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Thread: A WBF First?

  1. #1
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    Default A WBF First?

    Is this the first post ever from Myanmar?
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A WBF First?

    Very likely. Pictures, pictures!
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A WBF First?

    I don't know, but is that where Burma-Shave comes from?

    In this world
    Of toil and sin
    Man's head grows bald
    But not his chin
    Burma-Shave
    When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: A WBF First?

    A forum search for Myanmar brings up a lot of threads!

    But this may be a first from there.
    "Simple minds discuss people, Average minds discuss things, and Great minds discuss ideas".

  5. #5
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    Default Re: A WBF First?

    Does the OP provide a "self serving" answer or a solution? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    Xanthorrea

  6. #6
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    Default Re: A WBF First?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob (oh, THAT Bob) View Post
    I don't know, but is that where Burma-Shave comes from?

    In this world
    Of toil and sin
    Man's head grows bald
    But not his chin
    Burma-Shave
    The poorest guy
    In the
    Human race
    Can have a
    Million dollar face


  7. #7
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    Default Re: A WBF First?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Very likely. Pictures, pictures!
    Later - I have to get home first.
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

  8. #8
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    Default Re: A WBF First?

    OK, so I'm home.

    I needed to do a visa run, because I was a slack boy about a month ago and didn't get some stuff done to allow a three month extension - which then becomes a 12 month visa. I looked at flying to Rangoon for a few days, but the whole three day visa application process didn't overlap with flight schedules... so, I went by scooter.

    Tum wanted to come too... and it was a good chance to try out the Honda Forza - a 300cc battle scooter. Damn thing is big, heavy and reasonably comfortable - with room for plenty of luggage. She'd accompanied me on a failed visa run attempt to the same place Mae Sai (Thailand) / Tachilek (Myanmar) about three years ago. That time, we hired a Suzuki VStrom 650 and rode up - but I'd already done two land border crossings into Thailand that year, so I was denied (easily fixed at an Immigration office, for a fee).

    This place, being what it is, we were late setting off. Got away after noon - belted up the main highway, the 118, which I don't particularly like, towards Chiang Rai. There's about 10 km of roadworks going on (and on) on the 118, so we pulled up after that for a quick break at the hot springs.



    Next stop was the Charin Gardens coffee and cake shop... for lunch.



    That shot and the next was the return journey, because I seem incapable of passing without having a bit of their cake



    The water feature is rather nice



    Oh yeah... that reminds me - I always enjoy the view from the men's urinal

    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

  9. #9
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    Default Re: A WBF First?

    Tum enjoyed the tree that matched her sneakers



    It was just after 4 when I gave her a surprise treat... a visit to the White Temple at Chiang Rai. It was crawling with Chinese tourists... it being Chinese New Year.... which reminds me, we saw numerous convoys of Chinese SUVs on the roads, on tour here. Their legendary bad driving led to a change in the law a few years ago - and they now need a qualified tour leader to escort them (and hopefully keep them to sane behaviour, on the correct side of the road).



    No photography inside... but I shot this from outside....



    Amazingly, I got an image that didn't have tourists everywhere





    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

  10. #10
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    Default Re: A WBF First?

    Some detail from that last shot



    They were closing for the day as we jumped back on the scooter and headed through the peak hour traffic in Chiang Rai, and headed towards the border. I'd decided to take Tum up to the highlands town of Doi Mae Salong, where I stayed a few weeks back with the guys. We took a break to take in the scenery on the way up the mountain roads



    Tum wasn't sure if I was serious when I said "we stay here".... at this stall. There was a blanket... and a pumpkin....



    A couple of old ladies came down the hill and unloaded their cut grass - this is the stuff that they make brooms from. They beat the crap out of it on the road surface to get rid of the seeds, then bind it into brooms. It was obviously a heavy load





    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

  11. #11
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    Default Re: A WBF First?

    Onward and upward. The roads up here are as steep as I've ever encountered. In places, I was at full throttle and losing speed.



    But, the scenery is delightful - and for the riders, the roads are divine. Take a look at the curves in the rear view mirror... and the same is out front, as we ride the ridgeline - with stunning views on each side



    Thirty bucks gets you a brutalist, but nice room... with a view. Fifteen bucks will see you bedded down without a view, and I'm sure there's even cheaper options. This mob scrimped on the curtains though.



    I left them open, to catch the sunrise. The night was punctuated with soi dogs and rooster calls.





    Doi Mae Salong has a really heavy Chinese influence to it, despite being in Thailand, near the Myanmar border

    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

  12. #12
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    Default Re: A WBF First?

    We'd been told there was a really nice Chinese restaurant down the road about 300 metres... but this one was closer, and did us



    Back in the saddle in the morning... and down the mountain



    Scooter parking at the Mae Sai border post was easy... and I was straight out into no-man's land. No Tum. Rang her... "I forgot my passport". Truth be, she just needed her ID card... and I don't think she didn't want to go in to Myanmar. So, I paid my US$15 to the Burmese guy at the border post (it would have been US$10.... but Tum had the US currency. I paid in Thai baht. I'm pretty sure the border guards do the currency conversion themselves and pocket the $5)

    So, I was in Myanmar... with a day pass



    First order of the day - breakfast.



    I guessed 'stir fried ground' had to be good - and it was

    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

  13. #13
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    Default Re: A WBF First?

    I said "no thanks" to several offers of tours, and set off to walk around Tachilek a bit. Not wanting to take too long, as I had in mind probably heading back to Rider's Corner in Chiang Mai that night.

    In the end, I'd done a kilometre or two, when I came across a local bike tour guide. Easily spotted with their jackets.... like this



    He wanted $6 for the big tour. I said $3 for a quick tour. OK



    I think he was surprised when I didn't want to go walk around the big golden pagoda. Yeah - seen it. Next





    I'm guessing this place cooks a few eggs



    Going on the size of the necks, maybe this is Burma BBQ Duck?

    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

  14. #14
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    Default Re: A WBF First?

    Again, a heavy Chinese influence



    I'm not sure what a Glan Master is... but it seems rude, and she's hosing it down



    Apparently, this is a "Monatery" - which is either Monetary, or a Monastery... presumably the latter



    More religious stuff - and a local tuktuk, which are much larger than the Chiang Mai variety



    Here's one, loaded up with day-trippers



    A construction site, showing a mix of old and new. Steel roof, bamboo props

    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

  15. #15
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    Default Re: A WBF First?

    This is the only town (along with it's Thai twin, Mae Sai) where I've seen these in abundance. I sure wouldn't want to be riding one on a windy day



    Typical Tachilek street scene. Tour drivers/riders looking for customers, stinky smoke-belching truck, someone riding side-saddle and vehicles parked everywhere



    The way back. This bridge is for day-trippers only. The Friendship Bridge, which I also visited, does major traffic. The traffic here is in the process of changing from driving on the right, to driving on the left.....



    I'm no fan of families that send their kids out to beg... but these varmints scored a note each



    She was sound asleep, so I tucked a note into her glass too



    Burma has about 500,000 monks. The female "equivalent" is the thilashin (Burmese: သီလရှင်, pronounced [θěla̰ʃɪ̀ɴ], "possessor of morality", from Palisīla) - a female lay renunciant in Buddhism in Myanmar. They are often mistakenly referred to as "nuns" (bhikkhuni), but are closer to sāmaṇerīs "novitiates". There's around 75,000 of them.

    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

  16. #16
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    Default Re: A WBF First?

    And, here's the border - the Mae Sai River. Thailand on the left, Myanmar on the right



    I picked up Tum and started belting back down Highway 1. On a whim, I took a right onto the 1149 and headed back up into the hills



    We passed the Doi Tung Royal Palace and Gardens along the way....



    Not far past here, we got stopped by a cop, who also had a local couple pulled over. "Where you going?".... told him and he was happy. I pointed to the cup of urine on the ground that the other officer was dipping a test paper into... "trouble?" "Vitamin test". No vitamin test for me... we were on our way. The drop down from the peaks here was amazingly steep... and we lost the rear brake, which also, on the Forza, operates one piston on the front brake caliper. The normal front brake operates the other two pistons on the front caliper. I wasn't happy about it, as the day before we left, I'd supposedly had the brake fluid replaced. I suspect they just topped it up. I will do it myself. Anyhow.. the rear brake lever just went limp... straight to the bar and the front was starting to soften. There's bugger-all engine braking with a scooter, so we tootled for a while. I could get brakes on the rear by pumping, but I just let it all cool down.

    Here's the day's elevation profile.... 352 km covered, in six hours (and four seconds) riding - much of it at full throttle, all whilst achieving better than 60 miles per US gallon.



    Roads covered



    Top end in more detail



    Nice, fun trip
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

  17. #17
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    Default Re: A WBF First?

    Some superb pix and interesting history Ian. Thank you.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: A WBF First?

    Once again....thanks.
    I once thought I was wrong, but I was wrong, I wasn't wrong.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: A WBF First?

    Im not surprised you stop for cake, thats a very generous portion too, ideal for a growing lad! Thanks for taking us along on the ride.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: A WBF First?

    Wow. Thanks.

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