September 15, 2015


i know i've been spending too much time traveling because the airports in SE Asia are getting way to familiar.  i actually budgeted time to hit the duty free shop in Bangkok before heading back to Yangon.  the reason for the stop was to get some real vodka.  real vodka you say, what about all that Absolut and Barcardi on the shelves at the store at the local grocery?  

when i was first in Myanmar i was shocked at the cost and availability of western brand alcohol.  a one liter bottle of Absolut costs about US11$.  i thought the relative cost of alcohol was the government's way of keeping the nationals numbed.  turns out i could not have been more wrong.  one of the expats explained is all fake alcohol made in china, where of course there are no limmitations on brand infringement.  on the shelf at the grocery store between the 'fodka' and 'facaradi' i found the tonic for 'general health'.  

the British, when they colonized Burma, pretty quickly set up a rum distillery and it's legacy remains.  it's called Mandaly Rum and it sells for about US1.50$ per liter.  it is not good.  on the other hand, there is a local beer called Myanmar Beer which does get pretty good reviews by the expats. 

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