Announcement - Bamarlay's Diary

I am moving my blog to Myanmar Man's Diary.It has already passed the beta testing stage and now up and running. Please visit my new blog. For, I will be updating it with the excerpt from my new posts in Myanmar Man's Diary. Another blog I was invited to contribute to is Today in Myanmar, a website about Myanmar culture, custom, information, travel advice, life and anything about Myanmar. You can also visit the new blog. So far, I am the only one who regularly contribute to this blog while other friends are still writing their articles. Thank you for your support.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Digital South Asia Library

If you are just interested in the South Asia history and culture, or you are a scholar researching on the geo-politico-social aspect of South Asia, here is a very useful link for you. The Digital South Asia Library has a collection of rare resources difficult to find elsewhere in digital format. There are collections on documents concerning India and South Asia region as well as old maps of the region.

If you want to see maps of India region, its states and major cities during the British colonial period, here are a few links.

The Imperial Gazetteer of India 1909 Atlas

The Imperial Gazetteer of India 1931 Atlas

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Buses in Yangon (Rangoon)

Yangon Bus

Photo: BooBooToo2

If you ever traveled to Yangon for the first time, you will be amazed by the public buses running the streets of Rangoon. Not only are they old and worn out, they are also overcrowded. And some of them date back to the pre-world world 2 era. Many wooden buses from the colonial period still run the streets of Rangoon. They are old, dirty, crowded and break down easily and frequently. The roof is also quite low so tall passengers have to bend their neck and back when standing.
However, those are not the only buses that run the streets of Rangoon. The government has imported larger, newer (comparatively)second hand buses from Japan and Korea in recent years. They are far more larger than the older buses and more comfortable, but most of them are already quite worn out and break down as often.
One thing you might notice in Yangon public buses is that they are overcrowded most of the time. Passengers were packed into buses like herds of animals. But people are quite used to this and do not complain much.
Rangoon bus drivers and conductors are quite notorious for their rude behavior, carelessness and recklessness. More often than not, they shouted at the passengers push them roughly in and out of the bus, and break traffic laws easily. Although the punishment to this offense is a hefty fine and, for habitual offenders, a suspension of the driving/conductor license, most passengers accept this as a norm and don't bother to complain.

Photo: Jules1405

Fare for buses is charged depending on the sectors you travel. The trips are usually subdivided into two or more sectors, and fare is collected for each sector. Usual fare for a sector is 20 kyats. Sometimes, the conductor pretends to forget a change and a passenger has to remind him for the change.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

More Photos of Damneon Saduak Floating Market

Floating Market
Seller in Floating Market
Floating Market

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Bogyoke Aung San Market

If you ever visit Yangon, one place you must go is Bogyoke Aung San Market. Even if you have no intention of buying anything from the market, the place is a must go place for tourists. Nearly one hundred years old now, the market is one of the oldest markets in Yangon. Previously known as Scott's Market, the name was later changed to Bogyoke Aung San Market in honour of the national hero General Aung San. The market is situated in the centre of Yangon, just a walking distance from Sule Pagoda and Traders Hotel. It is situated on the road bearing the same name.

There are a number of shops in the market selling variety of things ranging from Burmese clothes to jewellery. You can also find shops selling paintings and Burmese handcrafts as well as gifts. If you want to fill up your empty stomach, food court is in the centre of the market. Be warned though as the food here is quite expensive.

One thing to remember while shopping in Bogyoke Market is to use your utmost bargaining ability. The place is very notorious for asking high prices for goods so try to bargain as much as you can. After all, bargaining is an art.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Damneon Saduak Floating Market

In Floating Market

We just visited Damneon Saduak Floating Market in Ratchaburi, Thailand. It is a famous floating market built along a man made canal in Ratchaburi. Sellers row boats along a narrow canal and sell things. The market usually starts early around 7 AM but does not reaches its peak until around 9 AM when lots and lots of tourists flood the market and turn the market into Floating Tourists! If you really want to enjoy the market, I advise to got there before 7 AM in the morning and take a boat ride. A boat ride will take around 45 mins and cost 100 baht per head or 500 baht per boat (maximum 6 per boat).

Floating Market

After the boat ride, walk along the canal and take some photos. By this time, the market would already be packed with tourist boats, and you will see a real traffic jam. The weather becomes extremely hot so it is not a good time to take a boat ride at this time anymore. The market usually finishes around noon.

In floating market

Stay away from Bangkok for a while

Because of the fresh violence erupted overnight in Bangkok among PAD and the government supporters, and the declaration of the state of emergency in Bangkok, I think it is better to stay away from Bangkok right now. I am away from Bangkok in a small town, and have not plan yet to go to Bangkok for a while so I will be safe. It is also better to check with the airlines to make sure that the airport will not be shut down, as the unions are planning to shut down all the electricity, water supply, telecommunication and transportation including airports.

Keep up to date with latest development in Bangkok at Bangkok post website.


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