Yangon, Myanmar

Yangon, Myanmar

Before arriving in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) we really had no idea what to expect.  Not all that long ago it was an isolated country virtually closed to tourism.  We knew that it was in the middle of huge political changes but didn’t know what to expect from the people or infrastructure.  Looking back I can say that Myanmar was one of the most difficult countries we traveled through. Not because of the people – they’re some of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet – but because of the general lack of tourist infrastructure and some nasty run-ins with food poisoning (more on both of those in a later post).  However, I can also say that we fell in love with Yangon, our first stop, almost immediately.  It’s a city full of vibrant street life, people who are exceedingly friendly and eager to meet foreign visitors, and old bicycles that I became somewhat obsessed with.  Rather than try to write a long post about the city, I thought I’d just post some of my favorite shots to try and give you all a feel for life in Yangon.

A lady wearing Thanaka, a yellowish-white cosmetic paste made from ground bark.
A lady wearing Thanaka, a yellowish-white cosmetic paste made from ground bark. It is a traditional face paint that shields their skin from the harsh sun. 

 

A trishaw driver waiting for his next customer.
A trishaw driver waiting for his next customer.

 

A sugarcane juice vendor.
A sugarcane juice vendor.

 

Street food
Street food. Yes, we did get into some Yangon street food.  Couldn’t resist!

 

A street food vendor
A street food vendor

 

Tea leaf salad. Delicious.
Tea leaf salad. Delicious.

 

Nightlife.
Nightlife.

 

Steamed peanuts
Steamed peanuts

 

City bus
City bus

 

Another street full of life
Another street full of life

 

A lady selling pomelo. It's like grapefruit only better.
A lady selling pomelo. It’s like grapefruit only better.

 

Trishaw drivers taking a break.
Trishaw drivers taking a break.  Their traditional skirts are called longis and 90% of the Burmese males wear these.  Angela wanted to get me fitted for one. 

 

Street "café"
Street “café”

 

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The ubiquitous betel stand. Slaked lime is spread on the betel leaf and then a chopped areca nut, tobacco, and spices are added. It's then rolled and chewed like tobacco. The sidewalks are stained red from the spit. It gives a slight buzz and makes your mouth num. It also rots your teeth.
The ubiquitous betel stand. Slaked lime is spread on the betel leaf and then a chopped areca nut, tobacco, and spices are added. It’s then rolled and chewed like tobacco. The sidewalks are stained red from the spit. It gives a slight buzz and makes your mouth numb. It also rots your teeth.

 

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One of the many old, cool buildings.
One of the many old, cool colonial-era buildings.  

 

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7 Responses to Yangon, Myanmar

  1. Another great post!! I have been wondering when the next one would be. Very, very interesting. Also would like to know what drew you to to Myanmar. Where to next??? Please be careful.

    Kev

    • Thanks, Kevin! We pretty much only update the blog now when your sister harasses us enough. We heard good things about Myanmar from several people, and since we were in the area, decided to go. We’re about 10 countries behind on the blog, but after Myanmar it was Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, and Namibia. We’re back in South Africa now, headed home for good on the 25th.

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