14 April 2012

Home in Chuang Tha, Myanmar

Chuang Tha inadvertently became mine and Allie’s home for a week.  We just became so comfortable there and allowed ourselves to experience what the locals experience that it was hard to leave, even when we were craving cheese, AC, clean (non-smelly) water to bathe in, and working internet.  While the two drawbacks of this little piece of home only has electricity provided by the government from 6pm-10pm (so no AC/fan, lights, internet (!!) for 20 hours a day when it’s super hot) and the water that everyone bathes in and does laundry in is in fact from the lake, this place has soooo many great qualities and charm to it.  Many of these include: locals and Chinese tourists all wear clothing from head to toe in the sun and water, the breezy beaches with big straw umbrellas that we mostly slept and read under all afternoon, gentle waves, ocean water so warm you’d think you were in a bath, small fireworks that go off every night on the beach, women selling foods like fried fish, prawns, lobster and coconut rice dishes on little tables balanced on their heads, children selling the release of sand crabs they captured into the ocean (only to go and capture them again and try to sell their freedom to another unsuspecting tourist), those same children curious about Westerners, learning to read English, and learn more about our electronic gadgets like tablets and iPhones (and teaching them how to play Angry Birds), going to a local Caribbean bar where locals play in a live band singing Burmese rock songs, getting invited by our new local friends for payaya shakes, going to the market to buy fish, and out for dinner and drinks and never expecting anything in return, learning more about the Myanmar culture and politics (along with the unspoken racism that exists there) and the remarkable changes that are soon to come and really change their world for the better, meeting an Italian woman who bought some land there and is building a house to create a more tourist friendly experience and helping out her local friends, having our local host at the guest house help us with some “special” Burmese medicine to help Allie with her food poisoning, and a local who showed us where to get the best pastires in town in his little village and who taught us how to drive motorcycles (sorry Dad!  I really wanted to learn!!).

So many memories, not enough time to write them all here.  But I will never forget my experience in Myanmar and all of the wonderful people I met, all the smiling faces and genuinely warm greetings, the wonderful food, and the new friends I’ve made.  I am unbelieveably excited for Myanmar during this time of great change for them, the new government that they’re about to have and all of the new opportunities sprinting in their direction.

Yep, people even go in the ocean with a shower cap on

And they go in fully clothed

Local coconut hat vendor

I thought it strange at first to ride a bike on the beach, but it seems to be rather successful

Another hat vendor

The BEST pastries in town!!  Of course you have to go into a little village to get them.  (Chef in the background)

Fried-just-about-anything is available for sale along with coconut water

A real treat! We went with our friend to the fish market to select these.  The pastry chef grilled them to PERFECTION!

The kids love playing with the digital camera and seeing the pictures of each other

To help Allie with her food poisoning... but it really did work!!
Our friend who adopted us and showed us around, had a bbq, ate pastries with, and taught us to ride a motorcycle

Our guest house friend who loves singing American music and learning English


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