Blogs from Yangon Region, Burma, Asia - page 4


Asia » Burma » Yangon Region » Yangon September 5th 2017

When I left off on my last entry, I was feeling fatigued and unsure if I could sustain this travel. After Australia, I went to Singapore for four days. Family, friends, and food helped lift my spirits. A painful but much needed massage helped relax my weary muscles and joints. And, I had an unexpected boost to my post-travel job prospects. With all this happening, I got my spring back and I felt ready to tackle Myanmar! First Impressions of Yangon I landed in Yangon mid-afternoon on Monday September 4th. After stepping into an airport taxi, I realized something didn't feel right. It took me about ten minutes before I figured out what was wrong: almost all the steering wheels I saw were on the right... and the cars drive on the right. I asked the ... read more
Downtown Yangon
Downtown Yangon
Sule Pagoda

Asia » Burma » Yangon Region » Yangon March 20th 2017

It has been a rough couple of weeks. First there was the ordeal in the Himalayas and then more cold weather, squat toilets and bucket showers in Darjeeling. It's in times like these that you...really want your Mum. Not that I'm really a mama's boy but I haven't seen her in two years and after all this travelling and everything I've been through it would be so nice to see a familiar face again...and they don't come more familiar than that of your own mother! And I will be seeing her; she is currently living in Kuala Lumpur and had a week's holiday in March, so I invited her to come and meet me in Yangon (formerly Rangoon), since it isn't that far away from her and flights were cheap. She had said recently that she ... read more
Apartment Block
Chaukhtatgyi Paya
Old High Court

Asia » Burma » Yangon Region » Yangon March 5th 2017

Today I was walking down the streets of Macau when suddenly I got stopped by someting so unseemingly familiar. Just a faint smell, hitting my nostrils and catapulting me back in time. I literally stopped on a pedestrian walk and tried to figure out what just happened. Fried onion I thought. Nothing special, I fry onion all the time. But on that pedestrian walk, on this sunny afternoon the faint smell of fried onion triggered something in my brain. Something that reminded me on my elementary school days. Something that reminded me of my grandmother. Me, barely 6-7 years old, helping my grandma to flatten out dough to make her special potato gnocchi. Of course I was of no help at all, but I am sure my grandma loved to see me try at least. I ... read more

Asia » Burma » Yangon Region » Yangon December 30th 2016

Shwedagon Pagoda, with its surfeit of gold, and plethora of Buddhas can be dizzying. Best to start small. The history Legend has it that two traders from Burma took 500 bullock carts full of goods to India. There they met Gautama Buddha as he was meditating under a bodhi tree. Even though Guatama had not yet been revealed as The Enlightened One, the brothers recognized him and gave him a gift of honey cake. Gautama was so thankful he pulled eight hairs from his head and gave them to the two brothers. They headed home, but on the way they were robbed, and four of the sacred hairs were taken from them. On their return, King Okkalapa honored them with a grand celebration. It had been decided that these relics would be housed in a shrine ... read more
young novice Shinbyu ceremony
an abundance of gold

Asia » Burma » Yangon Region » Yangon December 26th 2016

Getting to Yangon was probably more difficult than getting into Yangon. First, a little background: Up until the elections held in Myanmar in December 2015, when the National League for Democracy (NLD), the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, won in a landslide, the United States had placed sanctions on Myanmar for human rights violations. The US lifted the restrictions on certain financial transactions in May of 2016, and lifted all sanctions in October. I waited until The NLD took office in April 2016 before booking this trip, because, you know, human rights violations and sanctions. Pretty much everyone needs a visa to enter Myanmar, except citizens of ASEAN countries. (Curiously, Indonesia, though an ASEAN country, does not qualify for a visa waiver.) The good news is that you can get your visa online, and the ... read more
View from my hotel

Asia » Burma » Yangon Region » Yangon December 26th 2016

Another early start, this time for the taxi to HeHo Airport for our flight to Yangon. Apart from feeling incredibly sick and having to pay £3 for a small packet of mcvities choc digestives to settle my stomach, the flight was fine and we were soon in another taxi on our way to our hostel for the night. We chose the Yangon Hub as it was the nearest place we could find with fairly decent reviews to the airport as we read that the traffic was mental here. Luckily Howard had his google map thingy as he had to direct the taxi driver through the back streets to the hostel! We had booked the deluxe ensuite room so hopes were high, oh foolish me. Our room was a box next to reception, it did have a ... read more
Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda

Asia » Burma » Yangon Region » Yangon November 20th 2016

We have had a couple of truck days taking us down to Yangon (Rangoon). I knew from reading the guide books that Yangon was a poor city, but it was sad to see the gap between rich and poor increasing as we drove through the suburbs. And once we got into the city the poverty became even more evident with families living along the waterside and the railway tracks. The hotel was average, with very intermittent wifi, and occasional hot water. However I went out exploring and spent some time on one of the bridges watching all of the to-ing and fro-ing on the river. Boats being mended and rowing boats being used to ferry people and goods across the river. On the second evening there a group of us went to the Karaweik Palace for ... read more

Asia » Burma » Yangon Region » Yangon November 17th 2016

David here... As Suzanne has mentioned, we left KL feeling a little sad. KL is one of our favourite cities - easy to get around and to find things you want. But it is mainly due to the abundance of options you have in terms of food and drink, there really is everything you could want. It helped that our hotel was nice and in a good location for us, it did feel the sort of city you could relocate to very easily. I was feeling apprehensive as we were moving on to the first unknown quantity of the trip in Myanmar, or Burma if you like. We'd done Thailand and Malaysia before so knew what to expect. We knew Bali was going to be easy as it is a big tourist destination. But Myanmar? Under ... read more
Sule Pagoda at night
Not the best St Marys we've been to
St Marys cathedral

Asia » Burma » Yangon Region » Yangon September 8th 2016

Een kleine geschiedenisles is nodig om te begrijpen waar Myanmar nu staat. Na drie oorlogen werd Birma in 1885 een Britse kolonie. Tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog werden de Britten verdreven door de Japanners, samen met hun Thaise bondgenoten. Deze bezetting duurde tot 1945, waarna het nog drie jaar duurde voordat de Britten Birma eindelijk opgaven. Belangrijk in de strijd voor onafhankelijkheid was Aung San, die na onafhankelijkheid ook leider van het land had moeten worden. Dit mocht echter niet zo zijn, in 1947 werd hij vermoord in het parlement door naar verluidt aanhangers van de militairen. Had deze moord niet plaatsgevonden, dan zou de geschiedenis van Birma er heel anders hebben uitgezien. Na jaren van onrust werd in 1962 een coup gepleegd en een socialistische staat opgericht, geleid door het leger. In 1964 werd het land ... read more
Kandawgy Lake
Koloniale gebouwen rond Sule Pagoda

Asia » Burma » Yangon Region » Yangon August 30th 2016

Time to continue on with my Asian tales write ups, although I've been a bit slow at getting around to them, I'll get them done evenutally. After leaving HK I flew to Bangkok for a few days to meet up with a friend for some more travels. I’d been to Bangkok many years ago and was left undecided about the place, so I thought a second chance was in order and also I would be spending some time with someone who once lived there, which would hopefully give me a different perspective. However, I can’t say that after a second visit the city grew on me anymore, there is just something about Bangkok I am not too keen on. Ah well, it’s just not the city for me, I know many people love it there. The ... read more
A friendly reminder..
Yangon night market
Promenading on the Kandawgyi Lake

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