Day 9: Inle Lake – Yangon

Day 10-11: Yangon

All good things must come to an end. I wanted to stay in Inle for longer, but could not get an air ticket on Jan 1, and I had a flight to catch on Jan 2. So I had no choice but left on Dec 31. Third time lucky, my flight from Heho to Yangon was not late, it was early, yeap, early by an hour. Can you believe it? At the check-in counter, I learnt that a flight to Yangon was about to leave, there was an empty seat, and I could have it if I wanted. Of course I did.

Moving from a cool clean beautiful friendly Inle to a hot noisy stuffy Yangon was quite a change. It was so hot I stayed in my hotel room from 12-3pm everyday. The hotel receptionist told me this is ‘winter’ season in Yangon, in summer the heat is so unbearable that most elderly people die because of heat stroke. Talking about hotels, don’t expect ‘value for money’ in Yangon. My $10 room in Inle included a sumptuous breakfast (fresh fruits, pancake, toast, omelette, Yau Char Kwai (Chinese doughnuts), tea/coffee, lemon juice). My $30 room in Yangon came with a so-so breakfast (watermelon, tea/coffee, toast and eggs or noodles), air-con (a must-have for Yangon), and a TV with ONE single local channel. Not to mention the two water bottles given to me by a hotel staff, I thought they were for free, and I ended up paying twice the retail price.

There is not much to see in Yangon apart from the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda. Everyone gathers here at sunset, locals come to pray, tourists come to take photos. I had learnt from my very first morning in Myanmar that locals always bring a clear plastic bag for their shoes/sandals/flip-flops when visiting temples/pagodas, so I did the same when I went to Shwedagon. And my trick worked its wonders, I passed for a local, which means no entrance fee and no camera fee. I did not really know it until much later when I noticed all other tourists around me had a sticker on their top. I could not help smiling.

Goodbye Myanmar!

Monks - Inle

Young novices going out for morning alms (Inle)

On the way to Heho airport

Leaving Inle – on the way to Heho airport

Leaving Inle

All domestic flights in Myanmar use those small airplanes.

Leaving Inle

View from the airplane

Leaving Inle

View from the airplane

Yangon

An old facade in Yangon

A giant reclining Buddha in Yangon

This is the weirdest temple. A large open shed with a huge metal roof containig a giant reclining Buddha, nothing else.

A Chinese temple in Yangon

A Chinese temple in Yangon

Taxi in Yangon

This taxi driver has a ‘mini-museum’ in his car

Swedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda

Swedagon Pagoda

Locals praying in Shwedagon Pagoda

Swedagon Pagoda

Three novices praying in Shwedagon

Swedagon Pagoda

Gilded ceiling decorations

Swedagon Pagoda

Praying hall

Swedagon Pagoda

The main pagoda. It’s said that this is actually the outermost layer. Beneath it are multiple pagodas of iron, marble, lead, copper, tin, silver, and the innermost one of gold enshrining a relic of eight hairs of Buddha.

Swedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda from another angle

Swedagon Pagoda

Very intricate wood carvings

Swedagon Pagoda

A nun ringing a bell in Shwedagon

Swedagon Pagoda

Mini stupas

Swedagon Pagoda

A very different roof

Swedagon Pagoda

A monk and a worshiper washing a Buddha statue

Swedagon Pagoda

One of many praying halls in Shwedagon Pagoda.

Swedagon Pagoda

The East Gate

Swedagon Pagoda

Two nuns praying

Swedagon Pagoda

Praying

Swedagon Pagoda

View through a window

Swedagon Pagoda at sunset

Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset

Swedagon Pagoda at night

Shwedagon Pagoda at night

Swedagon Pagoda at night

Shwedagon Pagoda at night is full of locals and tourists

Swedagon Pagoda at night

People walking about

Swedagon Pagoda at night

Locals praying after sunset

Swedagon Pagoda at night

Locals praying

Swedagon Pagoda at night

Shwedagon Pagoda at night

Swedagon Pagoda