After an early 4am wake up we arrived at Don Muang airport for our flight to Myanmar. The terminal was definitely the coldest we had ever been in and Charlie had only worn shorts and a t-shirt. The flight was only 2 hours but we were so tired we slept the whole way. On arrival we were greeted with a long immigration line but a smooth process at the desk. We got our money out at an atm before splitting a taxi with 2 others to downtown Yangon. We were staying in the chinatown district which was full of plenty of street stalls and really old buildings. Luckily we were able to check into our hostel (She Yo Vintage) straight away so we had a little rest before heading out to explore.
We decided to walk to the Shwedagon Pagoda which was a 2-3km walk. We figured it would give us a better chance to see some of the city than we would have in a taxi. The walk wasn’t too bad and we passed lots of busy areas and some quieter poorer streets.It reminded us of a mix of India and Cambodia. The buildings were quite run down and the streets were not in the best condition which surprised us as we thought the city would be better built up. You can instantly see that this place has been barely touched by tourism and is just locals going about their day to day business which we loved.
Once we got closer to the Pagoda the roads did get better and things looked a bit better looked after. We arrived at the entrance and were directed up an escalator to the main site. I was wearing leggings but they were too tight and not appropriate dress code so I was given a lime green wrap around skirt with these strange apples on it…great! Obviously not my usual colour choice and knowing there were plenty of other options she could have given me with much nicer patterns, I decided to call it the skirt of shame. Served me right for not dressing appropriately, although this was the first site on our whole trip that didn’t accept long leggings.
When we were let through the amount of gold temples/pagodas was very impressive.
There were so many locals visiting to pray as it is one of the most important religious sites in Myanmar. There were lots of monks, one in particular wanted to know where we were from and some cheeky monks were even climbing the pagoda.We waited there for sunset but it wasn’t a great one was we were not up high enough to really see it so we decided to walk back to the hostel. On our walk back we were met by a lovely local girl who wanted to practice her English as she walked home. We got back to the hostel, had some food, a beer and an early night.
Our hostel had some great people staying in it and we all decided to head on a night bus together to Kalaw for some trekking. I initially only wanted to go there for a 1 day trek as I didn’t think i would be able to do a 3 day one however Charlie, along with the others convinced me to do it. We had a sleep in and caught up with some small tasks before heading to the bus stop with the others. Annoyingly our hostel organised our taxi an hour and a half too early so we were sat at a mosquito infested bus stop for over an hour waiting for our bus to depart.