Thursday, April 3, 2014

Yangon - First Impressions of Myanmar - Burma

What an amazing place Myanmar is and how lucky am I to have a daughter that suggested we spend a holiday there over the Christmas period, as a side trip during my last trip to stay with her in Hong Kong. Our first Christmas without David was always going to be difficult so we had decided to do something completely different. Well it was certainly that, a fabulous adventure to a fascinating country with awe inspiring sights that range from ancient treasures to stunning landscapes. It was understandably an emotional trip for me to undertake as it was my first life adventure without my husband and best friend at my side. However I was fortunate to have one of our daughters there as support and we had a truly wonderful holiday together. It has taken me awhile to gather my thoughts together and feel able to share on Travel Tales the wonderful places we visited. Why because it makes me feel so very sad that David never got to share the sights and sounds of this beautiful country with us.

Followers of my blogs will know that he encouraged me to carry on blogging when I was ready to give it all up, so for him I continue to chronicle our life adventures, of which I still have plenty to share from the last trip we took together which was to Istanbul, but I digress as for the foreseeable future my posts will be all about Myanmar starting with our first impressions of the country when we arrived in Yangon.

We left Hong Kong in the early evening on 18th December 2013, a good start to the trip was an upgrade to Business Class for our flight. Such a treat and a first for me, if only all flights could be like this! Arriving in Yangon at 11.30pm we were met personally by the lady owner of the hotel, Classique Inn. My review can be found on My Trip Advisor Profile for further information.  

The next morning after having breakfast in the courtyard we took a taxi into the centre of Yangon, as the Classique Inn was in the residential and Foreign Embassy area of the city about a fifteen minute drive and peaceful away from the hustle and bustle of the city.  With just a day to explore the city, although we would be returning at the end of our trip we packed a lot into our few hours and I took so many photos that this post just covers the morning when we explored Yangon's Old Heritage District, also know as Yangon Downtown.  More photos taken by me in Yangon can be viewed my visiting My Flickr Album entitled Yangon, Myanmar, Burma. Meanwhile I hope the ones I have chosen to share with you will give you an impression of the sights and sounds of the city, which since the 17C has been a cosmopolitan mix of many races.  The area is compact enough to explore on foot and although the traffic is busy, it is much quieter than many Asian cities due to the banning of motorbikes and scooters in this area. We started our walking tour at the 2,000 year old golden temple of Sule Paya, surrounded by government buildings and commercial businesses, it is in the middle of a traffic roundabout!

Three photos above are of  Sule Paya - Sule Pagoda
There was certainly plenty to see as we threaded our way along the busy footpaths, where every other person seemed to have something to sell, from oranges to books, phone calls to various cooked foods.

The next photo is of the 46 metre obelisk Independence Monument which stands in the centre of  Maha Bandoola Park. 

The car number plates were not easy to decipher and it was very confusing as although the traffic now all drives on the right, the majority of the cars are still right hand drive! Left over from the colonial influences I guess but an odd experience as a passenger, just like taking a British car over to Europe!

As for the rubbish bins, they were a surprise identical to the ones we have where I live in Wales!

This machine is used to press the juice out of sugar cane

These barefoot young women are Nuns.
Puppies for Sale

Yangon was formerly known as Rangoon when it was the old capital city of the country from 1948 until 2006 when the government declared the new city of  Nay Pyi Taw (Naypyidaw) as the capital. The city now covers over 350 sq km and has a population of over 5 million.  Although no longer the capital the city is still the main point of arrival for tourists to Myanamar. It is a busy bustling place but it has also earned the name of 'Garden City of the East' with its parks and lakes, which I will cover in later posts when we returned to Yangon at the end of our trip.  There are a number of links at the end of the post for those of you interested in reading more. 

Finally we stopped for lunch at danuphyu daw saw Yee Myanma
Having taken you on a virtual tour of Downtown Yangon and our first lunch in Myanmar I will be back soon to share where we spent the afternoon.  I do hope my photos have managed to give you a little idea of the atmosphere.  The following link will take you to Trip Advisor reviews for the restaurant.
Burma, officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, adopted a new state flag on 21 October 2010. To learn more of the history of the country's flag visit the link Myanmar Flag

With thanks to the following sites for the background information included in this post. The links will take you directly to the official websites if you are interested in learning more about Yangon and other places mentioned.

Classique Inn - Trip Advisor   Yangon - Encyclopaedia Britannica   Wikitravel - Yangon Travel Guide

Wikipedia - Yangon History etc.   Myanmar Flag    Wikipedia - Downtown Yangon     Sule Pagoda

Maha Bandoola Park     danuphyu daw saw Yee Myanma - Trip Advisor

                              All photos are my own unless otherwise stated taken in December 2013

More Yangon photos can be found on Flickr in My Album entitled Yangon, Myanmar, Burma

I would also like to point out that this entire trip was organised as independent travellers by my daughter. She planned and researched an itinerary, which we discussed, then she booked all the hotels and flights. 

 Copyright All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection


  1. Dear Linda - I was really interested to read this, Myanmar is somewhere that I am mulling over in my mind for a future visit - but of late I have gone off long plane trips.
    I am particularly attracted by the architecture so it was lovely to be able to see your photos of the stupas, but I enjoyed seeing the people too.
    How nice that you and your daughter were able to spend such a fascinating time together and ease the pain of your first Christmas without David.

    1. Rosemary, I think by the time you have finished the virtual tour you may well be very tempted to take that long plane trip!

  2. Hello Linda, I am so happy that you have such an adventurous daughter , who wants to see the world and also that you did something so completely different . David will be very proud of you , that you did this and that you have continued with your blogging and more . I had never even heard of anyone going there before this , (maybe one person) so happy that you had a fascinating and fantastic time. Thanks for sharing and showing us this country through your eyes, take care xoox

  3. What absolutely wonderful photos and a most utterly fascinating place it looks. And you are so lucky with your daughter. How very difficult it must have been without David, words cannot convey such a loss. But your daughter thought of such a good thing to do and I am sure David was with you both in spirit. And yes, would be pleased that you've continued to blog, because it offers inspiration and a window into a wider world. Your post makes me feel I would love to visit this country

  4. What a bittersweet trip this must have been for you both, but such an important one for you to do, especially in the face of such loss.

    Beautifully illustrated and thought provoking. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Wow the pictures are so good and took me on a virtual trip, Lindy. Thanks a lot for posting. I am sure David would be seeing you people and feeling the joy in his heart.

  6. Dear Lindy, Thank you for sharing with us through Travel Tales. I've always enjoyed your wonderful photos and informative writing. I'm looking forward to more posts in the future. It was so lovely of your daughter to arrange the tour which must have given you an insight into a different culture, as can be seen from your photos, but also was a poignant time for you both. I was interested to see Myanmar (Burma) as a very close and special friend, an elderly lady who has now passed away, was Burmese.

  7. this is really an exotic place which I probably never see myself! Nice to see it through your eyes!

  8. looks like an amazing place to visit and you are blessed with a daughter to go with you.. these photos are really beautiful and tell a story by themselves.

  9. It is great to see these photos Linda, as Myanmar is one of those places we know very little about. Very interesting, and I bet you enjoyed it a lot. I am also quite sure that David is travelling with you in spirit :)

    Teaching English with Mr. Duncan
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  10. While I am sure it was a difficult time I think you made the right decision. What amazing pictures I so look forward to these great posts you can feel the culture of the country. Also the great variety of the photos the dustbin is so funny so unexspected in a place like this. Have a lovely weekend

  11. I could spend hours on your blog....seeing things I've only read about and haven't really imagined this way. Love that colorful yarn and those yellow swinging doors. So much to see....such amazing sights! I'll keep your blog open to look again and again! Enjoy your day my friend! Happy adventures! hugs, Diane

  12. Hi Lindy, your photography skill is superb. Look like an interesting place to visit. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Interesting pictures of the city! the temple looking gorgeous such specially lot like the temple.....
    Have a great day!!
    my recent article

  14. Hi LindyLou, I’m am so sorry to hear of the loss of your sweet husband. I am happy to find you on a travel adventure with your daughter. I enjoyed so much hearing of your adventures in Italy. Know that I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. So happy I’ve found you again.

  15. Beautiful place with full of life.

  16. Such a great trip (I read both posts). How wonderful of your daughter to suggest this and that the two of you could go together .... A beautiful travel adventure at a time when something different was definitely the thing that was called for. And it seems like a spiritually-based place (I'm not wording this right, but I'm sure you know what I mean) was a perfect choice too. Your pictures are stunning.

  17. Myanmar also known as Burma is a Southeast Asian country. Burma Myanmar Tour Packages most diverse and largest Southeast Asian countries travel places. It is residence to many beaches, virgin-jungles and snow capped mountains. It is in fact a country rich in custom, tradition, culture and history.

    1. I was tempted to delete this as spam and advertising but as I love Myanmar I am prepared to leave it here. Be warned though the link is just trying to sell you a package holiday!


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