There are a lot of triffic jams in china town near our office due to the stalls opened on the half of the street for celebrating Chinese New Year. The shops have been open three days ahead of the event.
Expansion of the Strand Road is underway in Yangon in addition to expansion of the roundabouts. A lot of trees have been cut down. Nearby railway track for transportation of goods from the vessels has been shifted.
Thet Mon Myint, a Chin girl, has recently become famous. She did not use to be a model. She has become a famous actress after acting in Karaoke albums in compact disc form.
I visited Dedaye in Ayeyawady Division with a friend of who came to Myanmar every year during my four-year-life up to now in Myanmar. This was the second visit to Dedaye for my friend who made a trip there four years ago. It has been about two years since I last visited there. To my surprise, a big bridge was finished. But, we were not allowed to cross through it for the bridge will be commissioned into service only in few days. We had to leave the car on the other side of the river and crossed it by boat. Near the place where the boat docked, there was a small pagoda. But, the Buddha image kept in it was huge. Near the entrance of the pagoda, we had photo taken with this friend and some other Myanmar people. The place has now eroded by the flood in the river. We spent up to 2:30 pm dinking toddy and playing with the cat at the residence of my acquaintance. On our way back to Yangon, we were still interested in nature of country as well as the people. The car broke down. We were allowed to ride in the back of a slow truck together with about twenty labourers. We took the car sitting on the heap concrete. We arrived in Yangon after three hours later. I could not get up from the bed because I had a pain in my waist.(K.K)
It is cold season in Myanmar. Although it rained on the very first day of the year, there have been pleasant days after that. A friend of mine who visited Shan State and Kachin State told me that it was very cold in these states. At this season, pagodas and temple are renovated. This is the most suitable time to maintain the pagodas. Coincidence with peak tourist season, a visitor may come across the pagodas being renovated under the cover of mats on scaffolds. The Hindu Temple in 51st street is also under renovation. There is the best Monhinkha shop of my (Kimura's) choice in the street. I showed the shop to my friends. And I take a photo of the temple. The name of the shop is Myaung Mya Daw Cho. When I lived in 52nd street two years ago, I ate Monhinga every day for about ten months and I never felt disliked the snack. Takeaways of Monhinga are on sale. My friend bought some to Japan. If you go there before 8:30 in the morning, the shop is closed for all the snack has been sold out.(K.K)
These are roses, which are called Hninsi in Myanmar Language. The flowers I see in the markets are generally small. I haven't seen the big ones. The rose is not big like the huge ones. But, they last only for two or three days. The year-end party was held on the 30th of December. The New Year party was held on the 12th of January. We enjoyed the latter with some thirty Japanese people. People do not stay long at the social functions like party, wedding reception, etc held at the houses of Myanmar people. On contrary, the guests at my party did not go back early. The number of guests increased gradually. I have only twenty chairs for them. At last, all sat on the floor. A Japanese girl entertained the guests playing Myanmar Harp. One of my students joined the entertainment dancing. I have not become like a Myanmar man although I live in Myanmar. It is very interesting to have a chat with people from all walks of life throwing a party some time. The talk was very lively because most of the guests were those who like Myanmar. (K.K)
This is news of flowers in Yangon. Myanmar abounds in trees. I feel sorry to know that the flowers are not widely known to the people. I am surprised when I come across some kind of flowers. Frangipani (Plumeria acutifolia), which I introduced to you is called Tayoke Saga in Myanmar language. By pronunciation, it also means Chinese language. The flower called Sakhu Pan also means Paper Flower. It seems to be Bougainvillea, which I often saw in Okinawa. My friend told me that the flowers at the car park of the Traders Hotel are called Crinum. He taught me the name of toddy tree and grass in Japanese language. He was surprised to see there are a lot of trees, we can see in Japan. (K.K)
I visited the village of national races in Thaketa with the family of an acquaintance of mine from Japan. It is located near Than Lyin Bridge, the longest one in Myanmar. First, we went to Kyauktan Pagoda located mid-river. The pagoda is famous among the tourists. It was built on a rock island in the river. On our way back to Yangon, we stopped at the village. It is at the entrance of Thaketa Township. Dailies recently carried news about the village, which was crowded with Myanmar visitors. Houses of national races-Kayin, Kachin, Rakhine, Shan, etc-are on display. Miniature replica of the Golden Rock Pagoda Kyaik Hti Yoe) is also in the village. Women can touch the pagoda. The photo is of the souvenir shop near the entrance of the village. The village reminds me of a theme park in Japan. I was wrong to underestimate the place. It will become a tourist spot in Yangon. It is good news for those who think the sight seeing places are only pagodas and temples in Myanmar.(K.K)
Academy award presenting ceremony for 2001 was held at Thuwunna Stadium on 18th January. The ceremony was broadcast live on TV starting from 4 pm. Award winning actors, actress and films are as follows.
|The best movie
||Hnalon Hla Lumaik (Min Maw Gun, the main character)
|The best director
||Maung Tin Oo the fifth time for Hnalon Hla Lumaik
||Soe Myat Nanda(the first time),
May Thin Za Oo(the first time)
|The best actress
||Htet Htet Moe Oo (the second time May), Than NU (the fourth time)
|The best actor
||Lwin Moe(the second time),
Min Maw Gun(the first time)
May Than Nu has won awards for four time like Moh Moh Myint Aung. She shared joy with her husband Zin Yaw Maung Maung. The couple has been said to divorce. Min Maw Gun used to be a nominee for two or three years. This shows Htet Htet is doing well both in commercial and films. No one seems to have known her third marriage. Any award did not go to Eindra Kyaw Zin, the most popular actress. Lu Min who has become popular recently did not receive any awards. (K.K)
This is the very first Yangon news of Kimura for this year although it has been in the second week of January. I have been very busy enjoying three couples from Japan who came to Myanmar one after another. For this reason I couldn't find time to write Yangon news. The New Year day in Yangon doesn't seem to be very important for the people in Yangon. It was not more than a day after 31st of December. The whole city on the day was not different from daily routine. We passed the New Year day quietly. It rained on the 1st, 2nd and 4th day of January when it was the cold season in Myanmar. How will the year 2003 be? (K.K)
Myawaddy TV broadcasts series of Chinese, Japanese and Korean movies with Myanmar language sub-title. Among them, a Korean movie entitled "a fallen leaf in winter, proof of love" was a big hit. John Saw shirts named after the character in the movie are on sale.Actually the shirts are sold normally with a name. The hair style of Hte Sauk, another character from the movie, is in vogue. Moreover, wall sheets of the characters sold like hot cakes. I have no idea from where the vendors get. Is it like the fact that business does well if one has a good idea.
U Myint Hlaing was born blind in a farmer's family. Out of seven members, he is the youngest. He lives in Khayan village in Kungyangon Township to the north of Yangon. He started studying violin at the age of eight. After six month's study, he won a prize. He participated in many competitions after taking lessons from instructors. He can also play mandolin, harp and xylophone skillfully. He is now taking piano lesson.
Zone fees 10 US$ for Mandalay region and 3 US$ for Sagaing region can be paid at the following places.
(1) Mandalay International Airport
(2) Mayan Khyan Jetty
(3) Eastern Toll Gate of the Sagaing Bridge
(4) Shwe Kyet Yet Jetty
(5) Kywe Sekan High way terminal
(6) Mandalay Railway Station
Sinmalaik high way bus terminal has completely shifted to Aung Mingalar high way bus terminal in North Okkalapa Township starting from 11th January.
Animation of popular cartoon in CD is on sale in Myanmar. It is said to be developed only by Myanmar technicians. A CD is priced at K 1450.
We have reported extension of roads in Yangon. Works are underway 24 hours a day so that they can be finished in May. The scene of the roads has changed completely building of brick walls cutting down the trees. I am looking forward to the day when construction work finishes.
The Myanmar Times sponsored Gold Plate Award 2002. Prizes went to the following restaurants.
Best Restaurant 2002
Winner: Le Planteur
Best Chinese Restaurant
Winner: Adorn's Kitchen
Best Indian Restaurant
Best Myanmar Restaurant
Winner: Sandy Myanmar Cuisine
Best Asian Restaurant
Winner: Sabai Sabai
Best Western Restaurant
Winner: Le Planteur
Most Innovative Cuisine
Winner: The Strand Grill & Cafe
Best Wine List
Winner: Le Planteur
Readers Choice Awards - Best Myanmar
Winner: Aung Thu Kha
Readers Choice Awards - Best Foreign
Winner: Le Planteur
Readers Choice Awards - Best Value
Winner: Sandy Myanmar Cuisine
J Donuts restaurants introduced sales of coffee and tea in single-use cups. The restaurant is the first food outlet in town to use this system. It costs K165 a cup.
Queen of commercial, Htet Htet Moe Oo, got married for the third time. The reception was held at the Traders Hotel. News of the famous actress's wedding reception didn't appear in the media. No media person was invited to the reception. The bridegroom was said to a son of anaesthetist.
Coconut rope is made of coconut coir from coconut husk. The rope is used in growing Thazin (Bulbophyllum auricomum), symbol of Rakhine State. The rope is wound over a tree branch. Then, Thazin bulbs are attached to the tree trunk with pins.
It rained untimely on new year day in Yangon. It was cloudy the whole day and it started to rain in the afternoon. It also rained today. The highest temperature was 27 degree and lowest was 17 degree. It might be the fast time rain in the new year day in Yangon.
Happy New Year to our valued viewers.Thank you very much for viewing our site, yangonow.com which has developed more than last year. We hope you will keep in touch with us in coming year.
by Ma Khaing Khaing Aye, Kimura Kenichi & Nishigaki Mitsuru