Changing money at airport
Good news: You can use master card to withdraw money from local ATM in Yangoon. Now KBZ and MOB banks supports for this method.
Another good news is now you can change USD/SGD to MMK at the airport. The exchange rate at the time I visited is 1USD = 952MMK. As many people suggested, it is good to change a little money at the airport. To grab good deal, one can find some shops in Aung San Market for better rate.
Phone and Sim card
I cannot find any SIM card 20$USD as expected, but this can be found in any other mobile shop in Yangoon. Instead there were 2 options at the airport
- Rent phone with normal SIM card 50USD
- Data SIM only : 60USD
Each has validation time 5 days. Higher price for longer days.
According to the staff there, the data SIM card can be used in various places across the country.
Overnight bus to Moulmein (Maulmyine)
Arriving to Yangoon, I immediately look for bus at Aung Mingalar station. Since the flight is late afternoon, I know that I have to take the overnight bus to another city. As a friend suggested me, it would be wiser to visit Yangoon at the last day, because there are more attractions at other cities.
That was why I choose Moulmein as my first destination in Myanmar. My first experience: choose an aircon bus. Normally, non-aircon bus will be dirtier and more goods are placed inside the bus.
Already getting enough sleep from the airplane and bus trip, I open my laptop, do some research about Moulmein.
I just afraid of electric cut but it didn’t happened. I already had a list of places to go:
- U Zina Paya
- Kyaikthanlan Paya
- Mahamuni (Bahaman) Paya
- Shampoo Island
- Cultural Museum
There were so many pagodas to visit. There are some attractions worth to visit that can be visited within a day:
- Death Railway
- The Japanese Pagoda: 42mi
- ThanbyuZayat: 40 mi away
- Kyaikkami Yele pagoda: 88km
But the whole cost is 50000 Kyat. For a lonely travel like me, it was so expensive. Another cheaper plan was (only cost ~25000 MMK by taxi):
- Declining Budda
- Yoe-go village: 5mi from Moulmein.
- Ta Yat Gone village: (2mi)
In fact, this was the day I took most of my photos. I waited until 6am and gave a call to Cinderella Hotel. The staff didn’t response my call earlier probably because they were still sleeping.
I called a taxi (actually a bike) to bring me around the city before reaching the hotel.
I took some photos during my trip in Myanmar. Due to slow internet connection, I couldn’t post photos at the moment. It was an amazing experience and after all, I realize that the power is in the people. The matter is not where I travel, it is whom I travel and meet with.
This is the first post in my series of Myanmar travelling journey.
It was my first 21 km. The event was Sundown Marathon Singapore.
It would be a smooth run, until I encounter an incident that caused my run late half an hour. When I come to the starting point at 12am, the place was filled with many people preparing for the 10km race.
For some reason, i have a strong belief that even though I start late, I could manage to finish before 4am, which is the cutoff time.
I run wildly into the crowd at the starting line. Someone told me that it was impossible to run 21 km now, the road is closed, only 10km is available.
I didn’t believe that. I moved forward. A quick glance on the left side, I saw an African guys, he wants to secure the fastest runner. I am not him, I come here to challenge myself, not the be the fastest.
I called for help and the security guys brought me to the Start Arc. He looks reluctantly. I assured one more time: “Let me run, I can catch up with my friends”. And they let me go.
An incredibly starting. Lonely. On the road. No people. Just follow the route.
10 minutes later, I saw a couple who were very tired, I guess the girl has not feeling well today.
Then I had no competitors on the route in the first half hour. What I did is I just need to surpass people at the last lines falling behind the race.
Running with friends is the motivation to cheer you up. I saw a group of people running together. One person blew his whistle, while others clapped their hands at regular interval to cheer up. I was inspired.
However, it is till an individual race. There is a proverb saying “Do not compare to others, compare to yourself.” The race is still my own race anyway.
I feel the joy of passing others. But I always remind that it is only the beginning of the race. After 1.5 hour, I will run among the average runners in the race. I change my strategy. Run slow and persistent. It was what I did in the later half of the run.
The last km: my legs have no feeling at all. Still, I could feel my ankle pain again.
Exhausted. I had already skipped a lot of water/100 plus on the way. Drinking a certain amount of water is good. But a lot of water is not advisable.
Then that is it. I completed 21.35 km in 2:55 minutes. Not bad. I can do it.