A sad tale from Chin Hills

Chin family
Chin family

Chin Hills State is probably the poorest region in Myanmar. It is also the most difficult region to live and survive. Almost all places in Chin State are mountains and hills, with no flat land; all the towns and villages are built on the mountains where it is very cold or in valleys where malaria is a serious problem. Land for cultivation is so few that the state cannot produce enough rice or food for its entire population. There is not enough jobs for the people, and thousands of Chin youths read more



Myanmar Tuk Tuk

Myanmar Tuk Tuk

Everybody knows the famous tuk-tuk from Thailand. You must have seen that TV ads from VISA with James Bond riding a tuk-tuk in the streets of Bangkok. Tuk-tuk is synonymous with Thailand. However, does anybody know that Myanmar also has tuk-tuk running the streets of towns and cities in Myanmar? Just introduced a few years ago, it has become a popular and cheap form of public transport in Myanmar. Myanmar tuk-tuk is different from Thai tuk-tuk. In Thai tuk-tuk, the passengers sit facing the front read more


Trishaw – Myanmar way of travel

Trishaws (or Side-car as it is known in Myanmar) are the easiest and most convenient mode of transportation in Myanmar, especially outside of Yangon. Although buses are the major mode of travel in Yangon, very few buses run the streets of other major cities and towns in Burma. In smaller towns in Myanmar, there is no public bus service. People in these smaller cities and towns have to rely on trishaws as the major mode of public transport.

Beer culture in Myanmar

Last 20 years saw the establishment of beer culture in Myanmar. Before 1988, beer is a rare commodity in Myanmar. The government produced Mandalay beer was always in short supply. It was available only in a very few hotels and restaurants. Foreign brands like Heineken and Tiger beer were available in black markets at a high price. Most Myanmar people cannot afford to buy a can of beer then. With the opening of economy in 1988 saw the introduction of a number of locally produced beer brands in read more

PCO – Public Phones in Myanmar

Myanmar public phone

This is what a PCO looks like in Myanmar. PCO stands for Public Call Outlet, a public telephone. Unlike those from other countries, there are no public phones using coins or card. Instead, at a PCO, there are one or two ordinary fixed land line telephones with an attendance to mark time and charge the user. Although not as convenient and as private as true public telephone booths, it is a popular and widely used public communication read more

Buses in Yangon (Rangoon)

Yangon BusIf you ever traveled to Yangon for the first time, you will be amazed by the public buses running the streets of Rangoon. Not only are they old and worn out, they are also overcrowded. And some of them date back to the pre-world war 2 era. Many wooden buses from the colonial period still run the streets of Rangoon. They are old, dirty, crowded and break down easily and frequently. The roof is also quite low so tall passengers have to bend their neck and back when standing. However, those are not the only buses that run the streets of Rangoon. The government has imported larger, newer (comparatively)second hand buses from Japan and Korea in recent years. They are far more larger than the older buses and more comfortable, but most of them are already quite worn out and break down as often. One thing you might notice in Yangon public buses is that they are overcrowded most of the time. Passengers were packed into buses like herds of animals. But people are quite used to this and do not complain much. Rangoon bus drivers and conductors are quite notorious for their rude behavior, carelessness and recklessness. More often than not, they shouted at the passengers push them roughly in and out of the bus, and break traffic laws easily. Although the punishment to this offense is a hefty fine and, for habitual offenders, a suspension of the driving/conductor license, most passengers accept this as a norm and don’t bother to complain. Fare for buses is charged depending on the sectors you travel. The trips are usually subdivided into two or more sectors, and fare is collected for each sector. Usual fare for a sector is 20 kyats. Sometimes, the conductor pretends to forget a change and a passenger has to remind him for the change.

Life on Irrawaddy (Ayarwaddy or Ayeyarwaddy)

Life on IrrawaddyIf you ever sailed along the great river Irrawaddy (Ayarwaddy or Ayeyarwaddy), the largest and longest river in Myanmar, you would notice one thing. Life is almost as it was sixty years ago. Old wooden ships still run along the river as it was before the World War II. Workers carry rice sacks over their shoulders, loading and unloading ships docked at the piers. Naked children swim in the muddy river while their mothers bath on the river bank; the same thing that their mothers and grand mothers read more

Pork on Stick (Wet-thar-dote-htoe)

Wet Thar Dote Htoe (Roasted Pork Intestine)This is a favorite Burmese food. Originally from Chinese community in Myanmar, it has become a popular food in cities. Called “Wet-Thar-Dote-Htoe”, it literally means “Pork on Stick”. Various parts of the pig are cooked with soy-bean sauce and seasoning. The parts include carious internal organs like intestine, liver, kidney, spleen, heart, lungs, tongue as well as meat, skin and cartilage. They are then cut into small pieces, and put on tiny bamboo sticks and served. read more