Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Myanmar: Finding Sri Kali and going around Yangon

sri kali templeI went back to Yangon a day early and that gave me a chance to rest and at the same time, get a glimpse of the city. The day alternated between balmy and downright hot so i waited until around 3pm to walk around and see the place by foot. Mahabandoola Road (where I'm staying) is around 10 minutes walk to the Bogyoke Market where it's even easier to catch the crowded buses going around the city and to the outskirts. Or one can opt for the taxis, all vintage 80's or older, with all windows open (no air conditioned taxis anywhere). It's a bit weird to travel onboard vehicles with right-hand drive on the right lane, and passengers boarding on the left side. but I digress.

Finding Sri Kali temple took a little more walk and a lot of queries on directions from whoever can understand English. But the traffic police I encountered are very nice and kind. the temple is small compared to the many stupas and pagodas I've seen but it really looks striking and distinct.yangon city viewI did a bit of wandering after. The streets spill with people, some rushing back home, others whiling away the hot afternoon drinking tea or coffee and eating native snacks on the sidewalk. I find that Yangon is a mix of the old with a bit of the present. There are traces of colonial architecture in some areas; a combination of old, crumbling edifices with new high-rises in others. The old buses and taxis feel like a time warp back to the 70's and 80's. iIt seems to me that the government is reluctant when it comes to tourism. But the locals I got to talk with knows it can only do more good.yangon city view 2I got back to my inn when it got dark, feeling the Yangon heat so much so i drank four half-liter bottles of Star Cola, a popular local cola drink, in three minutes. my server, Ko ko, can only laugh in amazement. (some notes: you can save money by buying the local softdrinks which cost an average of 300kyats or US$.30 instead of Coca Cola which goes for 1,000kyats or $1.00 or more)


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