Myanmar Journals

Yangon, Myanmar

A June 2003 trip to Myanmar by seethesun

Locals Photo, Myanmar, Asia More Photos
Quote: Few places on earth remain as untouched as the fascinating Myanmar. This mysterious country has much to offer in terms of history, culture, and unspoilt scenery. This trip to Yangon in 2003 was the only group tour we ever joined, but it turned out to be worthwhile.

Hotel Nikko Royal Lake

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Hotel

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This is one of the few international and five-star hotels in Yangon, although I heard that several other hotel chains are in the midst of building their hotels there now. Hotel Nikko Royal Lake is situated opposite the Royal Lake (Kandawgyi), which is surrounded by lush, tranquil gardens. The lake and hotel stands out like Queen Elizabeth in Chinatown, as mud houses with dirty children playing in the dried fields are just a stone’s throw away. Once inside, it doesn’t feel like you’re in Myanmar at all. Classy chandeliers hung from its high ceilings and there were sparkling marble floors, beautiful and expensive-looking art, and rich, luxurious carpets greeted us as we enter. Most o...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 14, 2005

Shwedagon Pagoda

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Attraction | "Shwedagon, Jewel of Myanmar"

Shwedagon Pagoda Photo, Yangon, Myanmar
Quote:
Considered one of the most expensive gems of Myanmar, the legend of revered Shwedagon Pagoda is as old as Buddhism itself. If Cambodia has Angkor Wat and Bangkok has Wat Phra Kaeo, Yangon’s gem lies in the revered Shwedagon Pagoda. Dating back some 2,500 years, the world-famous Shwedagon is not just a tourist attraction, but continues to be an important place of worship for the locals. Situated on top of Singgutara Hill, its main stupa rises 100m from sea level and can be seen as far as 3km away. Shaped like a bell, gold plated, and adorned with precious stones like diamonds, sapphires, and rubies, it’s believed that the main stupa enshrines eight hairs of the Buddha. Words alone cann...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 17, 2005

Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda Road
Yangon, Myanmar

Scott Market and Chinatown

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Attraction

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Chinatown  This was our first introduction to Yangon and its street life. Upon checking in, we had about an hour to freshen up at the hotel and were told to assemble at the lobby to be ferried to Chinatown at 5pm. It was a short bus ride from Hotel Nikko to Chinatown, passing many parched paddy fields and men sitting out at the road side with a steel mug of coffee, staring into the horizon and the occasional passing vehicle.  The Chinatown in Yangon is not your Chinatown in Soho, London, or New York, where the visitor is greeted with char siu (BBQ pork), roast duck, and a big red arch welcoming you to the hometown of immigrant Hongki and Taiwanese. Yangon's Chinatown greets you ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 25, 2005

A Very Long Overview

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Story/Tip

Locals Photo, Myanmar, Asia
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Highlights My fascination with Myanmar can be traced back to my days as a secondary school student, studying its historical ties with the British Empire, when its name was still Burma. No other country in Asia enthralled me as much as Myanmar. This was partly fuelled by its hermit stance in the world map and so little of it being reported in our daily news. And, as I grew up, the fascination grew deeper. Having read Amitav Ghosh’s highly acclaimed novel "Glass Palace," I felt I couldn’t postpone my plans for visiting Myanmar. Never a fan of group tours, we initially tried to organize our own trip there, but Myanmar is not exactly a very friendly country for single travelers. We w...Read More