Goodbye Chiang Mai, Hello Yangon!

May 2, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

I’m writing this from the Chinese restaurant at my hotel in Yangon, Myanmar.  20130502_164410This Instead of 11 hours ahead of Boston, the time is 10 and a half hours ahead, which is kind of weird. I’m eating Mapo Doufu, one of my favorite dishes in the world. It’s a good one, but not as delicious as the one I ate the night before leaving for survey 😀

20130502_155436This morning, I had two easy flights over here (first to Bangkok and then to Yangon) and found a taxi to the hotel easily. The Yangon airport was pretty nice!

This morning I was driven to the airport in Chiang Mai by the father and daughter I hung out with Tuesday afternoon so that was really nice.

Once I checked into the hotel, I went for a walk around the hotel neighborhood. I noticed a few things. 20130502_161250This city, at least today, feels really foreign and different – i’m not sure how exactly to explain that yet -, and I stick out big time as I walk around so i’ve been getting quite a few looks.

Some of the main things being sold on the street are school textbooks for every grade, custom-made signs, food (of course – fruits, noodles, and fried things) and betel nut. I first heard about betel nut when one of my colleagues went to Papua New Guinea and told us all about how the streets were covered in red splotches, and it wasn’t blood but rather betel nut spit.

20130502_164639Here, it’s sold in little carts on the side of the road rolled up in leaves with some spices. You put the leaf in your mouth and just chew it, I think. It makes people’s teeth look really crazy if they’ve been chewing it for a long time. Do an image search if you dare. After I walked around a market, I went to see a temple but didn’t go in, and then went back to the room. 20130502_164119I had a nice work out (the gym here is better than expected!) and then went to dinner.

Yesterday, I worked in the morning, and then headed to the trendy area of Chiang Mai called Nimman. They have a ton of coffee shops and some other boutiques. Just a note to the reader: pictures above are from Yangon. The picture below is of Chiang Mai. 20130501_142912After walking around Nimman for a while, I went to the old city area and walked around there too. I ate a dish that was kind of like pad see ew. I did a little more work and then went back out to get another massage and dinner. All in all, Thailand was really awesome but as always I’m excited to be in a new place.

Love, Annie

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