Me 5 Bath... you shut up!!


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Asia » Burma
January 4th 2009
Published: January 4th 2009
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Until recently in Thailand you could get a 30 days visa in arrival... now you get 15 days if you come overland and 30 if you fly in...

Aimar's visa was expiring on the 29th and ours a few days later so we all went to Ranong to cross to Myanmar, a country that I never thought I will visit...

There are lots of agencies that arrange day trips to the border and back which are comfortable and popular among the tourists... but they are bloody expensive so we did it our way and we arrive to the caotic on a local bus.

Due to those organize trips, there were a lot of tourists that didn't have a clue about what was going on and were. like sheep, doing whatever the locals would tell them "pay this amount" or "stay in this line".

While we were on the departure line, we saw a very angry local shouting to some tourists because they didn't want to pay the 10B he was asking because they didn't know what it was, and he even made a gesture of hitting one of them; with his bars and stars shirt, he was behaving, not only in a very un-buddhist way, but also rude and violent. I asked one of the people who had paid what that money was about and he answer that he didn't know, someone asked him for the money and he apid it... unbeliveable!!!

To get to Myanmar you have to cross the Pagyan River and, due to the lack of organization and information, we thought that it was literally crossing the river to the other side which was about 50 mts away so, when the guy on the american shirt asked us for 300B we thought it was too much.

I had always thought of Aimar as a very patient person... I was very surprised to see him at the border!!!

Aimar told the guy that 300B was too much and he was going to pay 5B and we got on the 1st boat we saw people getting on; the local took it really bad and starting shouting to us even more; when we asked the other tourist on the boat how much they had paid, a fat girl told us that she paid 2000B for an organised trip and that 300B wasn;t that much so we should pay it... that made Aimar go even crazier, and with reason because it is for people like her and like the guy who paid the 10B (we later founf out that they were asking that money because it was saturday, that means it was because the guy in the american shirt wanted some extra cash, as we didn't pay it and didn't have any problems) that the locals become abusive and prices high.

So, after the guy in the shirt told Aimar to F*#~ off we left the tourist boat and got on a local one (with no roof and hence the price difference) and arrange with the owner to get us to the other side for 50B each, while the guy in the shirt was still shouting from shore trying to convince the owner not to take us.

But finally left Thailand behind and, after all, it wasn't just to cross the river but a half an hour trip!!!

We had the idea of staying in Myanmar for a day to have a look at what was going on, since we didn't know much about it, but you can't leave that city...

But when we arrived, things weren't the way we thought and we can't even start to imagine what's happening to the population: we had to leave our passports at the policec station and get provisional ones, to make sure we didn't go anywhere and we had ALL THE TIME a 'friend' who worked at the police station and took us to 1 of the 3 hotels where tourists can stay that, of course, was really expensive. Aimar tried to speak to the owner to make an deal but he wouldn't speak to us and we had to do everything through the "friend", and same at the place where we had lunch: he sat on the next table and, even though he said there was no problem about taking pictures, he stood behind me to check what I was photographing...

Not a single person talked to us, except children to beg for money or smile at us at the place where we eat because they don't know yet that is "forbidden" to talk with tourists.

So we left, because we didn't want to give any money to an abusive government...

On the way to the police station to get our passports back, our "friend", tried to make us buy "viagra" and cigarettes, which is the way the goverment makes money with the tourists and, as we were leaving he even asked for a "tip"... "que tip ni que tip" was Aimar's only answer...

Back in Thailand, the tour groups were gone and we were the only ones there... the guy on the american shirt was busy watching thai boxing on TV to ask us for the 10B for being saturday... he probably knew we weren't going to give it to him...




Yo 5 Bath... tu te callas!!!



Hasta hace poco en Tailandia te daban 30 dias de visa, entraras por aire o por tierra... ahora te siguen dando 30 cuando vuelas, pero solo 15 cuando entras por tierra...

La visa de Aimar caducaba el 29 y la nuestra unos dias despues, asi que nos fuimos los 3 juntos a Ranong a cruzar la frontera con Myanmar, un pais que jamas pense en visitar...

Hay muchas agencias que organizan viajes de ida y vuelta en el dia para cruzar la frontera, que son muy comodos y populares entre turistas, pero bastante caros, asi que nos fuimos por nuestra cuenta y llegamos en un bus local al caos fronterizo...

Debido a esos viajes organizados, habia un monton de turistas que no tenian ni idea de lo que hacian e iban, como ovejas, siguiendo lo que los locales les decian "ponete en esta fila" o "paga esta cantidad".

Estando en la fila de salida de Tailandia, vimos a un local, bastante cabreado, chillandole a unos turista porque no le habian pagado los 10B que les pedia; con su camisa de barras y estrellas, se comportaba de una manera, no solo poco budista, sino borde y maleducada. Le pregunte a uno de los que habia pagado (porque te daban una pegatina para demostrar que eras bueno y seguias las normas!!) para que era ese dinero y me contesto que no lo sabia, que se lo habian pedido y el lo habia pagado... increible...

Para llegar a Myanmar, hay que cruzar el rio Paygan y, por falta de organizacion e informacion pensamos que era, literalmente, cruzar hasta la otra orilla que estaba a unos 50 mts, por eso, cuando el tipo de la camisa nos pidio 300B nos parecio abusivo.

Siempre he pensado que Aimar era una persona paciente... me sorprendio mucho verlo en la frontera!!!

Le dijo al hombrecillo que 300B era ridiculo y qu el iba a pagar 5B y que se callara, lo cual le sento fatal y nos chillo incluso mas; al preguntar a los otros turistas cuanto habian pagado ellos, una inglesita gorda nos dijo que ella (y todos los demas del barco!!) habia pagado 2000B y que 300B no era tanto y que porque no los pagabamos... eso hizo que Aimar se cabreara aun mas, y con toda la razon del mundo, ya que es por gente como ella y como el que pago los 10B sin saber para que (resulto que era por ser sabado... o sea, porque el de la camisa queria hacer un dinerillo extra a costa de turistas estupidos que pagan sin saber porque, ya que nosotros no lo pagamos y nadie vino a arrestarnos) que los locales se vuelven abusivos y los precios desorbitados.

Asi que, despues de que el de la camisa le dijera a Aimar que se fuera al carajo en muy buen ingles, dejamos el barco de turistas y nos subimos a uno local (sin techo, de ahi la diferencia de precio!) donde arreglamos con el duenho para cruzar por 50B cada uno, mientras el de la camisa seguia chillando desde la orilla intentando convencerlo para que no nos llevara...

Por fin dejamos Tailandia atras y resulto que no era solo cruzar hasta la otra orilla, sino un viaje de una media hora!!!... si explicaran eso en la frontera todo seria mas facil...

La idea era quedarnos en Myanmar una noche para echar un vistazo, ya que sabemos muy poco de este pais donde te dan una visa de 14 dias, pero no te dejan salir de la ciudad...

Pero al llegar, las cosas no eran como nos las imaginabamos y no podemos ni empezar a comprender por lo que tiene que estar pasando la poblacion: tuvimos que dejar los pasaportes en la estacion de policia y nos dieron unos provisionales, para asegurarse de que no ibamos a ninguna parte; ademas tuvimos TODO EL TIEMPO con nosotros a un "amigo" que trabajaba en la estacion de policia y que nos llevo a uno de los 3 hoteles donde los extranjeros se pueden quedar que, claro, era crisimo; intentamos hablar con el duenho pero no queria ni mirarnos y todo tenia que ser a traves del "amigo", y lo mismo a la hora de comer: se sento en la mesa de al lado y, aunque dijo que podia sacar fotos sin problema, se puso detras de mi para ver a donde enfocaba.

Ni una sola persona hablo con nosotros, excepto ninhos para pedir limosna o lanzarnos una sonrisa de curiosidad porque todavia no saben que esta prohibido hablar con los extranjeros.

Asi que nos fuimos, porque no queriamos dejar dinero para un gobierno tan abusivo.

De camino a la estacion de policia para recoger los pasaportes, nuestro "amigo" nos intento convencer para que comprasemos viagra y tabaco ya que asi es como el gobierno hace negocio con los turistas y, al final, incluso nos pidio una "propina", "que propina ni propina" fue la contestacion de Aimar mientras subiamos al barco... propina por controlarnos!!!

De vuelta a Tailandia los turistas de los grupos organizados se habian largado y estabamos solos (de hecho pensamos que la frontera estaba cerrada!!) y el de la camisa estaba ocupado viendo boxeo tailandes en la tele como par pedirnos los 10B por ser sabado... o a lo mejor es que sabia que no se los ibamos a dar...



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4th January 2009

mala suerte
hahaha..sounds very amusing from so far away. I always perceived Aimar as a patient person too, but I guess he did get angry with reason..too bad that Myanmar turned out so disturbing and abusing for you guys, I have seen breathtaking pictures of landscapes been littered with hundreds of ancient budism temples!!
4th January 2009

Que majos los de Myanmar, ay que ver! Me encanta la foto de Aimar donde esta enfadado. Nos vemos pronto. Un beso a los three. Mary
4th January 2009

Feliz año!!!!
Feliz año chic@s!!!!! entre tiburones o no suena que lo habeis estado pasando genial....y para aventura la que habeis tenido que pasar al cruzar a Myamar....pero sin adventure no hay viaje,jeje... Seguid asi que nos encanta ver nuevas aventuras.... Bueno, Aimar ya te queda poco...y estas aprovechandolo hasta el final...cuando estes por aqui ya nos contaras...
17th January 2009

Que cara!!!
Chicos que cara la del tio de la camisa, y que cara la de Aimar. Sria para verlo, je je Y es que vaya Odisea... Happy New Year to you both, and to say that Aimar looks genial. Y que nos vemos prontito. Un besazo

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