Yangon is the capital of Myanmar, this was the first place we landed in when we arrived to the country. The entry to the country is kind of weird and primitive. You need to apply in advance to enter and when you arrive you need someone local to meet you at the airport for some reason. They also ask you a bunch of questions before giving you the “approved” stamp. Everything with a pen and a piece of paper… I kind of was reminded that I was an awful girlfriend when we were going through customs, some of the guards started to congratulate my boyfriend and I asked him what that was all about? And he said: “It´s my birthday today..” I had forgotten all about it! BAD GF! BAD! But to my defence: we were out travelling? You loose track of days and etcetera? No I know… I just suck…
Anyways! That local person, meeting you at the airport, tells you some things about the country that are good to know, for example that no one accepts money that are wrinkled or folded. Also the inflation is crazy so you need to carry large bundles of cash with you, especially since there are only ATM:s to be found in the biggest cities…
We spend a couple of days in Yangon and saw a lot of buddhist temples. Like A LOT. The most famous one is the Schwedagon Pagoda that lies in the middle of the city. It is pretty impressive! Everything you see is made of gold and marble. Well, maybe not REAL gold and marble… but still! This is not a rich country.
Crazy impressive temples and statues!
People are very religious in Myanmar and they spend a lot of time praying and offering to the gods. There are countless of rituals to be enlightened in. You can spend a long time just trying to learn all about these rituals at the Schwedagon pagoda, if you wish.
The annoying part
So the temples aren´t just kick-ass awesome and life is perfect and etcetera. There are a lot of people, and I mean A LOT, who will try to trick you into giving them money. At first we were naive enough to believe that people were genuinely helpful and friendly. But all they ever wanted, was to get your money. “You look lost, let me show you the way”, “BOM! Give me your money now since I sold my time and effort to help you find the way!” There were many examples like this, and eventually we were pissed of, and very suspicious to everyone. That kind of took the overall score for Myanmar down a notch. But if you learn to ignore most people, the country is amazing!
Schwedagon Pagoda is great! It is colorful (as I like it), old, beautiful and impressive. It is also interesting to get an insight in the buddhist believes. So I think it is worth going here, even if there were a lot of people annoying the crap out of you! (read above). Overall I´ll give the place a 3 out of 5 stars.
Happy religiousing… ? I don´t know what you people call it! Good luck with it anyways. ;-D