We arrived in Burma on a plane with a flight from Kuala Lumpur and immediately we felt thrown into a completely different world.
Yangon for us has been the gateway to this new Country and for one day we enjoyied its historic center and the immense pagoda.
YANGON IN ONE DAY: HOW TO REACH THE CITY CENTER FROM THE AIRPORT
At Yangon International Airport, the modernity of Malaysia was disappeared.
No express trains connecting the city centre, only taxi or a two-mile walk to catch a bus.
We decided not to take the taxies and we walked out of the airport to the right, following the only paved road.
And it was already so special… little monks walking with us and looking at us, people we ask for information responding to gestures, someone smiling at us.
Arrived on the dusty main road we took the bus 37 which in about 40 minutes reached the central area, passing through the huge golden pagoda and the lake.
Let’s get our backpacks and start exploring the city.
YANGON IN A DAY: THE CITY CENTER
All around the 44 meters tall Sule pagoda, the older sister of the famous Shwedagon, run the busy streets of Yangon.
This is the heart of the city and within short distance you can find the city hall, the Immanuel Baptist Church and the park Maha Bandula.
The street next to the park, at night, is filled with banquets selling street food. We’ve tasted some really good skewers (we returned 2 times! ).
From the square next to the Sule pagoda, several buses depart throughout the day. Some of them are very useful to visit the city like the n. 36 for the bus station Aung Mingalar or the 29 and 12 to get to the Chaukhtatgyi Buddha (ticket cost 200 kyat )
To the west of the pagoda is the district of China town filled with colorful markets and small restaurants.
YANGON IN A DAY: CHAUKHTATGY BUDDHA AND SHWEDAGON PAGODA
From the Sule pagoda stop, right behind the pagoda, we took the bus 29 and in 20 minutes (traffic permitting) we arrived at the entrance of the temple where one of the largest statues of Buddah in Burma is guarded: the Chaaukhtatgy Buddah (FREE ENTRY).
Under an aluminum roof and a bit kitsch, you find this huge statue with beautiful decorated feet.
The place is very quiet and still few tourists seem to be visiting it.
Outside the temple, you will find some gentlemen who will propose to accompany you to the meditation center. In exchange for a donation to the temple (not free but at least 5000 Kyat) he will show you people who live there and meditate.
From the statue of the giant Buddah, taking a walk of about 1.5 kilometers, you reach the Shwedagon pagoda, the symbol of Yangon. The access is from 4 main entrances with stairs or lifts.
Entrance costs 10000 Kyat, shoes and socks must be left at the entrance and it is necessary to wear long pants and have shoulders covered, for both men and women.
The highest golden stupa shines and makes all the other small temples around appear brighter and beautiful.
The walk around the stupa must be done clockwise while observing the statues corresponding to the day of birth.
Worshippers stop to pray right in front of the statue that represents their day, decorating it with flowers and throwing water.
It remains ecstatic in front of so much splendor and the songs of the faithful help create a mystical atmosphere in this place. Gold Illuminated by the sun and blue sky make this experience almost surreal.