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Published: October 18th 2017
This morning was my first tour with Mr Chris and he was waiting in the lobby when I went down at 7.30. A bit early but had the weather been fine it was best to walk in the cool. Torrential rain began about midnight and combined with jetlag it kept me awake until past 2, then was still heavy when I got up at 6. The benefit is that the temperature is only in the low 20s and walking in the rain most of the morning I even felt chilly! Who'd have thought.
We walked down the street to the main road passing a couple of monasteries, apparently there are more than 80 in this part of Yangon surrounding the Shwedagon Pagoda. The intention was to see the many shops catering supplies for temples and monks as well as local market stalls. Throughout the morning we saw monks carrying their bowls for donations and people giving to them as well as accompanying them as their sponsors. Nuns in pink also walked along the Old Yay Tar Shay Street and almost everyone had umbrellas up. First stop was a famous mohinga (fish soup) store busy with people buying from the front or
eating in. It is easier than making it at home due to all the ingredients.
Across the road were open fronted stores with thousands of Buddhas of all styles which people buy to donate with their name on a plaque. Others sold souvenirs such as cloth shoulder bags. I noticed one embroidered with ‘Bangkok’ and Chris said they are given to visiting monks on pilgrimage.
As we continued down the street we came through increasingly busy and narrower places with stalls selling food from freshly cooked pancakes to fruit, flowers, vegetables, fish and chicken. The birds were slaughtered there as seen by the cages they arrived in. Chris walked me through a covered market selling flip flops, fabric and household ware. We saw girls covering plastic bowls with plastic gold foil they made and a place making Nat's, images of people who died but have not moved on to be reincarnated. A lady was selling tins of feed for pigeons. From there was a good view of the East entrance to Shwedagon.
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