We were keen to try a local dish but the menu was mainly Western. Luckily one of their specials that day was Mohinga, a traditional Myanmar dish. Many people consider this to be the national dish of Myanmar. It's usually served on a smaller scale for breakfast. It was a delicious fish broth ladled over rice noodles and slices of hard boiled egg. It was served with a side of deep fried gourd sticks, and condiments such as chilli flakes, coriander and lime, to add to taste.
We got chatting to a couple of Aussie blokes in the bar. This gave Andy some much needed male conversation after three weeks of meeting no other travellers. Knowing the bar closed at midnight we consumed several 'Myanmar' beers in quick succession. The Aussies knew of another bar that was likely to still be open, so we all wandered a bit further down 50th street to the Fat Ox. It was difficult to find as the sign lights were off and the windows tinted. A British expat ran the bar and it was pretty dead, but fine for a late drink. We all had several more before calling it a night at about 3 a.m. and wobbling back to our B&B, tired and tipsy.
After we'd had another yummy Mohinga for breakfast at the B&B, one of the staff gave us a map and pointed out some key sights for us. For the third country on this adventure it was 'integration and assimilation' time. We needed to find our bearings and get into the swing of things. As always this would involve wandering around, to see what we could find and to familiarise ourselves with this new country and how things work.
We set out on foot to explore, the first thing we noticed was it was much quieter than India and Dhaka. It became clear this was because there were no motorised auto-rickshaws constantly meeping their horns. The drivers of most vehicles here seemed to have much more decorum. There was still some scary driving about but they were much less liberal with their horns!
The only modes of public transport in Yangon seemed to be taxis that could be hailed from the street, buses that had seen better days, and tri-shaws. Tri-shaws are three wheeler cycle-rickshaws, designed to take two passengers sitting in opposite directions. They seemed to have been built for small people though so I think one person per tri-shaw would be much more comfy.
Thanaka, Longyis and Paan
As we strolled down the busy streets we noticed many of the women and some children had some sort of goldy/ white paint on their faces and occasionally arms. I wondered if it was for religious reasons but soon discovered it was actually Thanaka - a cosmetic paste made from ground Thanaka tree bark mixed with water.