Glistering in gold under the morning sun, the Shwedagon Pagoda was stunning! Many countries have fancy Buddhist temples, but there was something different about Shwedagon Pagoda. It was grand, yet intimate.
I spent a few hours exploring the temple complex; there was plenty of room to find a corner to sit and observe people, or simply admire the beauty of the temple complex from different spots.
The National Museum was educational and provided a brief introduction to the history and cultural context of Myanmar, including a glimpse of the various tribes and their culture, traditional musical instruments, hand-made puppets and handicrafts, paintings depicting Burmese life, and facets of Myanmar’s political history.
The Bogyoke Aung San Market is a famous market complex in downtown selling everything under the sun: souvenirs, eatables, cheap clothes, toys, you name it. I didn’t have much to buy, but I loved walking through the market, admiring the beautiful weaves on the longyis (traditional clothing worn around the waist; very similar to lungi or sarong but with a unique way of tying it) and chit-chatting with the shopkeepers.
A trip to Yangon is incomplete without a ride on the Yangon Circular Train. The train connects neighboring villages to the city center and is used daily by locals to get to work in the city. The 4-hour route is circular (hence the name) and starts and ends at Yangon Central railway station.