Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Burmese Days….. back to Yangon

We were now getting used to early morning starts, and caught another sunrise from our hotel bedroom...

 …before breakfast….

 in an empty dining room…..no-one else obviously leaving yet!

 This was before a 30 minute boat journey on the lake….

Then a one hour hair raising car ride…to the airport.
I should mention that the Myanmar generals decided in 1970 to change driving on the left hand side of the road (British influence!) to driving on the right. Obviously people could not afford to replace their cars and they still buy second hand cars from Thailand and Japan... ( both countries drive on the left)…. so one drives around with the driver on the right.

 This causes somewhat of a problem when overtaking…...

 unless there is a front seat passenger.

We arrived at the airport way too early and  this time we did have our luggage weighed!

Once again the departure area was chaotic. All planes basically leave at the same time, no matter where they are going…. its like an overcrowded bus station!

Getting people on to their respective planes is also very interesting….someone holds up a board with the flight number and calls out the flight, which is difficult to understand, distorted over the bullhorn, and also just to hear, given the background noise in the room.

Time in Myanmar is interesting….Yangon and Bangkok are in different time zones. There is half an hour difference! We have not come across this before.

The flight to Yangon only takes about an hour so we arrived in time to check out the National Museum before lunch.
Like the museum in Bagan this is huge … but lots of empty space. We were primarily interested in checking out all the royal regalia… lots of jewels!! No photos allowed…..and indeed the items were in glass boxes, within a steel cage.  Made it a little difficult to read what the exhibits were. Particularly as the writing was quite small! But I did like the jewel encrusted shoes! And no…I didn't take this photo!

We went for lunch at Feel restaurant, well recommended on TA. However we would definitely give it a miss should we ever return!

Extremely noisy, fast food type of place with a huge array of choice in the buffet area with no means of working out what was in any dish…not even anything written in Burmese! The food was just OK….. and it was a lot more expensive than the really good food we had had at Inle Lake.

Next we went to the famous Scotts market…

We actually lost our guide while in Scotts market for 10-15 minutes…..he just disappeared!  When we refound him it turned out he was negotiating a price for a ruby ring he was interested in buying.  He had not finished negotiating…. and so we lost him again after he reflected……but he did buy it!

We then went to the downtown colonial area……very disappointing.
Some of the older colonial era buildings are being redone….

...a department store being turned into apartments...

The Law Court... from British times...

and the Secretariat Building, where General Aung San was assassinated, has been abandoned and left to decay.  Its a huge building , a full city block but has coils of barbed wire around it.

Such a shame…….  I had not realized it was completely abandoned as I had seen a BBC visit to the interior….and did wonder why the tour guide kept ignoring my request to go to it!!

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