TF Flashback: A Quick However Eventful Time In Myanmar At Christmas (2013)


The unique concept was for us to spend a couple of week in Myanmar however issues didn’t fairly go to plan and so we ended up simply spending a few nights there. We in all probability spent extra time checking out our visas on the embassy in Tokyo than we did within the nation itself! All of that wasn’t going to cease us from getting essentially the most out of it although.

I’d had my coronary heart set on going to Myanmar for some time at this level and loved watching numerous movies ‘set’ in Myanmar beforehand not that that did an excessive amount of too put my thoughts comfy earlier than descending on the capital metropolis in a rustic which has suffered a lot up to now.

Earlier than exiting the airport on Christmas Eve we needed to alternate our yen to the native forex kwat which made us seem to be millionaires as soon as the bundles of 1000 kwat ($1) notes (no cash in Myanmar) had been handed to us! They have been so thick that I couldn’t put them in my pockets and so needed to fill my backpack!

One of many causes I needed to journey to Myanmar was the unknown issue and I used to be fairly stunned at what was to come back. Sule Pagoda is the golden clump temple in the midst of a roundabout which is the brightest factor in a really, very darkish metropolis. This was our point of interest for taking a stroll down Maha Bandoola Highway on what I believed could be a reasonably straight-forward route. Though it was, there was much more to it because the pavements have been packed filled with distributors, stalls and outlets extending out on to the road.

Most individuals in Myanmar, particularly ladies and younger children, put on thanaka which is the make-up you’ll be able to see on some locals. It’s some of the noticeable issues for any new arrivals and it comes from tree barl and finally turns into a soothing, cooling cream that feels each refreshing and smells good too. I imagine it’s good for safeguarding the pores and skin from the solar and is seen as trendy too.

Low plastic stools and tables offered most consuming locations. No image menus right here and infrequently any English too because the indicators have been after all solely within the native language. It was again to fundamentals and the great quaint means of utilizing physique language and pointing to order.

Christmas Day started for us with mohinga; a conventional Myanmar breakfast of skinny rice noodles combined with thick fish soup, roasted chilli powder, a squeezed lemon, fish sauce and coriander. All very completely different from what I used to have on Christmas morning!

The house of Aung San Suu Kyi by Inya Lake was our first cease that morning. After all it’s only a gate however one in all historic significance which a few years earlier than our go to may solely be photographed from the automobile window as you slowly drove by. Suu Kyi spent about 15 years of her life underneath home arrest right here earlier than being launched in 2010.

Shwedagon Paya is actually the primary vacationer attraction in Yangon and that was subsequent for us. This large 2500 12 months outdated buddhist pagoda includes a palace of glittering delights and was an superior sight albeit a barely overwhelming one as I felt I may by no means actually admire all of the buildings and the advantageous element of every one.


We continued on to seek out Pleased World close by which I had assumed could be a theme park with rides and so forth however after paying the 20 cents entrance payment we discovered that it was nothing greater than a recreation centre!

The spotlight for me was seeing the puny and wimpy trying Batman statue exterior the place.

Yangon will all the time have a particular place in our hearts because it was the place I (finally) proposed. The unique plan had been to pop the large query at Shwedagaon Paya nevertheless it was all a bit too public for my liking…..and the truth that we had just a little argument didn’t assist both!!

Not eager to get interrupted by a vendor at a crucial second or for a neighborhood scoundrel to see me presenting an costly diamond ring in public I made a decision {that a} completely different place could be extra appropriate and safer possibility not that I ever felt that Yangon was in any means a harmful place.

Again in our twin-bed room (no mattress sharing earlier than marriage! ha!) just a few hours later I used to be conscious that we have been quickly going to be Skyping my people and likewise for her mother and father so I believed it was greatest to rush issues alongside a bit in order that we may announce the information then and there somewhat than having to attempt to pay money for them in a while once more in a rustic the place wi-fi was not that widespread or dependable!

To have a good time the excellent news we took the most affordable, dirtiest native bus all the way down to Sule Pagoda (it was the one place/landmark I may consider!) and the younger bus conductor couldn’t have been extra useful in taking care of us. After all I already knew precisely the place our vacation spot was however as we have been solely speaking through physique language I made a decision to simply let or not it’s.

Bikes are outlawed in Yangon so these packed native buses are sometimes the way in which to journey round. We did a brief strolling tour of Yangon which was fairly fascinating because it included the Strand Resort, Customs Home and some different crumbling, fading British colonial Yangon buildings and locations providing a slice of Asia that point has forgotten.

We then ended up on nineteenth road; the most well liked road for nightlife in Yangon and a thriving place filled with eating places and bars promoting barbecued meals and chilly beer.

You place your skewers of meat, fish and greens in a basket and so they then cook dinner them for you. All this was washed down with just a few drinks which have been ordered through a sort of kissing-sound it’s important to make to draw the waiters consideration every time. Don’t strive that within the western world!!

My spouse and I each cherished our time in a rustic that had been hidden away for much too lengthy. I felt privileged to catch a glimpse of how issues labored on this fantastic nation and although communication with the locals wasn’t all the time simple, we discovered them to be so good, useful and trustworthy in methods I may by no means have imagined. After all our journey was means too brief nevertheless it was undoubtedly a case of it being Yan-gone however not forgotten!!

Click on right here to learn ‘Eating Out: Little Myanmar In Takadanobaba’

Click on right here to learn ‘On Display #3 – Myanmar (Burma)’

Click on right here to learn ‘SE Asia 2013/14 Pt II: Two Nights In Yangon (Myanmar)’

Click on right here to learn ‘SE Asia 2013/14 Pt IV: A Urgent Engagement In Yangon (Myanmar)’



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