A day at Tachileik | Myanmar
When I look at my Myanmar pictures it still feels so surreal that I actually crossed the border by foot and visited this beautiful country. It was just for a day, but the whole journey to Myanmar was so worth it. It has only been a few years that Myanmar allows tourists to visit the country, even if it’s just for a day. A lot of tourists use the Mae Sai border to extend their visas. They walk across the border, take a look at the market which is located at the border and then make their way back.
We actually hired a guide for the day with a tuk-tuk that drove us around Tachileik. You’ll find plenty of them when you reach the Tachileik border, just try to find on with a god price and a person that speaks out to you. They don’t speak English fluently, but I’m sure there are a lot of guides that will be able to understand and give you what you want. What they ask for in return is just a small amount of money.
What I do want to address is that most of the time the entrance fee is not included in the package that the guide sells you. This is how they make most of their money in Myanmar. They are not used to the tourists and they think that they can make easy money. So make sure to bring enough cash with you.
The first portrait is a Padaung Women and it’s taken at the Paduang Tribe Garden. It’s a village that provides homes for refugees from the civil war, and allowing tourists into their village is how they make an income. It was very hard for me to walk around here. It seems like it is all staged for tourists and they are aware that people will photograph them. And the hardest part was to see the sadness in her eyes. It’s just heartbreaking…
Here I was with my fancy dress and my expensive camera, wandering around in their village. So I tried to communicate, but only the younger girls seemed to be able to speak English, but very little. I bought some amazing wooden figures that were made by hand, and represent the hill tribe ‘long neck’ woman.
Some people have mixed feelings about these villages. Because they think that it is because of us as a tourist that these women keep on living like this. With the long necks which are fragile because of all the rings. But we do need to understand that it’s part of their culture. And the government needs to find a respectable way for these two worlds to meet together.
I do feel like my visit was unique, a once in a lifetime experience because everything was still so authentic and untouched.
Click here for Faces of Myanmar Part I.
Have you ever had a similar experience?
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