Aung Mingalar bus Stop
Aung Mingalar bus Stop

Good Morning Yangon! We arrived super early at 6am (The photo above was actually taken from the first day we arrived and took the bus when it was still bright) It was still dark when we arrived. 9 hours on the overnight bus, we were tired and wanted to check into our hotel. We got a taxi for KTS 10,000 (USD 10) to the hotel. We knew we were being ripped off but I was too tired to haggle. The first taxi told us KTS 50,000. (USD 50) This was the beginning and end of Yangon for us. Having encountered really friendly genuine, sincere hard working people in the rest of Myanmar, Yangon is the big city, where everyone is out to rip the tourists off! OK, maybe n0t everyone, just the taxi drivers.

We managed to check into our hotel early. We stayed central at Clover hotel. It’s just next to traders hotel and the Scott’s market. We freshened up and went to inquire about going to the Golden rock. It’s about 3 hours drive out of Yangon. We found out a car would cost USD 200 and if we took the bus we would have to stay overnight. We decided it was too expensive. I felt a bit disappointed we didnt go. Below is a picture of what it looks like.

Image of Golden rock taken from Wikipedia
Image of Golden rock taken from Wikipedia

Yangon is not really pretty. There are pockets of decaying old world charm mixed in with some really ugly modern buildings not unlike most developing asian cities. Again, like Mandalay, the attraction is really the people and the living culture. There are still streets where old trades are divided. One area sells electronics, one area sells textiles, one area is solely for medical supplies….

Yangon old and new
Yangon old and new
Food
Food

The food like the rest of the country is faultless. I really did not struggle being a vegetarian who is also allergic to MSG. I have more problems eating in Thailand than in Myanmar.

Pomelo
Pomelo

Pomelo is a shop that works with local artisans to produce local crafts with a contemporary twist.

Our producers include HIV sufferers, street youths, the mentally and physically disabled, and small family businesses fighting poverty.”

Address: 85-87 Thein Byu Road. Yangon, Myanmar (above Monsoon Resturant)  

We stumbled upon it after we took a scenic walk along the strand to look at old colonial buildings and was thirsty, so went into the Monsoon restaurant for brunch. The shop is located upstairs. I ended up buying a really cute papier Mache owl. I just started making papier mache animals so this was a good example!

Papier Mache Owl
Papier Mache Owl

The top attraction in Yangon is the Large Shwedagon Paya complex at sunset. As the sun sets, the light hits the golden stupa, making it sparkle and shine. There are also jewels and diamonds that crown the stupa.

The lower stupa is plated with 8,688 solid gold bars, an upper part with another 13,153. The tip of the stupa, far too high for the human eye to discern in any detail, is set with 5448 diamonds, 2317 rubies, sapphires, and other gems, 1065 golden bells and, at the very top, a single 76-carat diamond. Below are photos of the jewels taken from the exhibition.

This place is the holiest and most sacred temple in Myanmar. Pilgrims come here from all over the country at least once in their lifetime.

Shwedagon pagoda jewels
Shwedagon pagoda jewels
Shwedagon pagoda at sunset
Shwedagon pagoda at sunset

IMG_00000858

To experience this golden wonder, foreigners must pay KTS 8,000 entrance fee.

Medical market
Medical market

and finally the last but my favourite. The wholesale pharmaceutical market near the General hospital where I bought medical supplies for my dog bite. Betadine Sparay and plasters for KTS 4,000.