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Published: December 11th 2018
We travelled to Yangon from Kolkata yesterday. It was an easy flight and customs was really quick (much faster than expected after what I’d read). We managed to exchange our Indian rupees, use he atm and then find a pre-paid taxi (just outside the airport exit and much cheaper than what we had been offered by people inside the terminal). The traffic is bad and we arrived at our hotel quite late in the afternoon.
Yangon is much hotter than we had anticipated and we were relieved to have air con. We had a brief wander around the area our hotel is in and then went to a restaurant/bar recommended by our taxi driver for dinner after which we got an early night.
Today we decided to follow the Lonely Planets ‘walking tour’ of Yangon. Trying to get up early enough to avoid the heat of the day we had breakfast and then headed off. Despite being overcast it was hot.
The walk first took us past the Sule Paya, a 2000 year old temple and the centre of the city. It’s now in the middle of a roundabout and surrounded by 1970s style shops. Very odd but the golden
stupa is pretty magnificent and you can see it all round the centre.
We then started to explore the colonial buildings. Near many of the important ones there are signs with maps & pictures of the buildings from now and from when they were first built which we found interesting. I particularly enjoyed seeing the huge high court building and the grand Myanma Port Authority. We were surprised to find the somewhat dilapidated Auditor Generals building still is use - it had missing walls and windows!
The Mahabandoola gardens near the Sule Paya contain a 55yrd obelisk, a monument to independence, pretty gardens and fountains. It’s free to wonder into and pleasant in the shade.
The walk then takes you to the only Synagogue in Myanmar before crossing the road to the incredibly busy open air market.
We briefly saw he Bogyoke Aung San Market before having a traditional Burmese meal of fish curry and rice. Struggling with the heat we went and hid in our room and read during the heat of the day.
In the evening we wandered around to see the old Secretariat building before finding a cafe with WiFi. Here we booked our
Auditor Generals Building
Customs house and the old law courts behind
accommodation for the next leg of the trip. We then wandered back to the little Chinese cafe where we had our dinner the first night.
Everywhere shuts really early here so we grabbed some cakes from a bakery for desert and retired to our room for the night.
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