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25 April 2011

Myanmar – Part 4

By Christian

Another day we rented a scouter and visited the surrounding towns and villages. These short journeys would be considerably shorter if they could construct some decent roads. What starts out as concrete with numerous potholes, quickly turns into rubble and then even sand – at times so thick that the front wheel would constantly skid away from us. The danger levels of these obstacles are constantly multiplied simply by having to also worry about the umpteen buses, trucks, pedestrians and other motorcyclists that take up the already narrow road. Nonetheless we made it to-and-fro without anything more serious than a couple of sore bums.

Actually, I loved scooting around. As you cruise around, the locals never seem to tire of watching you go by, their children pointing and waving with their various attempts at “hello” and “bye bye”. Hilarious!

It’s impossible to write a blog about Ngapali and not mention the food. Cheap, fresh seafood of all variations! So delicious.

….did I mention it was cheap?! A grilled lobster like this set me back about $12.

The general preparation and style is a neat blend between the 3 neighbouring countries – India, China & Thailand. So expect a few familiar Thai flavours – coconut, lime and fishy sauces – mixed with some Indian spices and occasionally a hint of Chinese sweetness. Sounds good right? It was.

In summary, everyone should visit Ngapali beach. Sure, it’s expensive and the über evil Burmese government probably take half of that money (or more) but it’s just too beautiful to miss. In fact, on this note, I went as far as to ask one of the local guys for his thoughts on this somewhat unique situation. I was explaining that a lot of people don’t want to travel to places like this because they feel it’s is indirectly supporting the Burmese government, and therefore contradictory to the sort of help that the local people would like from rest of the world. His response was honest and simple. He told me that if tourists didn’t come to visit this part of Burma then the locals would never have any hope for a future and would remain cut-off from the rest of the world forever. Not because of the local business that tourism promotes or the general investment in the area but, more importantly, for the minds and mentalities of the local people. Tourists bring with them a strong message and representation of freedom. So, simply by talking to the people that visit the area, the locals can “open their minds” to a new way of life, become more aware of their own situation in comparison, and consequently start to rebel against their government’s repressive nature. Of course, this is something that the Burmese government is also very much aware of and even go as far as to deter the locals from interacting with tourists in fear that they may become inspired to lead such a revolt.

So, join the fight for freedom and head for the Burmese beaches! What better way to fight the cause?!

Thanks again for the free tickets AirAsia!!!

  • Low

    Ah… great travel story u got there Christian

    -ching