Vlog from this trip is here.
Myanmar (Burma until 1989) is my 43rd country that I’ve visited. I was in the former capital – in the city of Yangon. Probably not everyone knows where this country is located. Someone heard about it or it’s the first time you hear about Myanmar? The country is located in the south-east of Asia, bordered by Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand. Since its neighbors are Bangladesh and India, I thought that the country would also be very poor and polluted, but I was mistaken a bit. The streets of the city are relatively clean, air is not polluted like in Nepal, for example, people are friendly.
It’s beginning of April now, and the temperature is already more than 30 degrees C. It was 36 C when we went out. And this was a very bad idea to go out during such hot weather. During the very peak of heat, we went to see Shwedagon Pagoda. It’s even hotter there from plates and golden statues. Although there is water you can drink, but from common containers for everyone and common cups. It’s interesting how many people drank from these cups … I did not risk to drink from them and I do not advise you. But don’t forget your water as I forgot!
I went out with two girls from Macedonia and Philippines. I’ve been already to Macedonia, but I’d like to go to Philippines as well, who’ve been there? Which places are worth visiting there? We visited 3 most famous tourist spots in Yangon. This is Chauk Htat Gyi Buddha Temple, Shwedagon Pagoda and Karaweik Palace. We traveled around the city by taxi. It’s very cheap, about $ 1-2 per trip. First, we went to Chauk Htat Gyi Buddha Temple.
Once you arrive there you need to leave your shoes at the entrance and walk barefooted. You cannot wear socks as well. Maybe for them it is normal, but the floor there was not so clean and they don’t wash it frequently. That’s why I did not like it. Do not forget to take wet wipes, because your feet will not be clean.
This pagoda is known for its huge statue of reclining Buddha. It is 65 meters long and 16 meters tall. In fact, the statue is huge. He lays on his side, leaning on his arms, and is wearing a golden robe. They say that this statue is already 1000 years old.
The entrance is free, although it’s written $5, but nobody told us to pay. The Pagoda is open from 6 am to 8 pm.
We were there no more than 5-10 minutes. Honestly, this statue didn’t impress me. Maybe, because I’m Christian and there’s nothing to do for me there. But the Buddhists sat there, prayed, spoke, sang … This is their holy place.
Our next point was the most famous pagoda in Yangon and even famous in the whole world – Shwedagon Pagoda. The territory is very big. The stupa is 99 meters tall. It is temple that has 66 tons of gold. It looks very beautiful. There is a diamond of 76 carats on the top (of course, you cannot see it, but it is there). Stupa is visible from many points in the city, because it is located on the mountain. In 2012 they celebrated 2600 years from its foundation and it is considered the oldest stupa in the world.
The Pagoda has 4 entrances, you will go up from each entrance. There are many steps. Again, you need to be barefoot, but there is no place to leave your shoes, so it’s better to carry a backpack and you can take it with you. Entrance here is not free. Foreigners are required to pay 10,000 kyats – this is local currency (approximately $ 6.5). Entrance for locals is free.
If you are wearing shorts, short skirts or tight pants, then you will need to rent their long skirts. Your clothes cannot be tight. Even men are wearing these skirts, not only inside pagoda, but also in everyday life.
I would not go there one more time. I did not like to be barefoot.
Karaweik palace is a beautiful palace on Kandawgyi Lake. This is restaurant now. There you won’t only eat delicious local food, but also watch an interesting show where they dance traditional dances. We did not go inside, but it looks amazing from the outside.
We went to a restaurant in a supermarket not far from our hotel. I paid 15,000 kyats ($ 10) for salad, spring rolls and milkshake. In fact, the salad was very spicy, so I could not eat it. I forgot to tell them that I don’t eat spicy food. But the spring rolls were delicious.
I really like Asia. It is not only beautiful, but it’s completely different from what I used to see. People are very friendly and they are quite different from Europeans with their hospitality. For me, the hotels are the best in Asia, but food is another story… Asian cuisine is not for me. In short, all Asian countries are worth visiting… You will see completely different life here!