It’s not every day that one visits Myanmar so I think it merits a further entry to accompany the previous one which you can read here. Christmas Day began for us in capital city Yangon with mohinga; a traditional Myanmar breakfast of thin rice noodles mixed with thick fish soup, roasted chilli powder, a squeezed lemon, fish sauce and coriander. All very different from what I’d normally have on Christmas morning which is often nothing due to the hangover from the previous nights shenanigans!!
The home of Aung San Suu Kyi (below) by Inya Lake on University Avenue Road was our first stop that morning for what should have been a straight forward taxi ride ($3) but trying to communicate that to the driver was another thing! Eventually after a few u-turns here and there it was located. Of course its just a gate and not too much more than that but a couple of years ago the only way you could photograph this place was from driving by. This place is one of such historical importance and I was very pleased to stand outside it. Suu Kyi spent about 15 years of her life under house arrest by the military before being released in 2010.
Despite the ineptness of the driver we decided to persevere with him as he couldn’t fail to get us to Shwedagon Paya (below) which is certainly the number one tourist attraction in Yangon. This huge 2500 year old buddhist pagoda is the spiritual home of Goldmember of Austin Powers movie fame!! The compound was a palace of glittering delights and an awesome sight albeit a slightly overwhelming one for me as I felt I could never truly appreciate all the buildings and the fine detail of each one.
We continued on to find Happy World (below) nearby which is a place I knew about thanks to the excellent RocketNews24 website. I naturally assumed that it was a theme park with rides and so on but after paying the 20 cents entrance we found out that it was nothing more than a game centre! As it was the entrance fee was a waste of money but better to know than not know what was inside! The highlight for me was seeing the puny and wimpy looking Batman statue outside the place.
We then tucked into the Christmas turkey for lunch and pulled a couple of crackers! Of course thats not true but we did have a meal outside Happy World before taking a taxi back to central Yangon and the port area (below) which was an area I was curious to see not that there actually was much action going on down there!