Monday, December 7, 2015

Myanmar - Yangon

We joined a 7 nights Myanmar tour (US$1,392),15-22 October, 12 of us including the organizer, Stanley from Singapore.

(This was our first time flying on China Airlines as the price was good but two legs of our confirmed flights were cancelled and we needed to change flights. That was so scary.)
The first leg was from Los Angeles to Taipei.  We got an email from Expedia (where we booked our flights), saying we need to change the date to a day before or after. Expedia's customer service staff was so bad that they couldn't get our change right, even after we made several calls. Eventually, I had to call to China Airlines directly to change it directly and they said just ignore our status on the Expedia website.  
When we checked in for our flight to Yangon from Taipei, Steve was told by the staff that he didn't have a return flight.  His flight from Yangon to Taipei had been cancelled. The alternative was either to change the return date to a day before or after, or get one more leg, transiting in Bangkok, then on to Taipei (Taipei to Los Angeles was confirmed) but there was a waiting list. We were so nervous because all the flights on our itinerary had been confirmed.

When we arrived in Yangon, we requested our tour guide, Snow, to help with Steve's flight. Luckily he got a confirmed flight to Bangkok, just one additional stop, connecting to Taipei and Los Angeles.

Stanley has visited Myanmar a few times, and he recommended to us this local noodle soup.
Those snacks on the plates come to your table when you sit down.  There is no charge for them, if you don't eat them.

The Reclining Buddha at Chaukhtatkyi Pagoda...

...70 meters long.

We strolled to Indiatown and Chinatown after we checked in Central Hotel.
It looked like all the houses had satellite dishes.

Both sides of the street are lined with stores, and the street is filled with hawkers selling fruits, vegetables, meat, and seafood.

When a truck needs to drive down the road, the hawkers move their big and tall trays, but leave some of the small and low trays. The driver is skillful, driving over the stuff on the road.  Then the hawkers put their big and tall trays back to the center again after the truck passes.

They have durians? Not sure whether they are local or imported.

We had a beautiful night view of Shwedagon Pagoda, the golden light.

We came back to Shwedagon Pagoda the next morning, before sunrise.
Yes, that's real gold.

Snow took us around with stories, while most of the group went off for photography. 

There are 7 Animals, one for each day of the week (like 'horoscope'), corresponding to the day of the week on which you are born. 
Steve offered flowers to his Friday animal, the guinea pig.

Maha Bandoola Park.

Steve loves the guardian lions everywhere we go.

A jetty.  The commuter ferry takes people across the river, between home and work.

Snow met her friends there.

St. Mary's cathedral.

A restaurant, shaped like a boat.  We came here during the daytime, but in the evenings they have traditional dance performance shows.

We found the heart design bench at that park.

Aung San Suu Kyi's home.  NLD (National League for Democracy) is her party.
(Her party won the election on 8 Nov.)

On the last day we returned to Yangon.  On the way from the airport, we visited a monastery.

When we got back to Yangon, we stayed in the same hotel.  We saw they were setting up and decorating this stand the first day we were there. After 6 days, it is filled with gifts and money. These are offerings to a monastery; most people there are Buddhists and this kind of offering is their culture.   

 After checking into the hotel, we went shopping in Bogyoke Aung San Market.  This shop sells 'longyi', a long cloth wrapped around the waist and tied in front - the traditional alternative to western pants for both men and women.

KFC, this is the only one in Myanmar, and it was near our hotel. Snow said it's always crowded.
It was odd Steve didn't go in.
As our tour package included meals, Steve usually had a little chicken or pork dishes and white rice.


Anonymous said...

I tried... It wasnt nice. No loss for steve.


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading about your trip and seeing the pictures!