Moving down southwards along the coast of the Andaman Sea the next port of call was Dawei. Dawei is a small jungle city in Myanmar, but maybe not for long. Just out of town there are the picture perfect nearly empty beaches, just as beautiful as the crammed tourist places in Thailand. Then, there is the Dawei Deep Sea Port Project west of the city, that could solve the Malacca Dilemma and be just as important to international trade as Suez or Panama.

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Except for that one tree the beach was completely empty. It was standing there, all alone in the middle of the beach, surrounded by nothing more than crispy sand, breaking waves and jungle covered hills. The roof of our selfmade hut was covered with millions of stars. Waking up at night, I could tell there had been a few ours past due to the position of the big Dipper. The seven brightest stars of the Big Dipper, the ‘saucepan’ (free translation from Dutch), formed a clear sky-mark.

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‘Sometimes I want to speak with them [tourists], just to make a conversation and practice my English. I approach them and say hello(!), but they just keep walking on without saying anything in return. Why is that?’. Myint Thi Ha, a Geography student and for the time being our guide in Ye, posed us the question. We (the tourists) didn’t quite have an answer. Why would that be?

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They are young boys who give their lives every night to put the fair on fire. It requires no electricity or generator (only the lamps operate electrical), just a bunch of fearless chaps and passengers. First I was flabbergasted, later terrified. This wheel was bigger and higher than any we saw before. This is how they roll in Myanmar.

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A spot where you can sit for hours, without talking, even without thinking. The voice in your head that normally rattles on turns speechless there, it briefly stops. A spot where you feel a sort of tranquility coming over you, where you are in the present only. Isn’t that a perfect place?

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Standing on top of the mountain, next to the Golden Rock, the ‘gold coast’ of Myanmar was lying in front of us. Where Myanmar curls around the most northern tip of the Gulf of Martaban was visible from here, further south the view was hampered by the fog. Myanmar has a weird shape. Next to its large ‘main land’ it has a narrow coastal strip of around 1000 kilometer on the Malay peninsula along the Andaman Sea. Some people compare the shape of Myanmar with a cat sitting in a tree. The mainland it’s body, the coastal strip it’s dangling tail. Anyway, this ‘tail’ is a high potential coastal strip of a country which has just opened its doors to the outside world.

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Myanmar Spring

Myanmar has opened its doors in recent years, after it long been closed off to the rest of the world. A military junta had taken power in a 1962 coupe and haven’t lost control ever since. In recent years things are changing and a slow process of democratization is taking place. Some call the process ‘Myanmar’s spring’, but unlike the spring’s in the Arab world, the democratization process in Myanmar goes slow and without massive outburst off violence and many casualties. Read more