Yangon, Burma

On January 29th I took an overnight bus from Mae Sot to Bangkok, spent the day trying to get my computer working properly, met up with my friend Nick for tasty dinner at an Indian restaurant, spent the whole night trying to get my computer working properly, didn’t sleep at all, then caught a flight to Rangoon, Burma in the morning.

Trying to set up and configure Linux on my laptop:

I spent the next three and a half weeks backpacking around Burma (Myanmar), an experience I highly recommend. My first few days were spent in Yangon (Rangoon).

Shwedagon Paya is massive, and can be seen from pretty much everywhere in Yangon. I went at night on my first day in Yangon, when it was nice and cool outside and many Burmese people were praying and such:

A Buddhist monk came up to me after a while, and even though he didn’t speak any English I figured out that he was inviting me somewhere so I went with him. He paid for the ride on the back of a pickup truck and then a bus, and we ended up at a monastery with a huge reclining Buddha. Although it’s mentioned in the Lonely Planet guide (which at least 90% of non-package tour travellers seem to follow religiously), it gets few tourist visitors. Neat place.

On February 1st, I drew a line on my map of Yangon that I estimated to be a 10km loop and followed it. Although it was terribly hot, I quite enjoyed walking around town and seeing areas where tourists don’t generally walk (simply because there’s nothing to ‘see’ there, just as you won’t find many tourists exploring average residential streets in Vancouver). But my photos are from more frequented areas…

Sule Paya, the centre of a roundabout in downtown Yangon:

City Hall looks like some kind of fortress:

An old building (I believe it’s the Ministry of Finance & Revenue), with a colonial architectural style quite typical of Yangon:

This level of building maintenance is not uncommon in Burmese cities:

Another colonial building (I believe it’s the High Court), with Mahabandoola Garden in the foreground.

I passed by the Defense Services Museum on my walk. This old jet has a few people living underneath.

Random old colonial building:

This centipede was in my bathroom:

There are an estimated 500,000 to 600,000 Buddhist monks in Burma, so this is a very common sight:

The railway station, with many unhelpful and clueless staff members inside:

After a couple days in Yangon, I was ready to really get my trip started, and set off by bus to Mandalay, the subject of the next post.

4 Comments

  1. meghanstrain April 2, 2009 at 15:38 #

    baaahh bugs! but what a gorgeous city!

  2. Jackie April 3, 2009 at 09:28 #

    wow that temple looks amazing.

  3. Maung Maung June 17, 2009 at 00:40 #

    oh dear.. you were in Burma.
    I am so jealous…

    your friend,
    MMT

  4. credit cards June 20, 2009 at 21:33 #

    Beautiful pictures of Myanmar. I love traveling in Asia but have not been able to for some time … you are helping inspire me to go back. Mostly I have traveled in India but I can see that Myanmar would be fantastic also. The Shwedagon Pagoda looks incredible.

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