Posted by: lindsaygoes | December 31, 2014

Myanmar – arrival in Yangon

Shwe Dagon Pagoda, Yangon, MyanmarI’ve just got back from Myanmar, but internet access was patchy, so I’m a bit delayed with the travel stories!

We started off in Yangon, crawling through traffic on the way to the hotel. Rush hour is a constant process in Yangon, most of the cars have only been on the roads since 2010 (you can tell the new cars, as they are in Arabic numerals. The older one’s have Burmese numerals, and you have to search for them!). After arriving we went for lunch, and I misheard the directions at the hotel. I thought they said a good restaurant was a ten minute walk…what they actually said was ten meters, so we went far past it. Eventually we found a restaurant on our own, which was more western than local, but a good option after a long flight!

After that we started our sight seeing, visiting the Sule Pagoda, a large pagoda on a roundabout in Yangon, next to the Maha Bandula Park, as well as City Hall and the Supreme Court of Burma. Our first (but definitely not the last) pagoda of Myanmar was good, we walked in the correct direction (clockwise, but you won’t be alone if you go the wrong way!). Then we went to Maha Bandula park, which was a nice oasis in the middle of the city (there are quite a few nice parks and lakes around), and relaxed for a while, people watching monks, tourists and locals.

That was about the extent of our sightseeing for our first day, but we met up with our tour group later that night.

The next day we had a guided walk around Yangon, and everyone looked forward to any stops which involved shade, or better yet, airconditioning! We started going through some local markets, which were very busy, it was a bit of sensory overload at the start of the trip. We also revisited Sule Pagoda and Maha Bandula park, as well as going to the waterfront and the Strand Hotel, where we visited a lovely art gallery. From there a few of us went to the National Museum Yangon, which had some very interesting displays. It was amazing how far some of the history went back, as well as all the different ethnic groups living in Myanmar.

After lunch we went to the Bogyoke Aung San markets, some amazing stuff there, but didn’t get much so early in the trip!

In the evening we went to Kandawgyi Lake, where we saw the giant Karaweik Barge, which is a large restaurant, as well as a competition for Burma’s most loveable family, a set up for some wrestling and some bands. From there we visited the Shwe Dagon pagoda, which is enormous, and was lovely in the changing light as the evening set in. Very busy with locals and tourists all circling the pagoda.  Incense, Yangon, Myanmar


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