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Anthony Bourdain - Myanmar

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Apr 15th, 2013, 01:49 PM
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Anthony Bourdain - Myanmar

Anybody catch Anthony Bourdain's new show on CNN last night? He travel to Myanmar. If you missed it, you catch watch it on CNN website. I thougt it was well balance. Next week is Koreatown in Los Angeles.
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Apr 15th, 2013, 04:45 PM
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I came here to ask, those of you who have been, do you feel it was accurately portrayed?
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Apr 15th, 2013, 06:46 PM
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I was able to watch the first 35 minutes of it on the CNN site. Other than Bourdain's usual self-aggrandizing, I thought it was reasonably accurate. The people are delighted with the changes, but they don't fully trust the changes yet. I'd also say that the local food we ate was mostly not very good. We tried mohinga, but found it unpleasantly fishy. Most of the food was rather bland in comparison to other SE Asian cuisines.
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Apr 15th, 2013, 07:25 PM
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I forgot to say that the portion I saw was all in Yangon. Most of the country is rural and agrarian.
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Apr 17th, 2013, 05:44 PM
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Do you have a link for the video on the CNN site? I can't find it there or on Hulu. TIA.
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Apr 17th, 2013, 07:20 PM
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Try http://www.cnn.com/video/shows/antho...own/index.html


Scroll down and on the right click on episode i: Myanmar

Show is 1 hour and focus is mainly on food-specifically street food. Yangon and Bagan featured. His personality can be off putting but please watch the entire show. Some people on TA found fault with some of the show but I found it entertaining and interesting. Focus on the food and how much he enjoyed it.
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Apr 17th, 2013, 07:59 PM
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Thanks, that worked. I usually enjoy Bourdain - it's always nice to see an enthusiast. I took a look at the first part, will catch the rest tomorrow. Lead in was a bit much, but aside from that it seemed fine. The few times I ate in a local place it was several different dishes all at once like that. And I recognised the blackouts too.
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Apr 18th, 2013, 06:47 AM
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I'll have to go back and see if I can watch the second half. There was a problem with the streaming on the CNN site the evening I watched it. I'd like to see what he has to say about Bagan.

Were you able to watch the whole thing, Thursdays?
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Apr 18th, 2013, 10:15 AM
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Probably be tomorrow night before I get back to see the whole thing, Kathie.
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Apr 21st, 2013, 07:19 PM
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Were you able to watch it all, Kathie? I finally watched it all the way through tonight. I thought he did a pretty good job - he pointed out that he was only showing the tourist areas, and that much of the country was still off limits and not for good reasons. He also brought up the potential downsides of tourism.

I am a big train fan (and not just in western Europe), but after watching the train trip I am VERY glad I had a car and driver. Amazed by the human-powered ferris wheel! Bagan looked the way I remembered it (that temple they climbed looked awfully familiar), he claimed there weren't that many foreigners around.
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Apr 24th, 2013, 10:33 AM
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I enjoyed the show and it was interesting to see Burma where we will be going this winter. The train ride was unreal. I have read about how bad the tracks are and how bumpy the ride, but seeing it was still surprising & not in a good way. We are currently planning a mere 6 hours train ride from Pyin OO Lwin to Hsipaw and I am rethinking it. Anyone done that train trip?
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Apr 25th, 2013, 10:33 AM
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The train ride on the program was actually better than the train I rode on, from Nyaungshwe to Kalaw, day of the earthquake which happened while in the Nyaungshwe station. Quite a ride. Back to the train, on ours the seats were much worse than those shown and most not fastened to the floor, reclined and broken so you had to sit up with no support while the car swayed violently side to side. It took my back a while to recover. The swaying was so extreme the venders going from car to car had to catch the instant when the 2 cars aligned to jump through the opening. And you couldn't see on the program how filthy the cars are.

I'm fairly adventurous and love trains but if I had it to over again I wouldn't, mainly because of the physical discomfort of the broken down seats combined with the alarming swaying. I don't know how the train stays on the track. Divine intervention is all I can come up with. Count this fair warning to those of you considering it. Needless to say we took a taxi back a couple of days later.
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Apr 25th, 2013, 12:33 PM
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Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm thinking we may skip the train and just have a driver. 6-10 hours of the train may do my back in and the journey doesn't sound like fun.
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Apr 25th, 2013, 12:45 PM
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Indeed, yestravel, not fun. I never thought I'd find a train without some redeeming quality but this was the one.
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Apr 25th, 2013, 12:51 PM
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Disappointing because I also love train trips.
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Apr 25th, 2013, 01:27 PM
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Well, you could give it a try, makes a good story. Always more fun in retrospect. Well, maybe not. I did rather enjoy the earthquake, all things being relative.
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Apr 25th, 2013, 01:36 PM
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Yes, things always look better in retrospect. But I fear I cold really mess up my back, so will skip.
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Apr 25th, 2013, 01:42 PM
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Well then, yes, discretion being the better part of valor. You'll have many less painful adventures.
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Apr 25th, 2013, 07:48 PM
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Interesting. I was in Burma in 1978 and it doesn't look very different. Still beautifully green and luxuriant. The food was as good as it looked. We rode the train from Rangoon to Mandalay overnight on one of those wooden seats that you saw. A bit less than 12 hours and yes, uncomfortable but I was younger then! What an experience. Boat from Mandalay to Pagan (still in use, I've seen the pictures) where we slept on the deck and made lifelong friends. The earthquake had only happened 5 years earlier and things were in a bit of a state. The train back to Rangoon was delayed by 12 hours because of a breakdown (single track) so we ran out of visa time which caused further problems.
It still felt like we were living in the British Empire!
Stayed in the Strand Hotel which in those days was full of rats. It was the cheapest place to stay in Rangoon and we had gin and lime juice in the bar and felt very sophisticated. From what I can see things have changed there. It was $12 a night.
Everything was paid for in 'chats' and I can't remember the exchange rate.
Would I go back?? Tour groups and tour buses? Cruises?? Dunno....
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Apr 25th, 2013, 08:04 PM
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$12 a night for the Strand wow! When we went in Dec 06/07 it was around $200 for a one bedroom suite and now it's around $500+ for the same room.
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