|Some snacks at the sky lounge.|
This return trip all started with my brother Tim taking me to the BART station at Walnut Creek, California and then taking the train into the San Francisco airport. The train takes you right into the terminal so it is really easy. I had enough time to spend in the sky lounge and sit around, eat, use the internet and waste time then it was time to board. Nothing much to report about it suffice to say it was an easy trip but the food wasn't as good as the first time.
When I arrived at the Yangon airport there was supposed to be a receptionist from a hotel that I previously booked online waiting for me. There wasn't anyone there so I struck up a conversation with a taxi driver and he knew where the hotel was. For $8 dollars he would take me there in his beat up, no air conditoned having, no suspension, stinky Toyota. There were 2 guys and they were nice enough to show me around to a couple other places. The place I originally booked didn't have any electricity due to the shortage around here. They have been testing the new government's push for reforms by protesting the lack of electricity and I guess all the protests have been peaceful and allowed to continue. However, for this place, Beautyland Hotel, there would be no electricity until about 5pm. I just wanted to take a shower and relax in a relatively nice room but as it turns out the room rates are really going up. I didn't choose this place but continued to look for something better. As Myanmar shows more openess to reform more western countries like the U.S are taking an interest and that means more business tourism. The hotels are aware of this and doubled their prices within the last 6 months. This means that there is a real shortage for budget or moderately priced rooms. The ones that are $25-$30 are what used to be about $10-$15 and it shows. I continued my search and found a place called Hotel Yoma. The reception was really nice and showed me their available room. My room has a ceiling that is about 5 feet 8 inches so being that I am just a spec over 6 feet, I can't stand up straight. I have to get a photo of that. I feel like I am in Alice in Wonderland or something.
They use a currency called the Kyat (pronounced 'chat') and right now it is about $1 = 850 kyat. I only got the rate of 780 at the hotel but that's pretty close. I exchanged 10 dollars and took that money and went out to the street and got 2 rotti with egg, fried rice with egg and chicken and some tea for less than $3. Now back to my room to lay horizontally and watch some really bad TV.
|Hot tea, fried egg with fried rice, and rotti on the side. All of this for less than $3.|