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Paul & Luiza´s World Tour

Myanmar - Yangon (a minute...)

MYANMAR | Tuesday, 27 September 2011 | Views [1185]

Shwe Dagon Pagoda

Shwe Dagon Pagoda

Destination – Myanmar – Yangon – Yangon a minute

After a short and uneventful Air Asia flight, (yes, you heard it right, FLIGHT, ok, there are no border crossings into Myanmar) we arrive in Yangon, the capital of Myanmar, “the country formerly known as Burma”. The airport is nice and we take a pre-paid taxi for 10 bucks. The car is very old and the driver is nice enough to try to sell us a trip to the beach for a mere 500 bucks. Yeah, we’ll definitely consider it. The Clover Hotel is absolutely awesome but because we arrived at night time, in the morning we have no idea of where we are and it’s raining. A lot. Really a lot. So, we decide to linger a little longer on the buffet breakfast. And so it rains, all day, we try to go out and come back in very quickly, like a couple of wet rats. We are wet and grumpy and the internet is not working. We whine a lot and blame the hotel until in the evening we meet a couple at the hotel restaurant (yeah, still unable to get out). He’s a businessman from Singapore and his wife is Thai. We get to chat and he explains two things to us: 1. It’s the last 2 weeks of the monsoon and it rains, a lot, for two weeks; 2. When there is some kind of protest from the opposition, “the military backed civilian government” – MBCG - shuts down the internet sometimes for an entire week, in the whole country. With both the excess rain and the internet problems clarified, we make an executive decision. We order another nice cold Myanmar beer, which as we’ve been also told by our new mate, is owned by a Singaporean brewery.

We wake up and it’s not raining and the internet is back on after “just 3 days” of outage. We go out and check out the most amazing temples, pagodas and stupas. You really have to check out our photos, what a great sightseeing day in a very photogenic town. Ok, having said that, for some reason this country is kind of depressing us. The people are some of the nicest ever, always smiling and helpful but you can see, besides the confronting poverty and lack of infrastructure, all the signs of a place that has seen much better days. The extremely old cars share the shabby roads with very few brand new top of the range four wheel drives. Massive luxury houses share the space with some very shaky improvised dwellings. Everywhere there’s a nostalgic feel in the air, a kind of longing for a country and a time that doesn’t exist anymore. After four days we get really stressed and start arguing a lot for no reason other than the general vibe, we decide to leave Yangon and go to Mandalay.

 

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