It’s been a week since we entered Myanmar from Mae Sai, so called “Golden Triangle” of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.
Unfortunately I am one of those who haven’t had enough contacts with South East Asian countries to tell their cultures and people apart correctly. I am getting better at this though since I am traveling the area now, it is still difficult to point out which traditional dress or dancing performance belongs to which country and so on.
As you know in the pre-colonial era, the current borders did not exist in South East Asia, but instead, the kings had each sovereignty. Having that in my mind, the difference between Thailand and Myanmar was small, I thought first.
In fact, as we drove up Thailand along the border between the two countries with our motorcycles, We witnessed that some people from Myanmar and their food, well it was just noodle soup though, were pretty similar to their counter parts.
Also when I took a local bus in Tachilek, I asked a woman beside me how to say “thank you”. She answered ” Kob Khun Ka, same as in Thai!”. It was a little unexpected for me. Also even the currency was Thai bahts in Tachilek. Thanks to those experiences, I came to assume that Myanmar is similar to Thailand day by day.
However, after flying to Yangon, my impression on Myanmar changed completely. Myanmar seemed so different from Thailand that I even felt ashamed of myself for having thought that it is not so much unique from one another.
Colonial buildings, men wearing skirts, some yellow powder called thanaka on people’s faces, the cracking number of monks (really!) and it can keep going on like this. I fell in love with the people here in this one week of stay in Yangon.