Friday, January 17, 2014

The streets of Yangon

Gone are the days when peace and tranquility were the ideal community. After much travelling and the fun that comes with it, i have embraced the variety there is in life.

Upon exiting Yangon international airport, I'd say I was impressed at the climate and orderliness there is outside.

From there, a 30 minute cost saving walk to the highway, and the story has flipped over. Sidewalk vendors, odd transports (pick up trucks as commuter vehicles), and some packed buses... I smiled. This is in fact my type of destination.

After much asking on how to get to Sule Pagoda (where my accomodation is at), and not really a definite instruction (because I could not get it in usable english), i decided to try some of what is sold alongside.

At first, I was kind of hesitant to spend anything since we were talking in hundreds, but after some calculation, I realized it's even cheaper than what I normally pay for.

So, then I managed to get to Sule Pagoda (see story here for Myanmar commute); It's 10pm and my travel buddy for this trip hasn't had dinner.

I washed up a little and some asking around again brought us to Chinatown.

The sight of the ingredients available would tell you how gratifying the dinner would be; the aste of which I'd have to pay 5 times in specialty restaurants in my city.

In the 19th street along Mahabandoola road are chains of stalls of restaurants, grills, and steam boats that serve beer too. It goes quite lively at night when people gather to drink. This side of Mahabandoola road is more popularly referred to as chinatown, and i'd say it is for being a marketplace, since i did not really see much chinese (or at least chinese looking) people here.

Beetlenut chew vendors are also everywhere, perhaps every 200meters and throughout the day and night (but of course rarer as the night goes deeper). You'd see a man sitting on top a high chair, rubbing some liquid on leaves that are wrapped onto cracks of the bettlenut.

On daytime, the street could look differently. Some of the cornerside restaurants disappear before sun up, and come vendors of a myriad of goods; From antiques, to poster displays, cosmetics, wardrobe, hardware, etc. I was surprised that someone is making a living out of what i'd normally ditch straight into the garbage.

Once in a while, you'd come across some places flocked by pigeons next to a man who sells corn to those who'd want to feed the pigeons.

Not everyone in Myanmar too has mobile phones, and so another common sight at corners are payphone services.

There will be the occasional beggars too who'd tell you the struggle of its people. 

Stalls selling used and new books; from school textbooks, religious writings, and fiction.

And of course, there's Ko Ko Nung who does your painting and postcards right in the streets.

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