Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Going around Yangon 2

As i was in Yangon for only short 3 days, I hadto maximize my time here. Woke up early the next day and had a short run around the People's Square & Park which was just in front our hotel.The weather was really nice for a run and it reminded me of Perth :)Running around in the botanical garden was fun! A lot of locals would just go out and have a morning walk and facilities such as this is essential to lead a simple life.
 Immediately after breakfast, I decided to go to the city and finish up the minimum list of things to do in Yangon! The river Yangon was my first destination and when i arrived there, i understood why it is not highlighted as the place to go. Im sure because of time, the river is how it is at the moment. It is dirty and serves as the gateway for trade. There were lots of cargo ships and you can see why it must have been the port to be in the 19th century. The British was smart to have taken this place and developed it. There were lots of colonial building, really old and instantly you knew how important this place was to the empire then. 
 The next destination would certainly be the centre of the city, where Sule Pagoda is located. During the 8888 Uprising, the pagoda was an organizing point and destination selected on the basis of its location and symbolic meaning. In 2007, during the Saffron Revolution, the Sule Pagoda was again utilized as a rallying point for the pro-democracy demonstrations. Many thousands of monks gathered to pray around the pagoda. Both had brutal endings but hey.. it is the history of this place!
 Interestingly, there is a BIG MOSQUE just beside Sule Pagoda.If i had known earlier, I would have rushed for Friday prayers on my arrival! The mosque is huge and that tells you how big the population of Muslims here in Yangon; either by history or the current state. Being in a 98% Buddhist country, it is such a priviledge to see a mosque in the middle of the city next to the historical Pagoda they have.
 A visit to Bogyoke Aung Sang market is a must for any tourist. It is sitted in a colonial building, hence why it was known as the Scott market before. The ground floor and the first floor are lined with small antique shops selling old coins, bank-notes, postage stamps and medals. In the middle of the market are jewellers, selling famous Burmese jade, Burmese rubies and other precious stones. The rest are art galleries, handicraft shops, restaurants and clothes stores. The new wing of the market, across Bogyoke Aung San Market Road, houses shops that sell medicine, foodstuffs, garments and foreign goods.
Sadly, that was the end of my trip to Yangon. We spent 2 hours here and rushed back to the hotel to rush to the airport! I certainly enjoyed this short trip, and i guess holds the window to the coming new year 2014 :) 

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