YangonYangon, formerly known as Ragoon, is the capital of Myanmar. It's a crowded city, holding 5-6 million inhabitants, with quite intense traffic. The streets are straight and parallel in a British way. The inner city is filled with shops and markets both indoors and outdoors and includes Muslim and Chinese quarters.
|The magnificent front off the Yangon International Airport welcomes you at arrival. The rear side is not that impressive.
|Beautiful colonial houses still in use. Could have had use for an clean up maybe.
|The tea culture is wide spread. I spent hours on those places drinking black tea, green tea and coffee. The black tea came with some sort of sweetened diary product in cans, never guessed what it was. Tasty anyway. And the coffee all over the country was the same three component instant powder, milk-sugar and coffee. The green tea finally was for free, just to sip.
|Shopping area in central Yangon.
|The side walk is a living place, crowded with all kinds of vendors.
|Food is available everywhere along the streets, and for all budgets.
|Ordinary people does not have a phone at home. In fact they said "You could get married if you got a phone". Instead those manual phone booth was a common sight, mostly for domestic call only.
|Young children performing on the street, hoping to get some cash. I was really stunned by those children making a quite professional appearance, singing of some kind of folk music, rhythmic, almost with an African touch.
|Soccer is very popular everywhere, even in the middle of the street among all cars.
|Not a happy sight...
The story tells that two brothers once met Buddha and were given same hairs from him to bring back to Myanmar. Long time after the box with the hairs was rediscovered by the king and there was phenomenon taking place - gems was raining from heaven, the earth shocked etcetera - and the stupa was built over the box.
|The main attraction of all in Yangon - maybe in the whole Myanmar - is the Shwedagon, the huge golden stupa, not just golden but covered in gold.
|A magnificent stupa needs a magnificent entrance. This is the western gate, most people use the eastern entrance though.
|The young Buddha in front of his mother, or step mother - he had two mothers you know - being bathed by the visitors.
|It's wise to visit Shwedagon in the morning or late in the afternoon as the floor gets burning hot in the sun. Off course it's not allowed to wear shoes on this holy ground.
|Gold, gold, gold...In this poor country you need to be a Buddhist to understand the point.
The Outskirts of Yangon
|Yangon railway station. This is the circular rout taking people to the surrounding villages. Not very exiting tour for a tourist but if wont to kill a three or four hour as me it's maybe an idea. Still you get a hunch of the local life around the city.
|Around Yangon you see some of those modern fenced suburbs for the middle and upper class people. Boring dead places, almost like a compound.
|More interesting was a tour I did with a 'guide' by car to the east side of the capitol.
|Township called Syrinam outside Yangon.
|Still, in those simple quarters you get smiling faces.
|And even here, in the poorer township, you found a DVD player. The daughter was watching Chinese soap opera.
|Taken care of the family is always important.
|Someone is obviously living here.
|Young girl selling beetle nut for chewing. Beetle nut, herbs and some seeds rolled in a leaf. A very common habit among the men in Myanmar. Makes the spit red as blood. Some says it's a drug but I'm not really sure. Maybe some sort of stimulantia.
|School class in the suburb.
|Tired tea boy, waiting for customers. But hey, here I am!
|Fisher boys. Fishing in the Yangon River is a way of earn some money, though it's running out of fish. Just small ones left.
|Drying fish in the sun.
|Look, a funny guy...
|Women preparing fruit. Fresh Pineapple.
|Beautiful colonial building still in use. One of the better buildings in the township east of Yangon.
|A proud hardware store owner.
|Soccer - once again.
|The area still has it's history. This is the ruins of an 'ancient' Portuguese church, built 1750.
|The old British Oil Company east of Yangon City.
|Local market at 'Syrinam' where you could buy everything. Clothings, firewood, vegetables, fresh shrimps...
|Home cooked meal with the family after being shopping at the local market. My best meal ever in Myanmar.
|Hard manual labor.
|I was late and had to take the night bus back into town. Wouldn't have done that on my own. Felt dangerous at first, but as I said they are friendly people. Still, no reason to be stupid. Interesting is that, in comparison with Thailand, no one takes notis of the Buddhist monk. Hi has to struggle his own way through life just like everyone else.