A Travellerspoint blog

Lots of walking,boat ride and rickshaw

Great sleep in and got up at 8.30am. Air con did end up cooling down the room and it was lovely and dark with the private curtains around each bed

Had the free breakfast of toast & jam and headed out by 9.30am. Had photographed a walking tour of Yangon out of a lonely planet book sitting on the brekkie table and headed down to Sula Pagoda through busy Chinatown.

The gold pagoda is 2200 years old and is in the middle of a roundabout. As the commercial heart of the city, from here the British designed the grid system. Behind it saw a lovely park so headed into there – Mahabandoola Gardens – saw sign saying no betel nut spitting allowed in here. Had seen plenty of red stains along the footpath as betel nut is very popular. Saw the first westerners in the park that I had seen since leaving the hostel & recognized a couple from the flight from Bangkok yesterday. This park is flanked by the, City Hall, High Court and Sule Pagoda, each so different, so impressive. one made of red brick,one of white stone and one gof gold. Across the road past the fountains was impressive City Hall a huge lilac and purple colonial building. Next to it another old building that used to be a department store

I had seen so many women with brown paste on their cheeks some like dark circles and others more smeared. I asked some young girls that were collecting for the flood victims what it meant and they said it was sunscreen!!! Saw it on so many people today in varying degrees of thickness pasted on their faces but mostly on their cheeks. Found out it was called Thanakha. Surrounding the park are many beautiful big old buildings. The dark red brick building is the High court

Headed to the river to Strand Rd where there was the impressive colonial buildings of the Port Authority and Customs Hall 1915. I saw a walkway over the road to a ferry terminal – the Pansodan Jetty . A local girl said you can buy a return ticket to Dalah straight over the wide Yangon River for 4000 kyat. It was very busy with hundreds of people pouring on and off the double decker boats. On board there was much noise and shouting as people yell out to sell their food and drinks for the 10 minute boat ride. Hardly long enough to require anything!!!

As we neared the shore a young guy asked me where I was from ( always the lead in to a sell!) and did I want a rickshaw to take me to the pagoda, tsunami village and markets. He told me I was very beautiful and I said he didn't need to say that to get my business!! I think he got the message. He said it was 4500 for half an hour so I said yes. The rickshaws have a very narrow seat right beside the bike rider and I only just fitted my backside into it. Any wider and it would not have fitted in. Behind me was another seat for someone else to sit who faced backwards.

As we started off an elderly couple on a rickshaw in front of me were pointing and laughing at me. I asked Koko the driver why they were laughing and it said it was because I was woman on my own and that is not usual . I read in the lonely planet book tonight that Myanmar women would not consider traveling without at least 1 female companion, so women travelling alone are considered slightly peculiar.

Dalah is tiny village and we were soon out in the countryside past paddy fields, some very poor slums and fishing villages. Stopped by a pagoda, saw a furnace where the deceased are cremated, had lots of lovely children smile and high five me, bought Brad a longyi to wear in summer and had some noodles and vegetables with a coke for 4000K

Just before I boarded the ferry to return to the city it started bucketing down. On went the poncho for about 20 minutes and it was all over.

I kept walking down the Strand Rd past the Australian and British Embassies to the Strand Hotel where I walked into their lovely lobby and found nice toilets to use. It was opened n 1901 and run by the same family that ran Raffles in Singapore. It has hosted Rudyard Kipling , Gerge Orwell and Somerset Maugham. Past that was the huge post office from 1908

More massive buidings in Ponsadon St also needing some TLC. I then walked up 37th St known for its streetside bookstalls

The seceretariat takes up a whole block and is a massive crumbling building from the British era. I headed to the Railway station to find out what time the Circular Train runs tomorrow – the building looks very dilapidated. I saw a lovely double spired church in the distance so headed over to it and ot was a beautiful old Catholic church called St Martins

The streets are very wide and busy and you just have to cross when you can and wait in the middle until you can get all the way across. Crowded buses have people packed in and a conductor yells out where the bus is going as they stop along the way.

The footpaths uneven and have holes that are big enough to disappear down into sewerage . Passed several crowded cinemas, being a Sunday and everywhere were groups of young people collecting money for flood victims – hundreds in groups canvassing across the city, even on the ferry where they sang songs and then took around a bucket.

I had grabbed a brochure for a Foot Massage place in 16th street - Sapel foot spaso not far from the hostel in 12th street. I haven’t seen any others so it was a lovely respite from the heat and humidity at 4pm in lovely air conditioning and the place had the lovely smell of lemongrass

As well as being saturated in sweat – has been 30 degrees with 80 -90 % humidity, my feet were very sore from all the walking so an hours foot massage was wonderful for 14,000 K.

Finding a western café and wifi is far and few between and wifi at the hostel is really bad.

Had Thai fish cakes for dinner which I could not eat as they were too spicy. 3000K The local people are very kind and several offered me help when I looked a little lost today. Bought a local sim card today for 1500K with 1000K credit

Cat asleep on products in a shop

Cat asleep on products in a shop


Markets

Markets


Markets

Markets


Sula Pagoda

Sula Pagoda


Busy streets

Busy streets


Sula Pagoda

Sula Pagoda


Lady asleep with paste on her face

Lady asleep with paste on her face


Sula Pagoda

Sula Pagoda


Colonial buildings

Colonial buildings


Mahabandoola Gardens

Mahabandoola Gardens


Mahabandoola Gardens

Mahabandoola Gardens


Child with paste on their face

Child with paste on their face


Mahabandoola Gardens

Mahabandoola Gardens


High Courts

High Courts


Pansodan Jetty

Pansodan Jetty


Dalah

Dalah


Wide river

Wide river


Rickshaws

Rickshaws


Local streets in Dalah

Local streets in Dalah


Dalah

Dalah


Countryside outside Dalah

Countryside outside Dalah


Rural temple

Rural temple


Had turn being the driver

Had turn being the driver


It was hard work

It was hard work


Didn't last long

Didn't last long


Countryside

Countryside


Village

Village


Village

Village


Umbrellas work for the sun and rain

Umbrellas work for the sun and rain


Back at the jetty

Back at the jetty


Ferry

Ferry


Ferry

Ferry


Crowds boarding

Crowds boarding


Young people singing to raise $ for flood victims

Young people singing to raise $ for flood victims


Signs about the floods

Signs about the floods


Embassies

Embassies


Strand Hotel

Strand Hotel


Post office

Post office


Strand Hotel front door

Strand Hotel front door


Colonial buildings

Colonial buildings


Maritime building

Maritime building


Holes in the pavement

Holes in the pavement


Don't want fall in these

Don't want fall in these


Sewerage

Sewerage


Crumbling buildings

Crumbling buildings


Book market

Book market


Deserted building

Deserted building


Railway

Railway

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Myanmar

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