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Elaine and Peter’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 02 Apr 2016

Location: Yangon, Myanmar

MapYangon is the second largest city with seven million people but it is no longer the capital as the military changed it's status.
It is a densely populated city as it was originally designed for 70,000 people, but it grew and grew.

There is a huge traffic problem and driving is horrendous, no rules, no give way.
Until two years ago the government bought cheap,old cars to sell with high taxes. Nowadays people have the right to buy themselves at a much lower cost, so of course everyone bought at least one.
No mopeds or bikes are allowed in the city so it is completely snarled.
There are public buses, wooden seats and held together with ducktape but otherwise masses of taxis get people around.

And so to explore slowly..... The city is called the city of gardens and the parks are indeed beautiful,and well cared for and here, particularly the Royal park where the president has her home. We had a city tour yesterday, a world away from Mandalay.
The city is much cleaner than the north and the rural areas. Here a woman can earn 8 dollars a day not the 3 dollars in the rural places. A lot of people live in tenement blocks or very posh houses. Real estate is very expensive but foreigners can buy at huge taxation.

Across the river is still the traditional stilt houses as this is where the fish are farmed.

Our bus took us to the main attraction, the most spectacular of pagodas, Shwedgon , a 99 meter high gilded stupa dominating the city skyline from atop Sinuttara hill. It was a fanrtastic place when we saw some incredibly ornate induction ceremonies except here the procession arrive by car.
Hundreds of statues all with different meaning and people worshipping in different ways. A wonderful experience although we did laugh at the Atm s in the complex, get your money to donate here.
Legend is that this stupa is 2500 years old, making it oldest in the world.

From here we went to see the reclining Buddha, 70 meters long, and then onto the park with the karaweik barge before driving round the Royal lake.

The evening later was finished with a cocktail party on board with the crew reenactment in the soon to be water festival. Fantastic

Everywhere are the victory signs. The young are filled with so much hope for the future.
Even today as we have spent our own time wandering round in this hectic disorganised city and having lunch at the top of the Sakura tower before getting our flight.

And so we come to the end of our time here. I am just off to see a wedding at the hotel .....
And wish you all goodbye.

We have thoroughly enjoyed our holiday and learned a lot although I cannot say that we fully understand it
People are so happy and welcoming and we wish them well in their quest for the better life which they are certain is round the corner.