5 Things You Have to Do While You are in Yangon21:34
1. Visit Shwedagon Pagoda
Visiting pagodas is a must do activity while you are in Yangon. There are a lot of pagodas there, but Shwedagon is the biggest pagoda and what is a visit to Yangon if you are not visiting this 2,500 years old pagoda??
In Burma, their zodiac is by day (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesdsy, ..., Sunday). After checking, it's confirmed that I am a Saturday born! And my Zodiac animal sign is Dragon!! There are 8 animal signs in Burma Zodiac. Yes, I know there are only 7 days in a week, but for Wednesday, It's divided into morning born and afternoon born.
Read more about it here . After knowing your animal sign, head towards the statue for the day you were born and pray there. Don't forget to take this golden opportunity to meditate there. It would be such a great experience to meditate in the oldest Pagoda in the world.
2. Visit other pagodas and feed all the fishes and turtles!
Visit other pagodas, as many as you can! I don't know about you but if I have lots of time in Yangon, I would really want to spend one whole day travelling around Yangon just to visit the pagodas. Especially those with fish ponds! Cause I love the feeling when I feed the fishes. To me, feeding the fishes makes me feel better in terms of my mood. There was this day that I was really having a bad mood, and then I was brought to this place to feed the fishes. My mood got much better after that.
This was taken during my very first trip to Yangon, as well as my very first experience feeding fish there. It was in a pagoda just behind Shwedagon. Well, I am not too sure whether it's really "behind", cause Shwedagon has 4 entrances. Let's just say "near" the Shwedagon Pagoda.
3. Visit the night market during the festivals.
Okay, you don't always get to see this. If you wana experience the night market, try to visit during their festivals. I was lucky because when I visited there last November, it clashed with their Da Saung Gaing Festival (click for more information about the festival). So, lucky me to be able to visit their night market for some "back in time" experience!
The Night Market was really an eye opener for me! I actually witnessed human power ferris wheel! How cool is that? click on the link for your eyes to believe!
Da Saung Gaing Festival only happens once a year, however there are still other festivals throughout the year that would have the night market, however might be in different location. The one that I went to was in Chinatown, and the road was actually closed for the night!
4. Try their local food.
I mean really really authentic local food. and then you would notice this:
LOTS OF FOODS!
No, we didnt order all of those that's on the plates. they are COMPLIMENTARY. yes you heard me. From the picture above, we only ordered the prawns, 2 servings of meats and a serving of eggs. Everything on the left tray and the remaining of the right trays are all FOC. Of course, different restaurant that you go to will provide different kind of side dishes. The one above is from what I considered a little high end because they are more pricey than the others that I went to.
This is from another popular restaurant in Bagan called Toe Toe Win. It's by the road side. As you can see, there are lots of side dishes from them too. We only ordered a serving of pork and beef! The rice is refillable and they provide a pot of tea on each table!
We had this for dinner in one of the night in Bagan. The only dish that we ordered was the right hand side, in bigger bowl.
This is in one of the restaurant when we went to Mount Popa. This is a more high end kind, it was quite pricey. Each mains that we ordered come with the side dishes on the side of the main dish. No sharing like what you had seen in the previous pictures.
This is much simpler and straight forward. Just the mains and 3 other side dishes with a bowl of soup and a platter of raw vegetables. We had this in one of the stop over during our bus journey back to Yangon (We went to Bagan for a 3 days 2 night!)
Although all of the food mentioned above are all from other parts of Myanmar, but it's the same thing in Yangon. I went to a few and it's the same thing, as long as it's authentic local delights. As far as I remember, I only went to 1 or 2 when I was in Yangon. The rest of the days we eat at cafes and restaurants as well as other type of food that is local, just not this authentic standard meal.
5. Visit their cafes.
Well, I guess this is just one of my must do WHEREVER I go. You might be surprise that they do have fancy cafes in Yangon. A lot of you might not know this, but they are actually quite develop than what we imagine.
A few cafes that I went to are Toscana Bistro, Coffee Circles, Acacia Tea Salon and Jasper House. I didnt take pictures in Toscana Bistro as I didnt have the time to. I ordered a cup of tea and a cake there and chilled there while updating my blog. It was a quiet afternoon and certainly a nice place for a solitary time for self. As for Coffee Circles, I remember taking pictures, but I would need to search it somewhere in my folder hahaha. I saw quite a few westerners hanging out there, though!
Additional +1 for you!
6. Experience their night life!
Yes, visit their pubs and clubs! One of the must visit place where you can drink and chill, I would say is Vista Bar. You can see amazing view of the Shwedagon Pagoda from up there! Another popular places would be Escape Gastro Bar and Bar One 4. Escape Gastro Bar is more popular. I remember it being full house when I went there. The vibe is nice too! Bar One 4 is smaller in scale, but the decoration there is certainly unique! Another new bar in town is Mojo Bar, when I went there, the upper level was still under renovation thus only left the first floor and it could only cater up to 30+ pax?