1. Travel

Burma (Day 11)

Today is another full day in Yangon. More time to hang out with some relatives. But first, and most important, breakfast.

This is the ultimate Burmese breakfast. မုန့်ဟင်းခါး (fish soup) and Burmese tea.
This is the ultimate Burmese breakfast. မုန့်ဟင်းခါး (fish soup) and Burmese tea.

After lots of comfort food for breakfast, we headed out of our hotel. Today we’re trying to get souvenirs. I don’t think the Burmese souvenirs are typical touristy souvenirs (like magnets and keychains and things) but instead more like little gold pagodas and jade jewelry. How much more will my boss love me when I get him a little jade trinket hah

We first started at Yangon’s Chinatown since there’s a lot to see there: tons of street vendors and corner stores.
Side note: Chinatown is also prime real estate – buying an apartment here starts at over $1 million US dollars. And that’s for a couple of rooms, no garage, and neighbors all up in your space. What on earth. Even renting a place in Yangon’s Chinatown is more than twice what I pay in rent at home…

A building on this street costs $2 million. Holy cow.
A building on this street costs $2 million. Holy cow.
Meat vendor in Chinatown. I don't think I'd ever eat meat off the streets like this...
Meat vendor in Chinatown. I don’t think I’d ever eat meat off the streets like this…
Vegetable vendor in Chinatown
Vegetable vendor in Chinatown
gurl, u mad?
gurl, u mad?
Broom vendor in Chinatown
Broom vendor in Chinatown

Anyway, we stopped by Chinatown to pick up one of our relatives, who’s a gold merchant. He’ll be able to help us pick out good quality jewelry!

We hopped in a taxi over to Scott Market, which we’ve passed many times in Yangon. It’s the main bazaar here. There are tons of stores that sell just about anything – clothes, food, jewelry, artwork, jade bracelets and figurines, Buddha statues, you name it.

Side note about taking taxis here: there’s no concept of a maximum number of passengers. In the US, if you’ve got more than 4 people, they’ll make you take 2 taxis because of seatbelts and whatnot. This doesn’t happen in Burma.
If you’ve got 5 people, then you either squeeze 4 in the backseat and 1 in the front with the driver, OR! you let 3 people sit in the back and have 2 in the passenger seat in front. Desmond and I did this yesterday… it was not comfortable in that passenger seat.
If you’ve got 6 people, then guess what – 2 people can sit in the trunk! The taxis here are mostly stationwagon types, so 2 people can just hop in the trunk. We’ve done this at least 3 different times in Yangon.

Jade shopping at Scott Market hehe
Jade shopping at Scott Market hehe

Anyway, we spent such a long time at Scott Market trying to pick out souvenirs – so long that we actually missed lunch time. Instead, we walked around and looked at all of the different exotic fruits, street vendors, and corner shops.

Rambutan!!!!! do we have these in America idk
Rambutan!!!!! do we have these in America idk
Apparently "melon king" is not the same as "cantaloupe"
Apparently “melon king” is not the same as “cantaloupe”
Still not even sure what this fruit is. It was called a "super melon"
Still not even sure what this fruit is. It was called a “super melon”

We decided to walk back to our hotel. One last look around Yangon’s bustling Chinatown.

One more look around Chinatown
One more look around Chinatown

Tonight’s dinner is our family’s treat to our relatives. We reserved 4 tables at a restaurant by Yangon Harbor – lots of relatives are coming into town, even from outside Yangon, to see us!

Note: meals are always slightly awkward since this is our (mine, Desmond’s, and my dad’s) first time meeting these relatives. Regardless, it’s comforting to know that we have some family abroad. Everyone’s really nice, and the little kids love us!

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