Sunday, June 24, 2012

Myanmar / Thailand Trip Recap (14)

Day 15 and 16 - Chaungtha - Yangon

After going to the beach for one last time and bidding farewell to the nice owner, we boarded the 10 am bus to return to Yangon.  The return trip took about 6 hours since the bus stopped twice for souvenir shopping (it's just a snack shop) and a lunch break.  Instead of Chaungtha, Chaungtha (the driver said that song is only played when the bus arrives at Chaungtha... :S), the driver played a Burmese comedy, which was quite funny even though I didn't understand a word.

Tip:  Chaungtha produces a lot of coconut and coconut related products.  It's also famous for its seafood.   The tube rental owner helped us bought some delicious coconuts, high quality coconut oil and dried salted fish, all at local price!!  Even if you don't know any local that could help you, it still won't hurt strolling in their markets checking out their stuff.

coconut oil for 1,000 kyats

My aunt, without fail, have lunch ready for us when we returned.  (so good I forgot to take pictures this time...)  I sincerely wish that she lives closer to us... my mom can be a good cook when she wants to but my aunt is a good cook - PERIOD.  We had dinner with our host and she is another fabulous cook.  We talked about how we should just spend a day in their kitchens where I can film her cooking and write down their recipes.  /drool

curry eggplant
squid salad
curry chicken
Early next morning, we had breakfast with our host again and stopped by my aunt's house.  My aunt took out this huge bag of goodies for us to bring home.  I wish I could bring everything home.  Stupid baggage weight limits!  I guess I just need to visit more often :)

twelve mangoes from my uncle and family friend
this was carryon and came back with us all the way from Yangon
Meanwhile, my cousin and I started applying "tanaka" religiously on ourselves, trying to reverse or  minimize the sun damage experienced at the beach.  Tanaka is an all-in-one sunscreen, moisturizer, and foundation (?) used by most locals.  It's almost like the BB cream but this is 100% organic.  I remember the ones my mom bought many years ago have this distinctive scent.  Due to unsustainable commercial  practice, the tanaka nowadays have lost that distinctive scent.  However, it's still the holy grail for men and women alike in the country.

Tanaka comes in two main forms, (1) log and (2) cream.  With the log, you have to grind the bark with water before you can use it.  It's the traditional form and you only use the outer bark.  The cream is a newer invention where you would just add water to create a paste and apply it generously on your face and body.  The center of the bark is also used as an ingredient which makes it less potent but it's more travel friendly.

In the afternoon, while I was visiting a family friend, the rain came... and when it rain, it pours!  The rain marks the beginning of the rainy season and it's time to go home...


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