December 16, 2013

Glimpses of Myanmar...!!

The ride was along the ridge of the hills, into the darkness with dust kicking up and tail lamps getting farther and farther. The wonderful ride across northern Thailand which was on amazing roads had suddenly given way to some challenging potholed ones. The sun had painted the sky with a riot of colours and the distant blue hills made for a wonderful landscape. As we rode on I kept gazing at the hills on my right. Beyond them was Myanmar or the old Burma. We were very close to the Myanmar border all along the ride till Mae Sot, the border town. Never had I ridden so close to an international border and the long ride along the same made it an enthralling experience. Pitch darkness and the surrounding thick forests made it an adventurous, crazy and challenging ride all the way to our resort in Mae Sot.


Sunset over the blue hills of Myanmar
As the day dawned, we rode to the border point of Thailand and Myanmar. A long bridge connects both the countries and people from either sides walk across into the other. River Moei separates the two countries as it flows peacefully below the bridge. Walking into another country is definitely on my bucket list. With no Myanmarese visa I was asking for trouble if I attempted climbing that bridge. Children from the border town in Myanmar cross over to Mae Sot for education and then go back to their home country after school. Mae Sot is a bustling town with lots of shops, markets, tourists and locals from both countries. However, people who cross over have free access only up to 10 Kms, beyond which they need a visa. Men from Myanmar stand under the bridge and lure tourists with cigarettes. Myanmarese women could be easily distinguished from their Thai counterparts from the traditional sandal paste on their cheeks.


...and that is Myanmar!

Even though we did see Myanmar from close quarters, the urge to cross over was always there. I did have my one foot in Thailand and the other in Myanmar and that was the closest that I could get to the Land of Pagodas.

P.S.- I was riding across northern Thailand with Ride Thailand on an invite from Tourism Authority of Thailand.

24 comments:

  1. I love your interesting writing style. But why couldn't you have obtained a visa ?

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    Replies
    1. Glad that you like it. We were riding across Thailand and did not have Myanmar in our itinerary.

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  2. How interesting! I too want to go to Myanmar.

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  3. This is building up the suspense.

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    1. There is no suspense. The story with respect to Myanmar ends there.

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  4. Waiting to see more of Myanmar...

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  5. Cool ...i too want to visit Myanmar someday <>

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    Replies
    1. I too would love to visit that beautiful land.

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  6. It is always fascinating to be at the borders!

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  7. Sounds so intersting... and inviting! I wish to go there someday.

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  8. Glad you liked it, Arti. I was so tempted to cross over. :)

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  9. Really liked it.I can almost see your excitement to put your whole foot forward to Myanmar...May be next time :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Ankita. A new country is always exciting as ever.

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  10. Hmm... you got to stand in two countries at the same time? How cool is that! :)

    That ride by the borders was a great experience, I'm sure.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, was super excited to stand in two countries at the same time. The ride along the borders definitely stands as one of my best biking experiences.

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