Not So Appealing Capital City of Yangon

Yangon Travel Blog

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I accidently slept in this morning, was supposed to wake up at 6:30am so I could get ready to leave for the airport at 7:00am, but I didn't wake up till 7:20 and my check-in time was 7:40am :S. Luckily the horse cart ride to the airport was smooth as silk.

Arriving in Yangon at 9:45am, I caught a taxi into town for a whopping $6US (yes I know I got ripped off, but the taxi driver was being a tight ass). As I entered Yangon I instantly disliked it, Yangon is definately my least favourite site in Myanmar. Theres just so many people (5 millions) and so much pollution from all the old vehicles. It seems that 95% of the transportation in Yangon (even in the whole of Myanmar) is older than 30 years.


Well I got dropped at White Horse Hotel, and lucky enough I managed to get a room on the very ground floor, so I didn't have to hike up the stairs to the floors above (I'm tired of climbing, I climbed 3 mountains/hills in Myanmar already with an additional 11 ruins in Bagan). It's a very small windowless room with fan and no private bathroom, but hey I'm only here for one night.

I settled in and then had a buffet breakfast on the very top floor, and I'm very glad I don't have to hike up anymore. After breakfast I walked to Sule Paya, a large golden stupa situated in the centre of the road acting as a large roundabout.

There was nothing really special about Sule Paya so I left and walked on towards Sakura Towers, where I caught a lift up to the 20th floor and had a nice cold fruit juice, accompanied with AIR CON! and a spectacular view of the city.


My next stop was the Bogyoke Aung San Markets. As I crossed a foot bridge over the busy road, I was very surprised to see a middle aged monk sitting at the end of the bridge putting his hand out and begging for money! Bogyoke Aung San, a huge market that caters for both locals and tourists alike has everything, you can literally buy anything here! I wandered around and bought a few small souveniers and then caught a taxi to Ngahtatgyi Paya, located further up North. Ngahtatgyi Paya had a huge proportional seated Buddha that was very impressive. However the fact that they charged $2US for entry was I don't worth it!

Just across the road from Ngahtatgyi Paya was Chaukhtatgyi Paya. As I started the ascent up the hill to the top, a monk approached me and continually talked to me in Burmese even when I shrugged and said "I have no idea what you are saying".
He continued to follow me up the stairs and as I approached the top, I was amazed to see a colossal sized reclining Buddha. The monk continued to follow me around pointing out obvious features of the Buddha in Burmese, and I tried to ignore him but always facing the other way. From travelling in Myanmar in the last week, I knew that the only reason for this was that he was going to BEG for money afterwards. As I walked around the whole Reclining Buddha and headed back down the steps, he literally pointed to his hand that had a 1000Kyat note and said "present". ARGHHHHH I was pissed off, of course I did not give it to him, because I cannot stand the fact that monks in Myanmar no matter where you go, will literally beg foreigners for money!

I caught a taxi to the Kandawgyi lake and was surprised to find that there was now an entry fee into different areas of the lake (I think this is a new thing, as in the Lonely Planet Guide it doesn't mention any fees), not only were there entry fees, but also camera fees as well.
I walked into an area (after paying 800 entry+camera fee) thinking that it would lead me to a huge concrete replica of the Karaweik, a royal barge. It definately did lead me to the replica but there were no pleasent views in sight. All around were restaurants and a mini zoo. I exited unhappily and walked towards another gate nearby and here yet more entry fees, this time 1000Kyat + 500Kyat for the camera ARGHHH.

I walked along a long ass wooden bridge around the lake, and was happily greated with some awesome views of the replica of the royal barge. However once again I don't think it was worth 1500Kyat for entry and for the camera, as the barge was the only photogenic thing there!

As I left the gate of the so called park, I continued to walk to Shwedagon Paya, which had a whopping $5US entry fee.
The climb up to the stupa was yet another commercialized journey, as shop vendors line the stairways up the hill. The Stupa was glimmering in the evening sun, with many smaller stupas at its base, and once again I don't think it was worth spending $5US.

After visiting around the whole complex, I decided I'd call it a night (at 4:00pm) and started walking about 2km back to my hotel.
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Sule Pagoda
Sule Pagoda
Sule Pagoda
Sule Pagoda
Sule Pagoda
Sule Pagoda
Chauktyatagyi Pagoda
Chauktyatagyi Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda
Yangon
photo by: aleksflower