Date registered: February 12, 2008
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@mike4g_air It's made possible by land swaps — this recent Sinica podcast gives a pretty good introduction to how they work, and how local officials use them to screw farmers.
More of this, please!
I absolutely love that second work! Wish I could see the whole exhibition...
I just skimmed Tom69's replies and they seem mostly consistent with my experience on a trip last month, except for the money issues. Some thoughts/comments:
Border crossing: I was also hearing that returning to Thailand over land is doable.
Hostels/Hotels: Advisable to book ahead when you can. You definitely do not want to land in Yangon with no room. I paid as little as $10 (Motherland 2, dorm, in Yangon, totally serviceable) and as much as $50. Seemed like the standard for a passable but not nice room was around $25 everywhere you go.
ATMs: You really should bring crisp USD. ATMs very rare in Yangon, and the amount you can get vs the fee (plus what you get charged by your own bank) is ludicrous. If you are desperate, yes you'll be able to get money from an ATM but you don't want to count on it. There is a good chance you will not be staying near any ATMs. I also saw a Chinese guy trying to exchange RMB at the airport, and getting basically laughed at.
Granted, I was there mid-March, and our friend here is saying the situation changed March 31. But I would really bring USD if you can.
I do have contact info for a travel agent, but have no special reason to recommend her or any other I encountered there. You'll do just as well booking directly through your hotel.
You can't complete a booking online no matter what kind of Internet connection you have — the airlines will only take cash payment.
You can't go in over land, you need to fly. I just bought a ticket for a trip March 10-18 that was just 1500 RMB, including tax (!) from Ctrip.
For recent info on visa requirements, check the Myanmar Consulate listing. I called a week ago and posted what I found there.
Yes, I followed prompts on the site and hit a dead end. It doesn't work yet. I have an American friend who gets visas on arrival, but she is working there so it's a business visa. Seems for tourist visa, no can do.
I just got off the phone with the consulate in Kunming, and posted what I found out on this site's listing for the Myanmar Consulate.
Recently stayed at Lost Garden and Upland, which seem to be each other's only competitors in that neighborhood. I prefer Lost Garden— seems to be more comfortable rooms, and slightly better overall. I did spend one night in a horrible room there — one of their dorm rooms in the main building. It seems to have flooded and had one of the strongest mold odors I have ever smelled. But I had them move me the next day into another room (it was dorm 101, in the building that does not have a lobby or restaurant).
Definite room for improvement (roof terrace is not at all tended to, random boxes and stuff in hallways, very slow breakfast service), but as guesthouse/hostel options go in Kunming, it seems to be the best of the few things going.
Wednesday, June 19
15th Green Drinks: guest speaker Mr. Jihua Tang who is the carbon finance officer in Initiative Développment, 7:00-8:30pm, free entry
Ladies Night! Amaretto sour on special for ladies, 15 yuan, 9:30pm, free entry
ItIsWhatItIs: DJ/Producer Low Scene (Hulu Records) mixing up a solid set of tech house, deep house and techno, 10pm, free entry
Pizza Night: 20% off all pizzas, add salad 10 yuan, add salad and Beer Lao 20 yuan, 5pm
Morning Coffee Corner: with donations going to employee insurance and various charities, free coffee, 9:30-11:30am
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