Thiha Lu Lin
Exploring Myeik, Southern Myanmar
This time, I don’t have much time. What I mean by not having much time is that I couldn’t give time to look around the city. As I have come to be MC and Moderator for Telenor’s net Monday program at Myeik University, and I have 3 days only, the first day is spent for flight time and meeting time, the second days is spent for the main event, and in the afternoon on the third day, time to go back, so within these busy three days, I couldn’t give much time to look around the city.
Yangon-Myeik flight schedule is early in the morning, so when I got to Myeik, it was just around 7 am. After taking my luggages and went to Eain Taw Phyu Hotel by the car had come to pick me up. When I got to hotel, it was already 9 am. I did like the hotel. I felt like its design as a sea-shore beach hotel. The price is also cheap. And the hotel staff were also very polite and helpful. Just in the compound of the hotel, there are a shop that sells its region souvenirs and a tour information center where you can inquire and plan to have a visit around the region. So you don’t need to worry for that. The short trips are planned to start in the morning by 7 am and come back by 5 pm in the evening. But this time, for me it isn’t okay. But I did take note of three joyful packages to choose visiting.
The first package is
To Kyauk fish husbandry, Lay Island and Late U Thaung island
The second package is
To Dong waterfall, Nyaung Hmaing Sa Lone village and Hna Phat Hla island.
The Third package is
To Mali Bird-Nest ssland, Mali Fishery village and PainNe island
All the tour packages are very interesting for me. It costs only 70000 kyats for each person. And if you don’t want to go early in the morning by 7 am, but to go sometimes in the noon time, the cost get more expensive for they would have to make a another plan for you alone. There is one more place to visit, called Tha Mee Hla island. But because of my limited time I just decide to look around the city, Myeik. When it is asked about where to visit around the city, the local people would usually say that there is no special place to visit around the city, saying, “Go to the islands.” Or they would recommend a new shopping center at the Strand Road. Listening to their advices, I come to think that that was true. But I do would like to recommend the following places to those who don’t have much time to visit like me.
What kind of people are the local people? Most of them are white (I mean yellow) and I also notice some of them are brown. I don’t know if I just see only the white (yellow) skin people. They are very kind and helpful. They patiently answer to my questions. Young people are a little bit shy. I once experienced that when I asked about the street outside of the house, they willingly liked to answer me coming out from inside the house. The only problem I have is they understand my Burmese language, but I don’t understand their accent at my first hearing. So I got struggle whenever I order the food at restaurants or inquiry something at somewhere. But as they understand my speaking, they are afraid of me on the way round, I can’t help to seeing them. Even though their local accents are a bit different, they can immediately speak in a way that the customers would understand.
Is that okay to have meals in the city? Firstly it seems good to start talking about food. In Myeik, food are very yummy. As it is a place where sea-food are available most, I had them since I got there. They cook well Thai-food as well. I have written and posted about must try food available in Myeik on Foodaholic Myanmar, a food blog page by me and my friends. As I wish to write about food and places to visit together, I just rewrite also in this blog.
Breakfast When you get to Myeik, not to worry for your breakfast. Why don't you try Ket Kyi Kait Noodle for your breakfast. You will never find the real taste of this anywhere than this place. Most recommended place for this noodle is “Mite Sat” in Myayni Street. The local people also recommend this place. You can order Ket Kyi Kait Noodle with chicken, pork or sea-food as your choice. Sour bean sprouts is also served along. Try with it, it is tastier. Dim Sum, Coffee and Cold Drinks are also available. A bowl of Ket Kyi Kait Noodle costs 1200 kyats, and Dim Sum costs 600 kyats.
Lunch The place where you can have your lunch privately under a bungalow in a compound is “Shwe Hnin Si Sea-food Restaurant.” This restaurant is located at Bandula Juntion, Kyan Taw quarter. As it is sea-food restaurant, various kinds of sea-food are available. Because of chefs who have 20 years of experiences in Thailand, all the Thai-style menu are very tasty and awesome. The prices are also reasonable. If you want to have better option for Thai-food, there is another restaurant called “Lotus.” But I didn’t have time to get there for this time. If you want to try drinking local Yin Kan Fruit Drink for your refreshment, Royal Restaurant is the best for you. The taste is very similar to dried damson drink and it also refreshes the mouth. One cup costs 500 kyats only. Royal Restaurant is kind of BBQ house similar to Mukahta in Thailand, you have to serve yourself for grilling meats.
Dinner If you want to have your dinner as you walk and feel the sea-breeze, along Strand Road, there are a lot of small street vendors for BBQ. I thought that they were selling Sea-Food BBQ at first; actually they were selling Chicken or Mutton BBQ. Soon after I came to think and know that sea-food would have been so fed up for them as they have them a lot might be, so chicken and mutton will be tastier for the local people. BBQ from here are very cheap. Ice-creams are also tasty. A cup of ice-cream costs only 200 kyats, amazingly.
Night Meal If you are fond of drinking beer or alcohol, Myeik is a great feast for you. Sea-food, BBQ, salads, soups etc. are all available. One of the best restaurants is “Pin Le May.” It is located in Aye Yeik Chung Street, Pa Le Di Pa quarter. At this restaurant, sea-food are all displayed for your own choice to great satisfaction. Rare sea-food also can be found here, such as king crabs, cockles, octopus, cuttlefish, oyster, ray, shellfish, prawns, mussel, lobster, barnacle, salmons and so on. Additionally eatable frogs are also available. Chicken-jo and pork-jo are also available so you may eat to your satisfaction. The only one thing to talk about this restaurant in negative point of view is that it is a bit noisy because the place is so damn crowded. Though this is a beer restaurant, families are also coming here for dining, so you would hear different voices from adult to children. Another restaurant I am truly delighted is named, “Shwe Yar Su Beer and Seafood.” In this restaurant, besides seafood, you may sometimes have wild animal meats such as venison, wild boar, brown monkey, wild cat, big lizard and so on. Since this is a restaurant of taste, you may also try your dinner here.
Aren’t there places to visit around the Myeik city Of course, yes! Since the local people don’t know how to refer and recommend places to you for to them everything around the city has been very used to; so they don’t notice and realize beautiful places to have sight-seeing, might be. If you go out just a bit far from the city, there is “Kywe Ku – Kyauk Phyar Bridge.” You would have to take around half-hour by car to get there. The bridge is constructed between connecting Kywe Ku village and Kyauk Phyar village. It is 3612 feet long. The bridge has nothing special to say. But the flowing river and the beautiful surrounded villages have a lot of significances. You will see houses built with high posts over the river side and it truly looks like a fishery village. You will feel really great as you also see some people fishing with small boats down in the river. It seems that young people sometimes come to this place for picnic. I could see some young group people sitting and chatting just down the bridge and near the river side. And some young couples could be also seen dating and enjoying their time together. The sight of fishing with small boats is most natural to me. But if you go to this place you need to be very careful not to happen stepping on the stools by the local children. And sometimes you may also have the smell of fishes badly.
It is a good idea to take a photo with a welcoming sign “Welcome to Coastal city, Myeik.” On the way back to Myeik, on the side of Kywe Ku village, there are traditional food stalls in line. The traditional styled fried breads are really tasty and cheap. As I thought it would be wired to have fried crabs, so I chose to buy and eat fried prawns because they seemed to be very yummy in my eyes. Three fried prawns cost me only 1000 kyats. The prawns are big enough. Even after one fried prawn was eaten I immediately felt enough. But the oil they used seemed to cause me almost cough. But the taste is really good. Chicken BBQ are also available.
From there on the way back to Myeik, I happened to be on the way, and looked into a pagoda built by former military government. I barely remember the name of the pagoda. The design is as usual as the military government style, it is like a combination style of Shwedagon and Ananda pagodas. To me it is more likely to Shwedagon pagoda. The strange thing in this pagoda is its wall paintings. You would also see paintings that tell the past generation. From the day of its foundation to the day of dedication, all events are recorded with paintings. So you could go back into the past and see the former military government and parties in those paintings.
Then I started enquiring if there are old-time pagodas in Myeik. I am more interested in ancient pagodas than recent built pagodas, thereby I finally arrived to “Sandawshin Pawdawmu Pagoda.” It is allowed to give homages from 4 am to 10 pm. Mostly travellers from Thailand come to this pagoda. Unlike to other pagodas, this pagoda has a surrounding green grass and surrounding land-road besides its concrete platform. Though concerning this, I asked to people in charge, there is no decisive and sure answer. Another interesting fact about this pagoda is, it has different images together in one place; starting from Boe Min Khaung, Setkyar Min, Koinyin Medaw. In front of each image, some kinds of sacrifices are also placed. From that pagoda, the mountain sight view is also great. But please don’t look down, for sight of seeing the garbage spreading around would eliminate your joyful feeling the previous beautiful sight of mountains. At first I thought to write about the history of this pagoda. But if I write the history, the history itself would be so much long. It is said that the location of this pagoda was under water in the fore time. But now it is on a small high hill. One interesting thing is this main pagoda has its two small retinue pagodas beside. When the two retinue pagodas were placed ornamentals, they could make it easily whereas for the main one, they had a hard time to place ornamental. To be able to place its ornamental, they had to follow the rules of Boe Min Khaung. This is what I heard of this pagoda, and if there is some mistake, you may tell me more.
By this time I have come to “Lay Kyun Simi Pagoda,” where even the travellers from abroad have to come to see the Sun set. This is a place to have a look over the Sun-set view. The over-sight view of Myeik, the sea, the ships and boats in it, the islands and the Sun setting down behind those islands is timely and perfectly beautiful. I do delight the view of Myeik from that place. In this pagoda, a copy of a tooth relic brought form Sri Lanka is reverenced and worshiped. Having a view of the sun-set form this place is like feeling a poem. If time allows, it is good to look round into the Chinese temple located in the city. It is said to be an ancient temple. By the time we went there, it had been a bit late, so we weren’t allowed to enter into the temple.
In the city of Myeik, there is another place you must have a look is a swift-bird house. Those small birds are making their nest with their own saliva. When those nests are taken and made cleaned, they become the basis for bird’s nest soup. Just a few mount of the nest costs 20 thousands kyats. Though it is so expensive, the aged, people in poor health and children should drink this for it is effective supplements for health. The birds can be seen in the dark room wall and the corner of the roof top. Down on the floor, it is dirty with full of their stools. A thought came into my mind thinking that if I were the owner of this house, with anger I would have driven those birds (swift) away without knowing their usefulness. But now because of its effectiveness for health supplements, from my pocket, 2 notes of 10 thousand kyats jumps out for this.
Since the bird house is near the Strand Road, you can continuously walk down to the beach and look around just after roaming the bird house. I went also to Myeik Shopping Center which is most recommended to go by the local people. From the strand, you can see the sea naturally. Though there are not sand as in the beach, you can still hear the sound of waves. Fishery boats and some islands are also can be seen. Viewing the Sun-set from this road is also very fantastic. Concerning Myeik Shopping Center, it doesn’t have any significance to me, but for the local people, this is a very important shopping mall. Furniture shops, gold and jewelry shops are also there in one place.
Even though I didn’t have much time to look around in the city of Myeik, all the places that I looked around are interested. One thing I can’t be satisfied in my heart, this time is that I don’t have a quality time for roaming around the city. I will come back to you, Myeik. Next time also, I hope, you may welcome me warmly as you did now to me.
Thiha, the Traveller