MYANMAR : YANGON
Yangon is the former capital of Myanmar and the country's largest city. It packs 7 million people and is the most important commercial center of Myanmar as well as having some of Southeast Asia's most impressive colonial architecture.
Buildings in Yangon
I spent 2 days in this vibrant city and was fascinated by the famous Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar. I visited it twice, once at midday and once at sunset. Sunset gave me the full experience of what a pagoda is in Myanmar. First of all because of the temperature cooling down and also because that is when observing the devotees gets a lot more interesting. They light up hundreds of candles all around the pagoda and sit together to pray. The feel of peace and spirituality is an overwhelming experience in addition to photo opportunities presented to me.
Right next to the Pagoda is People's Square and Park. Being there on a Sunday afternoon, I had no idea it was the meeting spot for the youth of Yangon. Not only a park but it also has a theme park where aging rides could be a fun experience to share with the locals. Look at the young novice trying bumper cars with some difficulties.
I also took a stroll to Sule Pagoda, a Burmese stupa located in the heart of downtown Yangon. It was less impressive than Shwedagon but still relatively interesting to visit especially at night since it is now on a busy roundabout.
On my last day I hopped on the circular train which was only 200 kyhat and takes you around the city in 3 hours, stopping at 39 stations. This was to me the best way to experience the lifestyle in Yangon. The train was packed when I first got in and I struggled to find a seat. The main attraction wasn't necessarily the landscape of the outer city but more the vibrant life inside the train. Many vendors are selling a variety of products from food to cigarettes and newspaper. They hop on and off the train at each station, while the train doesn't stop for more than a minute. As I sat with locals they took photos of me after me taking their portrait. I even got fed by an elderly woman that was next to me.
Here are the photos from the circular train.