience the challenges of everyday details like money, or line protocol or how to say hi/goodbye? Have you been in cultures that do things so much differently than your own? If so, you’ve learned a lot about the world you live in. Where have you traveled or lived in this world?