Yangon was the first big city we'd visited in Myanmar. You could see evidence of the colonial history at every turn. The buildings are very run down today but you can still see glimpses of what it must have been like for Kipling and Orwell back in the 1920's. Luckily Mc Donalds and KFC haven't found their way into Yangon or Myanmar for that matter, this meant the city still had a unique feel and sense of identity.
Our hotel room had no windows, was small and mouldy and we had to share a toilet. On the plus side the hotel overlooked a rubbish strewn alleyway. Watching the army of rats terrorize the local cats was a definite highlight. It's wasn't that bad though, the hotel offered a good breakfast with some local treats mixed in with the standard eggs and toast and the free Wifi was decent by Burmese standards.
Street food is a big thing in Yangon and it wasn't long before we got to sample some of it's fares. Various types of noodles in thick spicy broths make for a perfect lunch. Hot Roti breads made to order and covered in spicy dhal were also a firm favourite. We could also push the boat out and visit a couple of more upmarket restaurants. 'House of Memories' and 'Monsoon' offered fine dining at a fraction of the cost back home. With large delicious mains for under a fiver meant we ate like Kings but managed to stay in budget.
A sunset trip to Shwedagon Pagoda had us both in awe. We'd seen plenty of Stupas since arriving in Asia but this huge one perched up on a hill still managed to amaze. As we arrived we could see the monks making their way down the side of the structure, having made their offerings. As the sky turned dark the Stupa became lit by hundreds of lights making the whole thing appear to shine in an eerie orange light. As far as over the top bejewelled giant Buddhist things went this was definitely up there!
As we sat down to take it all in a monk dressed in his orange robes walked past us and also stopped to admire the Stupa. It was as if Lord Buddha itself had planned this perfect photo opportunity.