For years I’ve been wanting to visit Myanmar (Burma) but somehow throughout the long time that I’ve lived in Asia I’ve failed to visit. It was only recently on a business trip to Asia that I was able to take a weekend+ to go see Yangon and Bagan, the obvious highlights, and get a taste of this mysterious country.

I started off with Yangon, and was based at the crazy China Town district. Just walking around was an experience: hectic streets, busy people, food stalls everywhere, there was never any dull moment. Surprisingly enough, although I didn’t see many foreigners, the locals seemed completely oblivious to me, and the few interactions that I had to try some street food or stand there observing people, most spoke some level of basic English. Yangon, let’s be frank, is not a pretty city, not even close, it does look the former capital of a developing country with some run-down colonial past that barely hangs together. But, with that said, I could feel things are changing, there is development, everyone – and I mean everyone, including the very poor, had smartphones with data plans. Some parts – like the main park – were quite lovely, the temples were absolutely gorgeous, and the street-level craziness generally added to sense of adventure. For the first time, in a very long time, I was walking around with the realization that I have absolutely no idea what’s going on, and it’s a sensation that I truly missed. I had that in my visit to India, the Philippines, Cambodia, Mexico, and some parts of mainland China, but that was a while ago. Somehow Myanmar offered a combo of all of those, with a diversity of Asian cultures that to me was inspiring. Aside from Singapore, maybe, I can’t recall such a diverse mix of Asian cultures, all living side-by-side and interacting in a blend of languages and rituals.


To give you a taste of my visit to Yangon, here are my visions of this crazy city…



To my surprise, BTW, there was an old synagogue in China Town, very close to my hotel. That – I did not expect.



I don’t post lots of selfie photos, but while I was sitting in one of the temples a little girl came up and started playing with my phone and taking selfies. She was so charming and cute that I think it’s worth making the exception…





Much more on Yangon to follow…

Tags: burma; china town; city; Myanmar; photo walk; photography; photos; temples; visions; Yangon;

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