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Yangon or the old name as Rangoon. It still the shortstop of a lot of backpackers aim to arrive other destinations on Myanmar as Bagan or Inle. Because this as the largest city as well as the destination of international flights arrives this country. I fly from Bangkok to Nok Air airport, landing at about 11h in the morning. I nearly have all day to explore this city, to the night I would take the bus go to Bagan.

Yangon airport also small, from here go to the center city about 15 km and the sole means which you can move is the taxi. Due to doing customs procedure quite quickly so I’m not too hasty. Seeking some backpackers aim to share the cost. If go alone, I must spend 8000-10000 Kyat to hire the whole of the taxi. That so waste!
The first thing, I must exchange money. Because of this airport small so when coming to the lobby, I have seen a tiny kiosk which exchanges money located on the main gate. After asking the price and calculating amount which I intend to spend, finally, I decided exchange 100$ for in order spend during a week at priced 1270 rate. This price rate is so good because in 1 year ago, some my friends who go backpacking Myanmar said at that time, price about 1$ ~ 970 Kyat. I’m also exchanging as more a bit, when coming back I’m still can re-exchange the rest of Kyats. All the cost such as moving, hotel…I have booked the tickets online.
When going out the lobby and asked price to the taxi, I look around to find whether who being backpacking form as myself. Perhaps in my flight there no more people who go in backpacking, the density of flights at here also not have more like as other places. Therefore, I keep patient surf the web and try to find someone on the next flight. One of the impressive things about this trip as Yangon airport seems a place where has strongest wifi signal on this country. In the hotel, hostels which I stayed, all offer wifi signal, however, its speed quite slowly.
At 12 h in the noon, I seen 2 of young backpacker bring along a paper sheet like as the scheduele and being bargaining the price with taxi driver. I decided join to group, we would hire one taxi for the whole day to arrive some sightseeing places in the city. Until the night, this vehicle will take group go to JJ Express bus station. After bargained awhile, the taxi driver guy accepted the price at 35,000 Kyat in order take us to 3 destinations includes Shwedagon pagoda, Bogyoke centre market and Reclining Buddha Pagoda.

Although I had heard that in this country, the seat of driver set on the right side, but I’m still mistaken! When I open the door on the driver seat side, guy (named Chou, I had joking is Jay Chou) hurried stop me. I’m slightly ashamed! Most vehicles in Myanmar all under old model, but have a lot. Myanmar government had banned motorbike ran on the main streets, therefore on the streets only automobile. Although the streets very wide includes many lanes, but usually have traffic jam, maybe it as the specialty of Yangoon.

Chou looks pretty young, seems he in about 30 year old. He had self bought the car, priced about 20,000$. I sit on the first row, see on this car, there a lot of images of Chou’s daughter, and some handmade stuff which his daughter decorated for the car. Yangoon sky getting overcast continuous since this morning, after we got in the car about a few minutes, there a heavy rain suddenly falling…
Sightseeing in Yangon
It takes about 1h to arriving the center of the city due to the crowded street and heavy rain. First stop destination is the Bogyoke market. This market quite large and bustle, however, I’m not very keen because of it no more difference than the large markets in Viet Nam. The foods here are not too rich, we arrived an eatery and only eating fried rice, noodle. I’m especially impressed those markets which have the open space and more close. I prefer walking on the road outside of the market, shooting everything as the daily activities of locals, those old houses like hundred of the squares arranged straightaway and the birds stand on the electric wires which interlacing each other on the streets…

Taxi keep running. The second destination that Jay Chou take us arrived is the most famous and largest pagoda of Myanmar – Shwedagon.
– Please take off your shoes at here, go by the elevator in the front and up to there, let buy ticket. Ticket price is 8,000Kyat/person. Chou said to us.
Due to the influence of the heavy rain so over the floor being dripped wet. We buy the ticket, take off the shoes. All of us are wearing pants which long to the heels, therefore, permitted into the pagoda. Those who not wear long pant will have to hire or buy Sarong (a large cloth formed the rectangle to wraps around the leg) at the ticket counter. Of course, the backpacking experience taught us known that when go backpacking in the countries which many pagodas as Myanmar, Thailand or Indonesia must always bring along the long pants or buy Sarong to use in many times. After buy ticket, they give us a sticker to stuck on the body, in order next the stage of checking ticket, the checker staff knew we had bought ticket.

The first thing, I’m really so impressed by the vast of Shwedagon. I heard that the largest tower which located in the center of the pagoda was covered in real gold. Myanmar residents very devout Buddhist. They’re have donated money in order built those pagodas which so gorgeously in spite of the life still poor. I wandered visit the small pagodas nearby, it takes about 30 minutes – 1 hour. Feeling a bit uncomfortable due to the floor still wetted after the rain while I must walk barefoot. There a lot of people come to pray for Buddha, includes the monks and tourists. It is easy to understood, this is the main feature of Myanmar tourism as well as Yangon tourism.
The last destination of today, we visited the pagoda of Reclining Buddha. This pagoda certainly cannot compare to Shwedagon pagoda but it very worth to visiting. Partly because of there no entrance fee. I feel at here quieter than Shwedagon a lot. This place is suitable for who want to find a place where to meditate and walking in the peaceful atmosphere. When coming to the pagoda, you will see a large Buddha statue which lay in horizontal, as the named of the pagoda is Reclining Buddha. The sunset light shining behind the pagoda very beautiful!

When we leave the pagoda, the dusk getting down. Chou take us arrived the bus station. At here, I see vehicles were not parked on the ground within the campus of the bus station. Each company has office separately, you just tell the taxi driver the bus company’s name which you have booked the ticket, he’ll take you go there. We go on the bus of JJ Express. We have booked the ticket online so just offer the code and take in the bus. Those booked through company’s Facebook also pay the cost at this time.
Come back Yangon Because of the first day, most of the time I’m sitting on the taxi, not have time to walking and explore the living of this city. Therefore, on the last day of the backpacking trip in Myanmar. I come back Yangon from Inle, decided not go to the airport, instead, I take motorbike taxi from bus station to train station to photograph. My flight would leave Yangon at 12 h noon but I had arrived Yangon early at 6 h in morning, therefore I have quite a lot of time to wander around.
I intend to arrive a station which closest to the airport. Some motorbike taxi drivers offered price too high, about 5000 Kyat, while if I take the taxi, it just 6-7000 Kyat. Final, after bargain awhile, they approved priced at 3,500Kyat. In fact, the fee which they required also reasonable because of the streets quite crooked.
In the morning, there a lot of locals are come to train station in order take the train. At Yangon has one main station and a lot of sub-train stations. Seems locals here frequently take the train to move within city or nearby places although I see go by train also not too convenient. If those want to experience moving by train in Myanmar is also good, can watch the sight on the road, space also comfortable than bus. However the time goes by train slower than 2-3 times.

On the road that I walk from train station to airport, I have breakfast at one eatery by the roadside. Here serve some dishes as the hot youtiao, some kinds of cakes made from wheat flour and rice. Look it seems shabby eatery, the floor very rough due to built by soil. However, foods here are so great! I have eaten one portion of rice, one hot youtiao cake, two cakes and one milk tea cup. Drink the hot milk tea was a habit of Myanmar people, it’s so delicious!

When I speak English, a lot of people here are all not understand. Then, I seek those eating the dish which looks delicious, and pointed to it, requested! Waiters are 3 boys who sons of eatery owner. They’re very enthusiasm and always friendly. Every boy also sees me with surprised eyes, perhaps seldom foreign guest come here, especially, I’m a girl! The price of a breakfast in the local style and simple like this only 1200Kyat, it’s very cheap!
Some tips go backpacking Yangon Hotel in Yangon: If your schedule in Yangon within 2-3 days, you should book the hotel in the center of the city. It would ease to moving, near the market, sightseeing places and pagodas. You should pre-book through Agoda or Booking.com.
Due to Shwedagon pagoda is very wide, you should bring along water and snacks. There also sold snack but it quite expensive. However, in the pagoda, there counters water served free for tourists, look it like as ATM.
You should arrive Shwedagon pagoda on the late of the afternoon because at that time, you go in barefoot would not get heated the foot instead of the early afternoon. Furthermore, in the night, the whole pagoda all lights up, creates a splendid sight!

Backpacking trip in Myanmar:
All about backpacking Myanmar, experience, cost and destinations. Part 1
All about backpacking Myanmar, experience, cost and destinations. Part 2
Traveling Myanmar: Bagan the soul of Myanmar
One hustling day in Mandalay
Myanmar Foods – 6 unique delicious foods

Kiko travel – Travel reviews for you
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