I’m writing from my laptop in the hotel lobby. Large glass windows look out onto crowded streets of cars and umbrellas. Rain falls heavily in sweeping lines. Men and women are all dressed in sandals and long wrap around skirts in colorful patterns. For the men, this type of dress is called a longyi and is reminiscent of what I saw men in Sri lanka wear. On the adjacent street corner to my hotel sits a Buddhist monastery where I watch monks hang maroon robes in their windowsill. On the streets the young shaven headed, robe wearing monks walk by in rows, barefooted and carrying fans. The rain lets up occasionally then flashes quickly back into monsoon-like conditions.I’m on day 3 and I find myself completely captivated by this city. It’s places like this that keep my thirst for traveling alive.
Yangon, formerly Rangoon and formerly the capitol of Myanmar, is a fascinating melting pot of Indian, Chinese, British and Myanmar influences. The language is closest to Tibetan. The city itself reminds me more of Sri Lanka and India and less like neighboring Thailand where I spent the last month. Street food stalls of Indian snack line every corner with tea stalls being just as ubiquitous.
I arrived early Sunday so I took time to explore the city before work began on Monday. I spent a lot of time getting soaked while I visited local markets, ate exceptional food and visited the famous Shwedegon Pagoda. Here are a few pictures from day 1. I will spend less than 2 weeks here, and I already wish it were more.