I’m not sure what I expected of Myanmar, but it’s not what I got. Opened to tourists only three years ago, I expected it to be much more in the past than it is. I am so pleasantly surprised by everything about it.
Like in Chiang Mai, there was a Taxi Meter service counter directly outside arrivals. Our taxi cost 9000 kyat, or £4.50, and took us around an hour to get to our hotel (mainly because of the Friday evening traffic).
We’re staying at the Lotus Bed & Breakfast located in Downtown Yangon. I couldn’t fault it if I tried. The room, and the bathroom (finally) are immaculate, the front desk are incredibly helpful, answering all of our questions and arranging a bus to Bagan for us, and it’s cheap. $35 Between us with a breakfast included, great value for money. Our host even offered that when we return to Yangon in a few days, although we aren’t staying overnight, we can leave our bags and shower here if we wish.
We wandered around the city earlier, the weather is shocking but we’re from the West coast of Scotland so we’re more than used to rain. The city is in the midst of construction, every second building is either half built or being demolished. The roads are much calmer here, the buses are older than my mother, falling apart and they don’t stop for anybody; a “screamer” leans out the open side door shouting locations and pulls you on board.
We visited the Boutatong Padoga at a cost of $3 each, the temple was stunning but I felt it wasn’t as clean as those we have visited in other countries – whether this was a result of the weather or the construction all around it I’m unsure. The Padoga is directly beside the Yangon River which we went to see, and then returned to the B&B via a street food market for a shower and some food before catching the bus to Bagan this evening.
The bus cost 40,000 kyat for us both, or £20. It left five minutes before 8, which is a first here in Asia. It was spotless, didn’t have a toilet and so smelled lovely and was comfortable, coming with a pillow and blanket. We made only one stop at an actual service station with lots of food outlets around 10pm and arrived in Bagan at 4.30am.