David Bockino first visited Myanmar in 2005 on a one-hour, carefully coordinated “tourist” tour of Tachileik in Shan State. He describes unremarkable photo ops and run-down buildings, quoting travel writer Paul Theroux in saying that “nothing happens in Burma, but then nothing is expected to happen”.
During World War II, more than 600 Allied aircraft went down over Myanmar while trying to deliver supplies to China. The planes were flying a treacherous route from Assam, India, to Kunming, a route that led them over the eastern peaks of the Himalayas.
Visa regime inspired by Kafka, landlords that require a 12-month upfront payment, and the Ebola-cum-Zika virus “scanner” on the ground floor of Yangon Airport’s arrivals terminal. Together, they are the three pillars of the world’s most effective quarantine system. Back by unpopular demand, notorious local barfly Barrie Cadshaw identifies five more of the most common expat specimens you might spy in Yangon through the foggy bottom of your beer glass.
In the sport of bicycle racing, the word “hammer” has several uses. It can be a verb indicating the act of riding very hard and very fast while feeling no pain. To “put the hammer down” is to initiate the act the hammering. And to “get hammered” is to be spat out the back of the race as the result of the efforts of hammers who are hammering away at the front. But at this year’s Tour of Thailand it was the five-man Myanmar National Team that got hammered.