1. Travel

Burma (Day 10)

Back in Yangon! Wow. Didn’t realize the climate change between Yangon and Mandalay was so drastic. Right when the bus doors opened in Yangon, we could feel all the hot sticky air rushing at us. mmmmm lovely.

Since we got back here early (6 AM), we went back to our hotel in Yangon, changed and freshened up a bit, and then headed out. We are constantly on the move here… there hasn’t been a bunch of time for cleanliness. meh.

Quickish breakfast at Feel (of course), and then Shwedagon Pagoda again!

All mine. Feel has amazing bean parathas (that's the thing at the bottom) and naan with malai (that's the thing in the top right).
All mine. Feel has amazing bean parathas (that’s the thing at the bottom) and naan with malai (that’s the thing in the top right).
Fried everything aww yisss
Fried everything aww yisss

It turns out my hunch last week was correct: Shwedagon Pagoda looks a lot better at night. But I think that might be a temporary thing – the main stupa is under construction right now, and during the day you can see all the construction on the outside. At night you can’t see all the scaffolding and stuff, you just see the gold shining through.

Shwedagon Pagoda during the day. Boo construction. You can kiiind of see the gold peaking through at the top.
Shwedagon Pagoda during the day. Boo construction. You can kiiind of see the gold peaking through at the top.
Inside one of the many temples at Shwedagon
Inside one of the many temples at Shwedagon
The smaller temples and stupas in Shwedagon still look as beautiful as ever
The smaller temples and stupas in Shwedagon still look as beautiful as ever
#blessed at my Friday shrine!
#blessed at my Friday shrine!
Had to get a picture of this little guy... I think it's safe to say I love guinea pigs now, thanks to my Burmese zodiac
Had to get a picture of this little guy… I think it’s safe to say I love guinea pigs now, thanks to my Burmese zodiac
My dad's born on Wednesday morning, and the Wednesday morning animal is an elephant. I'm not the only one who loves their zodiac animal :)
My dad’s born on Wednesday morning, and the Wednesday morning animal is an elephant. I’m not the only one who loves their zodiac animal 🙂
View of Shwedagon's biggest stupa from the Wednesday shrine
View of Shwedagon’s biggest stupa from the Wednesday shrine
In case you ever wondered, monks also have cell phones, and they take a lot of pictures
In case you ever wondered, monks also have cell phones, and they take a lot of pictures
Samantha and I were the only ones who were in a good mood after a red eye bus and no shower
Samantha and I were the only ones who were in a good mood after a red eye bus and no shower
Maybe we're too happy for this
Maybe we’re too happy for this
derp construction
derp construction

After a couple of hours here (even though we’d already been here before, Shwedagon is so massive that it still takes that long to see everything), we were finally able to go back to our hotel and shower. The amount of stickiness and sweatiness and general feeling of meh does not need to be made public on my blog.

We parted ways with Samantha’s family for the rest of the day. Now that we’re back in Yangon, we’re meeting up with my grandma and our distant relatives here. Next stop: lunch with all of the relatives.

This was our transportation. Note my grandma's cousins getting into the back of this truck. 8 of us sat back here. No big deal.
This was our transportation. Note my grandma’s cousins getting into the back of this truck. 8 of us sat back here. No big deal.

After lunch, we headed to one of my relatives’ house so that my mom could socialize and catch up with all of the relatives after over 35 years. It was so nice to be sitting around in an air conditioned room, doing nothing for an afternoon – I feel like we’ve spent the last nine days constantly on the move.

Spent the afternoon in a $500 chair in my relative's house. $500 should get me a big squishy chair...
Spent the afternoon in a $500 chair in my relative’s house. $500 should get me a big squishy chair…

A few hours before dinner (with the same relatives), we headed back out into the city again – this time, to do some exploration and walking around on our own. We walked by the giant Karaweik, which is a huge palace on Kandawgyi Lake in the middle of the city. A Karaweik is some sort of mythical bird, almost like a phoenix.

Karaweik from the other side of Kandawgyi Lake
Karaweik from the other side of Kandawgyi Lake
Walking along Kandawgyi Lake. This was the first place we saw people running in Yangon.
Walking along Kandawgyi Lake. This was the first place we saw people running in Yangon.

We also decided to walk to dinner instead of taking a taxi. Not sure if this was the best idea, since the streets of Yangon aren’t the best – there aren’t sidewalks on any of the smaller streets, and we just don’t know the area at all. But somehow we found our way to the restaurant.

One of the main roundabouts in the city. Thankfully we didn't have to cross over to another side because WHERE ARE THE CROSSWALKS
One of the main roundabouts in the city. Thankfully we didn’t have to cross over to another side because WHERE ARE THE CROSSWALKS
A better view of the sunset as we were walking to dinner. Not nearly as pretty as the sunsets from Bagan or Inle, but I'll take it. On the right you can see Sule Pagoda (we were here on the 3rd day) - its main stupa stands out over the Yangon skyline.
A better view of the sunset as we were walking to dinner. Not nearly as pretty as the sunsets from Bagan or Inle, but I’ll take it. On the right you can see Sule Pagoda (we were here on the 3rd day) – its main stupa stands out over the Yangon skyline.
Western Park Royal is a very famous restaurant and hotel in Yangon - our relatives made special reservations way in advance for us!
Western Park Royal is a very famous restaurant and hotel in Yangon – our relatives made special reservations way in advance for us!

We’re all kind of tired tonight, even though we didn’t do much. It must yesterday’s red eye bus. Can’t wait to get my first night of sleep in Burma without setting an alarm for tomorrow morning!

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