Wednesday, April 15, 2015

AtoZBlogChallenge:M is for Money, Mandlay and Markets

It only takes a minute to visit more on AtoZers on the Linky.

My theme this year is Burma AKA Myanmar. I used to live in Laos, so this was a return to Southeast Asia that I looked forward to. I spent a little over three weeks exploring this country, learning a bit about its culture: its history, religion, and language. I thought others might enjoy some of what I learned and see some of what I saw.
10,000 Kyat

Money is called Kyat /chat/ 1,000 Kyat is $1. In Burma they'll take dollars, but they prefer fives and larger bills. If your bills are torn or in any way damaged, they're not acceptable, so you have to carry new bills if you want to spend US currency. The Kyat are often in really bad shape.  

Palace Grounds in Mandalay

Mandalay is one of most beautiful cities I visited. It's very modern and its gardens invite you to stroll, even on a steamy day. It's the second-largest city in Burma and was the last royal capital. It's north of Yangon and sits on the east bank of the Irrawaddy River. Over a million people live here.
Downtown Mandalay
Mandalay Street Vendor
The Markets of Burma are a sensory overload. They're always filled with color and scents of the most wonderful spices and cooked foods. Then there's the reality of markets with freshly killed animals. Their meat doesn't come in tidy plastic wrap.
Each tribe has a unique scarf to mark them as members of that group.
Some bargaining going on here.
Market Restaurant

Fresh Chickens

Spices by the pound.

Have you traveled or lived in places to experience the challenges of everyday details like money, or line protocol or how to say hi/goodbye?  Have you been in cultures that do things so much differently than your own? If so, you've learned a lot about the world you live in. Where have you traveled or lived in this world?

Answer to L
T 1. Untreated sewage has become a problem for the health of the lake. (72% of the households use open pit latrines, and now with tourism booming, the government has some major scrambling to do to upgrade the infrastructure and handle the influx of travelers.)

NOW what do you know about Mandlay?

T/F 1. Mandalay was the last royal capital in Burma.

T/F 2. Mandaly was occupied by the Japanese for three years following a heavy air assault on the city.

Answers tomorrow.


  1. I like looking sat currency from other countries. American notes look so boring in comparison.

    Stephen Tremp
    A to Z Cohost
    M is for Movies

  2. Wow, those are really fresh chickens!
    So they took their old money but wanted our new bills, huh?

  3. I love open markets like that. I'd spend a ton on fresh produce.

  4. The colors and sights are amazing! I guess I prefer my meat packaged....

  5. That new bill thing reminds me of how vending machines will spit out your bill if it's not crisp and new enough! LOL
    Katie @TheCyborgMom

  6. I love markets, I always seek them out when I travel. Especially the spices :)

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

  7. I'm afraid I'm not much of a traveller - I prefer finding things out on the internet :) You posts are very informative.
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

  8. Wow, I love all of the vendor veggie arrays. And that pink and yellow drink stuff!

  9. Yes, I've been to China and India-both have very different money and cultures. Love your pictures.

  10. Looks like a wonderful place. That is very interesting about the money.

  11. I always like looking at money from other countries. Our money is so bland and ugly in comparison.

    Those markets look neat and colorful. :)

  12. Money and markets vary so much from place to place. I love the pictures you shared of Mandaly and the market. I've only been to Canada, Scotland, Britain, Wales, and France. I find the small differences between the UK, Canada, and the US to be fascinating - just the difference in the types of stores, the way we handle certain transactions, and the nuances of meaning in different conversations. France was a little more different, but I expected it to be different and so it was less . . . startling, I guess.

  13. Such a high number compared to our currency. And nice market. I could do with a cup of all those spices. :)

  14. I haven't been to Burma but I visited Laos a few years ago and loved it. I also love the "books2 on your blog and site -they're great. Thanks for visiting Anabel's Travel Blog.

  15. I haven't experienced life in another country yet, but hopefully I will soon! I've traveled to quite a few places, though, and line etiquette is definitely different in China! It's a case of "whoever can be first, wins." At first it was frustrating, but once I got used to it, I found it quite freeing. :)

    Burma looks very beautiful.

  16. I've been to Canada a lot. They're so kooky. lol Just teasing. Looks like a wonderful place to visit. Went to Nevis once. Would go back in a heartbeat. Wonderful people and a wonderful place.

  17. At least you could spend the US dollars. It never occurred to me to try sterling when I travelled in south-east Asia. The markets in Bangkok were very bustling too!

  18. I would love to visit Burma. I had a roommate from Burma once, great guy and interesting as heck.

    Tim Brannan, The Other Side Blog
    2015 A to Z of Vampires

  19. I think currency from other countries is cool. I have a small collection from when my brother was in the navy and travelled around the world.

  20. What a lovely city. I do think I'll pass on the fresh chicken.
    Speaking of the sewage, I sometimes don't appreciate what I have. One of my granddaughters taught in China for a year and she mentioned they use sewage water for their gardens. The farthest I've been out of the US is Mexico and that was just to the border.

  21. The markets seem like they would be a fascinating place to spend some time. So colorful! I always like to see money from other countries because their are so many variations. :)

  22. The colors of the spices are spectacular! When we visited the Dominican Republic it was eye opening for our daughters on how people live. Most of the homes are no bigger than shed.

  23. I think I still have some cash left from my trip to England and Paris 10 years ago! Money overseas is SO much prettier than ours.

  24. 'They prefer fives and larger bills...' Don't we all??? LOL Sorry, but it was the first thing that came to my mind. (I have a kid in college.) Seriously, I love this info. Thanks!

  25. Love your pictures (again). Your comment about the market reminded me of my trip to Brazil and made me thankful for tidy plastic packages.

    Scribbles From Jenn - Visiting from the A to Z Challenge

  26. Beautiful pictures. It's always interesting to see currency from around the world.

  27. Another great insight of life as you used to know.

    Have a good day,

  28. I love markets...there's no denying that's a chicken, is there?

  29. The city looks quite clean. I think I got the question right! If my cobwebbed memory serves. That first picture of the 2 big pots-what is in them-one is like a pale yellow and the other is a pinkish hue-like cooking strawberries. The spices look great. My friend has lived in Thailand the past 3 years during the winter months and he bought a trail mix. he was wondering what the crunchy things were...bird beaks! Ick!! OK guessing again so I say True to the first question and false to the 2nd


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