Watch people and listen to the beat of the city
Streets of Yangon are busy both with people and cars. In difference from Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh, scooters are not aloud here because of the accident risk. Well, fair enough. But it creates a problem when people have to buy cars instead becuse there are not enough space. Instead it creates traffic jam and the cars hunking the horn tuning into a massive untamed orchestra.
Friendliness – People of Yangon
I am so impressed with the friendliness that the people of Yangon are showing the tourists. They are so polite and respectful as well as helpful. Love the small gestures on the crowded pavements when people smile and giving you room to pass. It’s also lovely to see the colorful dresses the ladies are wearing. As well as the smiley kids holding on to their best friend while chit chatting. Or the old lady vendors selling fruit and vegetables. In China town the people of Myanmar feels shy among foreigners, it might be a language barrier. But a smile is never mistaken for them to show you the friendly side.
Watch the house of Aung San Suu Kyi
Former Rangon is now Yangon and the old colonial name Burma is now Myanmar. After the British Empire left or was expelled after the country made it’s independency year 1952. The democracy party with the leader as well as nobel price winner Aung San Suu Kyi is the leading party. Her father is Aung San, a national hero fighting for the country reaching it’s independency status.
As the military regime was ruling Aung San Suu Kyi was in house arrest for 15 years. You can visit the adress where the house is but unfortunately not enter the house.
Massage – The smith and the iron
I have been to many massages, but this ”smith and the iron massage” goes in on place number one. On the main street in the old town in Yangon close to Mingelar Sanpya Cineplex is the massage place. Ask Chris on the hostel Once in Yangon and he will show you on a map where to go.
First, a two hours massage for 11 000 Kyat that I will never forget. Further on I recommend you to go. But, it’s not a cosy Thai massage. This one is on the edge between pleasure and pain. If the young light weighted girl giving me the massage is the smith then I am the iron. She divided me into pieces and put me together again, she was the fire, the water and the hammer. She went from my toes all the way up gently pulling my hair. Massaging my body with her hands, elbows and feet. Cracking my back and neck making a snapping sound felt so reliefing. Further on, walking on my legs and back was a much nicer feeling then I thought. Afterwards, pulling my skin with the fingers on my back was not. But, tell the masseause what you want and not.
Pub street in old town – Great fun watching people
On 19th upper street in the area China Town is a busy but fun pub street. After a full day walking the touristic scene it’s nice sitting down looking at people passing by. It’s a lively place, the pub staff are young smiling guys that seems to have fun at work. Before you even placed yourself on the plastic chair you will be approached and served a cold beer.
Strand Hotel – If you want stars
The luxury Strand hotel is worth a visit for your eyes to rest on the details of design. The hotel got a really nice café and restaurant. Great place to escape the noice of the city for you to relax. Just to mention, the meny of three courses is about 30 dollars.
Buy Thanaka – Make a face decoration
On Bogyoke Aung Sann Market you can buy Thanaka. That is a face decoration powder made of bark from a tree growing for 35 years. The locals are making beautiful patterns on the cheeks and on the nose. It’s said to be anti oxidating, anti aging and anti inflammatory.
Drink coffee at the local cafe
Get a new experience and drink coffee like a local. Visit one of the coffee corners, you will easily recognise when seeing old men around the table drinking coffee. The interior is simple and you will get the feeling travelling back in time. On the table are pastrys and choose what you want to eat. Order coffee or tea from the energetic waiter. As a matter a fact, I orderd tea and the taste was like coffee. And yeah, I liked it. There is one perfect example worth a visit on Hiedan Street, between 10th and 11th street close to San Pya bus stop.
Jazz in Time Music Bar
If you are a jazz lover there is a music bar on Bo Myat Htun Street close to UFC Tower. On Friday’s and Saturday’s there is a small scene for local jazz bands longing to entertain you.