In December of 2008 Brian Hartenstein and family left America for an adventurous life overseas to live and work throughout Asia, raising three daughters with a sense of wonder and awe at the possibility of the world. It is now 2016 and the adventure continues back home in Oregon. This blog remains as a time capsule to that period. Thank you so much to all our friends around the world. Please stay in touch. We miss you all!
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Aung San Suu Kyi House in Yangon and the Awesome National League for Democracy T-shirt Hunt
Okay...on the last day in Burma I returned to Yangon to relax, get clean, and go in search of the two things I DIDN'T do in this amazing country: 1. Get a Burma / Myanmar country patch for my backpack. 2. Visit the house of Nobel Peace Prize Winner the beautiful Aung San Suu Kyi.
Finding Aung San Suu Kyi house is really easy. You get in a taxi and point to her picture which is probably on his dash board, or point to it on the map (it's in the rich part of town on University Street)... but sorry to say folks... there's no way of even getting close to it. I was really surprised, too. I was led to believe she was under house arrest in just a modest little house by a lake, but not so, in fact, it is more like a compound for the National League for Democracy...which her father started. (The above picture is the exterior gate)
So... I get out of the taxi and start doing the tourist thing... I'm taking pictures and trying to look in through the bars...being a general nuisance and foreign pest...but the taxi driver wants none of it...and tells me he will wait down the street and hurried away.
That's cool. He drops me back in town where I stumble upon a little silk screen store that is creating national flags and liberation t-shirts and guess what... they sell country patches. After searching a hundred market places for this little treasure, I find it in the most obvious place, a stitch shop. the cool thing about the silk screens is that they used this old school way of wooden blocks and painted templates with brushes right on the little factory floor. Awesome!
Then it was off to the Savoy Hotel, where Lonely Planet says you can swim for free, but it cost me $10 U.S. just to enter. That's fine, I took a little dip and enjoyed the first actual luxury in weeks. Totally recommend the Yangon Savoy Swimming Pool after coming off the dirty dusty road. It is not as cool as the Strand Hotel down on the river, but it is a close second and much more intimate.
Finally, to wash off all the mud and grime and that sticky itchy scratchy travel beard, I trekked back through the Muslim Quarter of town and had a barber shave me right on the street. That was a cool experiences because he used several different razors...yes, I kept my eyes closed...and was so precise! I could feel him just slicing and dicing individual hairs. He was amazing! A great way to end a great trip through Burma.