Tyler Haines

XploreAsia

Tyler Haines

Hi my name is Tyler Haines and for the past few months I’ve been working as an English teacher in Thailand along with a friend of mine, Liam Kelly. We both completed a TESOL course and placement through a Thai company called XploreAsia after which we taught for one term in a Thai school.

Liam Kelly and I are avid videographers, photographers and writers, and throughout our time in Southeast Asia we have captured our experiences in several media formats.

We recently ventured to Myanmar for an incredible two-week adventure, which was captured in a captivating multimedia diary. Our amazing experience entailed a non-stop journey through a beautiful, unique and diverse country, traveling all four major corners of the state and more. Please visit the link for our teaser video at:


We are going to be releasing our content over a period of two weeks which will include journal entries, photo albums and videos.

Stayed tuned for some kick ass content



Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Mandalay December 3rd 2012

It’s your typical Myanmar over night bus ride, with relentless bumpy roads, terrifying scenes and music blasting at 3 in the morning. Nonetheless we get to Mandalay physically unharmed (mentally scarred, however). We down the steps, pale and quivering, and enter another crazy scene at the bus station. As far as bus stations go, this is the maddest, even at 3 or 4 in the morning we are swamped by a sea of beetle-chewing taxi drivers while buses are racing in and out of the station at reckless speed. Our stay in Mandalay is a quick one, a full day and night, then we head north in the morning. But we manage to organize a meeting with one of the language schools in town for our arrival. They have arranged a pick up from the bus ... read more
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Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan November 29th 2012

Another early start kicked off our final day in the ancient city of Bagan, with the alarm ringing off at the ungodly hour of 4.30am. I don’t do early starts, and this is the earliest one in a long time, but it was all for a good cause, the sun was due to rise over the temples within the next hour and a half. Half awake and barely coherent, we mounted our trusty bicycles, our derrières aching after consecutive rides on hard seats and with our legs screaming in agony. This was our last day, and witnessing sunrise over 800 year old temples isn’t something one gets to see everyday. With that notion our fatigue gave way to inspiration and determination. During our agonizing ride to the temple we visited the previous day, it began to ... read more

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan November 28th 2012

This day has an interesting start; it begins with a faceoff between me and the communal squat or what I prefer to call the fetal-position toilet. It’s essentially a toilet without a seat—a ceramic hole in the ground. I’ve come across these toilets many times before in Thailand, however back then I had always managed to avoid using it for anything other than number one. This time was different. I don’t feel it necessary to elaborate much further. First on the list of today’s itinerary is a visit to Mount Popa, a steep piece of rock on the side of an ancient volcano with exactly 777 steps that lead to a temple with a great view. The past couple of days contained rigorous cycling, our muscles are exhausted. Liam seems unfazed by the mountain that lay ... read more

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan November 27th 2012

Bagan, the eighth wonder of the world. Arrival began as it had with our arrival at Inle lake, with a bus trek you’d rather forget, but can’t. I look at Liam sitting next to me, his eyes wide and face white. Every few minutes he pokes me, points out the window at a group of kids running along the edge of a cliff, strange packs of animals grazing dusty fields. The A/C is so cold we steal someone’s blanket to keep ourselves warm. So after an eternity, we pull into Bagan in the early hours of the morning, and are greeted by a hoard of friendly horse-carriage drivers that almost maul each other for our business. We pre-arranged what we thought would be a taxi, but turned out to be a wooden carriage being pulled by ... read more
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Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake November 24th 2012

The last day at Inle lake is relatively peaceful, though tiring, which entails a mellow day’s cycling around some parts of the lake. We rent a couple of bicycles close to our guesthouse for 3,000 kyat before we’re given some vague directions on where to start our ride. The initial stretch is easy and beautiful, but that sense of security is short lived after we encounter a steep hill with a path that hardly resembles a hiking trail, let alone a road. Liam pounds forth as I struggle with the feasibility of scaling this ridiculous road. Liam somehow manages to pedal to the top without fail. The same cannot be said for my weak effort. I go only a third of the way before dejectedly getting off and hiking, which wasn’t too much easier. At the ... read more

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake November 23rd 2012

Day two at Inle lake begins at 6:30 in the morning, too early. I feel like a wreck. In the dining lounge, I demolish several cups of coffee before I remember why we are up so early, today we are taking a tour of the lake. Hiring a boat and driver for the day, and doing the usual tourist route of the lake will set you back around 15,000 kyat, depending on your negotiation skills. The typical tourist trail takes you to places around the lake littered with souvenirs, trinkets and somewhat staged scenes of tribal village life, something for which Liam and I care little. After breakfast we meet the boat driver we hired the previous day. The plan is to travel to the far south end of the lake, twice the distance of the ... read more
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Asia » Burma » Yangon Region » Yangon November 21st 2012

A quick visual summary of our time in Yangon, Myanmar. This video acts as a visual aid to my Yangon blog entry. ... read more

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake November 21st 2012

Day three sees us preparing for our journey to Inle lake, but not before a planned visit to one of the most famous sites in Myanmar, and one of the most admired and respected religious monuments in the world, the Shwedagon Pagoda. This golden temple is located in the center of Yangon, surrounded by a large roundabout of traffic. We learn quickly that we’ve come at a bad time, just before midday, simply because of the intense heat, as well as the fact that the sun was reflecting off the golden pagoda so much, it hurt to look at it. Liam begins to smell. Aside from the incredible heat, the Shwedagon is an awesome and humbling experience and a great send off from a unique city. We also are given the opportunity to meet with the ... read more

Asia » Burma » Yangon Region » Yangon November 20th 2012

Welcome to Myanmar, the golden land. The anxiety and excitement leading up to this adventure has been overwhelming, in both not knowing what to expect and finally seeing our plans come through after so much hard work and preparation. We begin in Yangon, which holds the largest population and was the former capital city of Myanmar. It takes a 45-minute flight from Bangkok to travel back 40 years in time; no ATMs, no 7-11s, no place to buy milk and cookies. Among the great number of intriguing aspects upon arriving in Yangon the first thing I notice after landing was the sincere display of kindness, warmth and welcoming, a characteristic I expected, but not to such a degree. The next thing I notice is the vast diversity—a demographic consisting of over 130 different ethnicities, religions and ... read more
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