As our guesthouse mini-van brought us from the Yangon airport to our guesthouse across town, the alien sights of this country attacked our senses. Men going about their business wearing long skirts called longyis, faces plastered with a white paste I had never seen before, a mixture of cars with steering wheels on the left and right sides, pot-holed roads, monks walking about in their robes, and the sweaty temperature of this city as the morning sun quickly rose along with the temperature. I could tell this was going to be an adventure, I just was not sure whether it would be an epic adventure or one to forget.
The wad of Khats in the picture below is worth less than $50 US dollars. We never did see any larger denominations.
One of our early observations was that there are almost no foreign brands here. Even Coca-Cola is imported from Thailand and the words on the can are in Thai sanscrit writing. We never did see a Western chain store of any kind during our visit.
As we toured the country, the Myanmar that began to emerge is a country where the people are incredibly warm and friendly, a people who have a deep and special admiration for the USA and the beacon of freedom that it represents to them, and a people that thoroughly understand the situation with their oppressive government even if there is nothing that they can do about it.