One one of the last days in Myanmar, we decided to take some time off and visit one of the very few tourist attractions in this once vibrant South East Asian City, the Shwedagon Pagoda.
an alternate childhood
There is a US $5 entrance fee for foreigners, but interestingly, the local currency is not accepted. There was no guide books or brochures given, all you get is a place to place your shoes (no shoes allowed in the pagoda) and a sticker to indicate you are a paid “customer”.
the main pagoda
The main pagoda is 98 meters high, and is at least over 1,000 years old, with some believe that it was actually built before the death of Lord Buddha, some 25 centuries ago. There are multiple structures and probably hundreds of statues, some with gold plating.
gold plated Buddha statues
roof of the gallery from main road
the Singu Min Bell
The pagoda was filled with quite a lot of pilgrims and visitors alike, with many monks as well.
monks and pilgrims
It was a gloomy and rainy afternoon that makes for a very miserable condition for photography. The fact that I only had the camera for a few days didn’t help the matter either. The photos you see here do not give justice to the magnificent structure that is Shwedagon Pagoda, a place really worth visiting.
This is my second working trip to Yangon, Myanmar. The pictures from last trip was taken with my now retired Nokia 7610. I have, however, decided to jumped onto the DSLR bandwagon and got myself a brand spanking new Canon 400D as an excuse that I need a better camera to document the stay at the former capitol of Myanmar. Furthermore, I will be traveling to a couple other interesting locations within Myanmar as well.
Dyna bus, only 100 kyats to board
Nothing much has changed since I last visited this place about 2 years ago, with the exception of the new Yangon airport that was opened just 3 days prior to our arrival. The city still looks the same, I haven’t spotted any new big buildings, Dyna buses are still roaming the busy streets, carrying at least 5x more passangers than those trucks are designed to.
the day market, bustling with people
The main street outside Traders Hotel are still bustling with people and merchants, some of them more energetic than others. Here you can find anything from
a high energy merchant selling cloths
a tired shop keeper
Myanmar’s very own satey celup?
The scene at downtown Yangon at night is similar to day time, but with more food stalls selling variety of local delights that I haven’t find the chance (or courage) to try yet. Among the usual offerings such as food, cloths, and watches, I changed upon this street artist who employed a pretty unique style of painting by using a brush and a knife to draw up beautiful landscape pictures, very impressive.
an artist at work
one of the many pagodas in Yangon
These are among the first pictures taken using the new gear, many more shall come, stay tuned!
my new gear, Canon EOS 400D
That’s right ladies and gentlemen, they serve nasi briyani at Yangon, Myanmar. With a little ASEAN geographical knowledge you’d know that it is just natural. Myanmar borders with India and Bangladesh to it’s west.
It actually tastes alot better than it looks
This particular nasi briyani place (they spell it nasi biryani) is located down the next turning from Traders hotel in Yangon. While there are quite a few nasi briyani restaurants there, you can’t miss the place, it is always the one with the most customers.
The rice is served with a single piece of 1/4 chicken. Since this is Myanmar, a highly unindustrilized country, we get real tender kampung type of chicken. It was awesome. A small bowl of soup and some fresh lettuce accompanied the meal. We ordered some extra gravy too. Except for the soup tasting a little too salty, the meal was very good. Easily better than most all of the nasi briyani served by mamaks here in Malaysia.
Drinks is a little bit tricky, the drinking water came in a bottle that looks like those we use for car battery, so that was a bit odd, to the tune that my friend brought two bottles back to Malaysia. The local Star “coke” was pretty bad, do not feel too compell to try it.