Around the World 1977 - Burma

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In 1977 you could only get a seven day tourist visa for Burma. The drill, as recommended by Tony Wheeler in "Southeast Asia on a Shoestring" was something like this:

Buy a bottle of Red Label and a carton of 555's, duty-free, before you fly in. As soon as you arrive head for the black market near the YMCA and sell this stuff. The profit, based on the "official" exchange rates for the Burmese Kyat, was enough to last you all week.

Spend a night in Rangoon to see Shwedagon Pagoda and buy a train ticket for Mandalay. Spend a day in Mandalay and then get on a river ferry for the 36 hour trip to Pagan. Spend the rest of your time in Pagan. If you could afford to fly back to Rangoon rather than take the train and bus you got an extra day in Pagan.


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