Border Thrill — Myanmar
Never mind that locals and tourists have been doing this day trip from Imphal to the Myanmar border for ages. What can beat the charm of driving down to the border town from Imphal? It still counts as a must-do for many visitors. Countless times, we have driven down guided purely by greed — to have a quick Burmese meal for a few bucks. Sometimes, it was pure vanity — to shop till we dropped. Exchanging currencies made one feel super rich, one of the many thrills we indulged in as kids.
Today, the border town is a hub of action. The sight of traders carrying bundles on their heads; overloaded jeeps and Sumos with passengers literally clinging onto the vehicle are indications that you have arrived in Moreh, a buzzing trade centre on the Indo-Myanmar border. Rows of makeshift shops, permanent structures where customers and traders haggle for the best bargains, are a common sight here. The town promises everything under the sun: electronic items, household goods, clothes, fruits, vegetables and so on.
The thrill, though, lies in going across the border. Be prepared to show an identity card to the border authority and hop onto a tonga or a three-wheeler and proceed to Tamu, the first border town of Myanmar from India. Tamu is equally buzzing, with Myanmarese locals waiting upon visitors with hungry eyes, luring you to buy their things or inviting you into their restaurants. One of the most sumptuous Burmese meals I have had was at one of the
home-style eateries in this town.
Once done, we would head back home with our goodies. But, due to the mushrooming of small hotels, tourists now stay back and take things easy. In fact, the drive too has become smoother. For instance, 10 years ago the drive was back-breaking; now the road conditions are better with less jerks and bumps as you pass through poky little villages of two districts where you can stop for a quick cup of tea.