So Yangon! My first stop in my Myanmar adventure!
I spent 5 days, 5 nights total, I could have spent less but travelling as I do (winging it a little), I have no regrets. Day one (8th), was largely lost as I flew into Yangon in the morning, after sleeping (or trying to) at Don muang airport (Bangkok), so kinda spent my first day in the hostel, recovering, and figuring out the following few days. I settled on a plan to check out lake Inya and surrounds on day two (9th) as I was staying in the area, then move to Chinatown, and spend 2 days doing everything else, unfortunately this turned into 3 days. Lake Inya was pleasant, although incredibly polluted it provided a lovely morning walk, lots of street food vendors around the lake, so I had lunch here, it was incredibly hot so I headed back to the hostel for a few hours, on the way I miraculously managed to fine someone selling a usb type C connecter, (mine broke and I havn’t been able to look at stuff on usbs). I went back to the lake lte afternoon to watch the sunset, but it was to smoggy to be any good, street food was worth it though, and the taro ice-cream definitely was 😉
Day three (10th)
Got to Chinatown in the morning, the hostel (the travellers rest) is pleasant. Spent the day exploring Chinatown, checking out Sule pagoda ( cool to look at but can’t see much, I opted not to pay the entrance fee), and eating a delicious japanese lunch, followed by and equally excellent chinese BBQ, chose the skewers I wanted (with chicken hearts and baby quail of course), ordered a beers and enjoyed watching the bustle and chatter of 19th street.
Day four (11th)
Not feeling well today, got dehydrated the last 2 days I think, still managed to catch the circle train (it runs in a loop around/through the city) not sure how it happened but when the train stopped, I and a couple other traveller asked if the train continued on the loop, the response was yes this is the circle train! Well yes it is but it went back the way we came, so I really did half the route……twice.
Anyway it was still a great way to watch local life (love people watching!! :D), and the city (or half of it ha ha), don’t expect comfort though this is a truly decrepit train, but that’s what makes trains charming right?!
After that checked out the market with a couple of girls I met on the train (1 from the Netherlands, the other Sydney), the market was very touristy, sterile as markets in this part of the world go, I didn’t love it at all really + I was still feeling unwell L.
Felt better after a coke (magical but temporary cure for dehydration), had an excellent lunch, sitting stools on the side of the street, just a stir-fry style, but SO GOOD! And added bonus, no food poisoning!
Day five (12th)
Today, feeling much better, so much better in fact that I ended up walking a grand total of 35 k!!!!…… walked from Chinatown to the National museum, but it was closed hmmm, oh well when one doesn’t have a job or a religion, one tends to pay little heed to what day of the week it is te he he. The Shwedagon Pagoda wasn’t far from the museum, but when I got there it was late morning and seemed like all the tourists + half the locals of Yangon were there! I found a little shopping centre opposite the pagoda and was truly ecstatic to discover they had electrolytes!! (although now I’m drinking the stuff I’m less excited, as it tastes pretty gross but I gotta do it bleugh), electrolytes, easy to find in Thailand, not so much in Myanmar L. Decided to see if I could walk the chaukhtatgyi Pagoda (with the 65’ reclining budda), it was a longish walk, the reclining budda was impressive, but not an attraction I could spend hours at. The temple across the road (Ngahtatgyi Pagoda), had a lovely seated budda, gorgeous detailed wood carving, took a little tour of the monastery behind the temple while I was there, not much to see, but some cool old buildings.
Took a taxi back to Shwedagon Pagoda, Kandawgyi park and lake is right next door so I checked that out first (it was 2 pm so still busy), the park was nice, nothing amazing, the board walk was a bit scary, had to watch my step so much I barely looked at the lake ha ha. That was a big walk the length of the park and back, sat by the lake for a bit, it was a quiet park 2 days before V day (which they seem to take very seriously here) so not the best spot for a solo traveller to hang out. Still a lovely afternoon, a lot of people saying hello, I was approached by some lovely ladies who wanted a photo with me, the kids always laugh and wave at ‘foreigners’ always funny, certainly a very different atmosphere to next door (Thailand).
And finally the main event, Shwedagon Pagoda, the single biggest piece of bling I’ve ever seen in my life!!!! Still definitely worth checking out, and very impressive, from an age perspective quite awe inspiring, this pagoda dating to almost 600 BC. I won’t write an essay about it as it’s all a quick google search away if you’re interested, overall I’m glad I went, cost $7.50 (aud), walked back to Chinatown after that, another 30 odd mins. Yangon is fairly easy to figure out, I imaging if you spent time here it would be easy to get around. Now exhausted, not sure what I’m doing up this late writing, but better whilst its fresh hey?!
Have a bus to the town of Pathein, in the delta west of Yangon this morning, leave 10.30 am (couldn’t get earlier ugh), I’m beginning to realize that a lot of the longer trips in Myanmar cannot be done overnight, this means I lose time in a lot of places, I don’t think I’ll make it to a couple spots I was keen on, but hey that’s just a good reason to come back one day……. right?