Yangon, or Rangoon as it was known for a long time, is the capital of Myanmar (until the military dictatorship finally moves it up north, in the central region south of Mandalay, where most former capitals have been until the British colonized the country). This is the place where most visitors arrive, and it has enough charm to keep you in longer than you planned. Apart from the major sights, motably Shwedagon Paya, Yangon has more to offer for the visitor. One of the things I liked most, were the narrow streets in the old city centre, with those typical buildings from the British era. The streets are so narrow, the sun never gets to some parts. Laundry hanging out of windows, people going on on their daily routine, small shops, trishaws taking passengers from one end to the other - they are not allowed in the main streets full of cars.
Then there is the Kandawgyi (or Royal) Lake, a little north of the city centre, with a lovely park surrouding it. The prominent sight that hits the eye is the golden Karaweik, a replica of a royal barge, surrounded by a government-owned park. When you arrive from the city, you will find yet another pagoda, on a tiny island in the lake. From here, you can walk around the lake, on a wooden structure that gives you an idea how Ubein bridge looks like in Amarapura. If you continue walking, you will be going in the direction of Shwedagon Paya.
But it is also possible to visit other pagodas. One of them is Ngahtatgyi, with a serene atmosphere, and apparently not on the list of many visitors. Apart from a large Buddha, you can find the rules Buddhists have to adhere to, and realize that many of them make a lot of sense. It is great to take some time here, and think about life, determine what is important for you and those who surround you. Secondly, there is Chaukhtatgyi Paya, with a gigantic reclining Buddha. People praying on the floor are completely dwarfed by this monster, which anyway has its own attractiveness.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Yangon (). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Yangon.
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