One of the things I noticed in Myanmar (Burma) was the proliferation of religions and the apparent tolerance there is amongst the various groups. Obviously, Buddhism is the predominant faith, but there are many Hindu and Sikh places of worship, along with a noticeable Christian element and quite a number of Moslem mosques.
What I wasn't quite prepared for, however, was the sight of an Armenian Christian Church in the centre of downtown Yanogn (Rangoon) and yet the photograph proves it is there. In a country full of unusual sights, I found this one of the strangest. I certainly didn't meet any Armenians when I was there. Should you wish to worship, or just go for a look, the address is the Armenian Church of St. John the Baptist, No. 66, 40th St., Yangon (Rangoon). Actually, it looked shut when I was there, but I'm sure it would be open for worship on sunday.
Taking the local slow train to have a round Yangon trip is one of my fondest memories of this city.
As is a circle trip, you theorictically can start and end at any stations; however, I started and ended at the central station, from where you can either travel clockwise or anti-clockwise around all the local stations. As you trundle along you'll pass through stations in the hectic hubbub of people going about their business and stations in the green countryside. It's a wonderful way to see everyday life of Yangon outside of downtown and is an easy and relaxing way to do it, and, you'll also find yourself being very interestedly watched.
The whole trip takes about 3 hours. It costs US$1 per passenger. There are 7 trains daily.
If you have a free day in Yangon, and want to get away from the city, a trip out to the delta region is a perfect excursion.
Out this way, Thanlyin is a small town with historic significance, and now is a laid back peaceful place with an interesting market place.
Just past town, you'll find the impressive gold Kyaik-Khauk Paya, which due to its somewhat remote location does not get the tourist traffic that you will see in Yangon proper...
Thanlyin is located about 15 km southeast of Yangon. From Thanlyin it is another 12 km's or so onto the mid-river Yele Paya at Kyauktan.
Although you see this on TV frequently, it won't be marked on any tourists maps... I was however curious where the Nobel Prize Lauriat's home was in Yangon.
The biggest obstacle to overcome is finding a taxi driver brave enough to swing you by... (most don't even want to talk about, for the wall have ears in this police state..)
Finally found one brave (or stupid) enough to help me... He told me that when we swing by the street, don't turn your head, just glance you eyes to the side, as to not attract unwanted attention... I only got a fleeting glance for my troubles, since the street her house faces is blocked of on both ends by police barricades.. (no picture included due to obvious constraints...)
Located near Inya Lake north of the city centre....
Well this isn't really off the beaten path but it is one of the main roads of Central Yangon at it was jammed packed with traffic like I expected it. This is the main East / West road that runs right past the Sule Paya. I'm on the second floor of the Thiengyi Market.
To visit Myanmar brewery Ltd. is free and easy.
It is located in Yangon`s suburb . Singapore investments , very good management.
Tennis court , football and volleyball fields.
You can buy some beer souvenirs there.
They produce Myanmar Lager , Tiger beer and ABC stout in bottles and cans, and also Anchor beer only in cans.
My favourite is Myanmar Lager.
Thanks to Mrs. Win Win Thant for her hospitality
Came across this small temple when i was walking from Boyoke Aung San market to Shwedagon. Rather unusual, the facade is completely covered with mirror mosaic. Look like a fairy tale castle rather than a temple. Located at the right hand of Shwedagon Paya Road, towards the direction of Shwedagon.
I'm totally lost with the directions of the glass factory, but local guides should know. The glass factory is situated in this cut off, jungle like place and you had to wind through a narrow mud path to reach it. Glass works are strewn all over the place and if you like any of it, just point and have it cleaned up for you. There is a short introduction and demonstration to the handmade glass work and you can get real close to the furnace.
Apparently, many Italian importers send in moulds and pick up the glass products for export to Europe. At first sight, you would most likely be appalled by the primitive surroundings and lack of care for the glass works. Something for glass enthusiasts.
For a nice day trip from Yangon, head to the Kyauktan, which has the Yele Paya on a river island in the delta region.
To get to the island, head over the bridge to Thanlyin, and then continue on that road another 15 KM's or so. To cross over to this small island there are small ferry boats waiting on the riverbank...
This temple houses an enormous reclining Buddha and the eyes of the Buddha, which took 3 months to complete, are contributed by the Nar Ga glass factory. I especially like the Buddha's feet with inscriptions of the zodiacs and scriptures.
Something interesting to point out is the mould of Buddha's face below the head of the reclining statue. As you fix your eyes on the mould and move around the casing, the face will continue to look at you but with different expressions.
I had wanted to meet a professor of anthropology at the university and was having problems getting in touch with her. so with the aid of the driver of the car decided to drive to the university. It is well known that foreigners are not allowed to enter university of yangon. i took off my scarf and other acoutrements which denoted me as a foreigner and drove into the university and the guard did not give any trouble.
went into the spacious grounds and sat at the tea shop sipping tea while watching students coming and going. somewhat subdued an atmosphere. it is not a live in university and the architecture is notably british colonial.
i enjoyed my respite there and still was not able to meet the professor of anthropology
A large concrete reproduction of a traditional royal barge that sits in Kandawgi Lake. Actually it is a restaurant with dinner shows and the like...
Not sure if I would recommend to eat here... But it does make for some nice photo ops...
One of the more attractive Payas in Yangon is the Swedawmyat Paya on the North side of town. It however, does not contain an actual tooth relic, but rather a replica of a copy of a relic of a tooth of the Buddha... (Say that 10 time real fast...)
Cuba is well represented overseas by intelligent, charming and articulate people who wish to help the countries they are in. ( even if Cuba itself is very poor ). My Cuban connection pays off each time..
My friends at Bogyoke market made sure that I knew about the Coach of the Boxing team of Myanmar is a Cuban and that he stays at Olympic Hotel ( to look him up the next time since at the time of my visit he was off to Hanoi for SEA games with his wards ). The Government of Cuba maintains good relations with all the countries of South East Asia ( regardless of local politics )
There are numerous abandoned building is Yangon.
The most noticable is the Ministerial Buildings covering one entire block. This block is behind barbed wired toped walls and there are security guards, but there is also a community of men living in the grounds. You can see them in one of the photo's.