If you can view maps Myanmar notice contiguous borders with many countries from India to Thailand. However from VietNam often we travel to Myanmar through two main roads: T1 by air pass Rangon or Mandalay or T2: the road through the Golden Triangle.
My trip started from VietNam – Yangon – Mandalay – Old Bagan – Inle Lake – VietNam it took about 10 days.
First day, It’s Myanmar’s moment, and the country’s major city, Yangon (formerly Rangoon), is hoping to become Southeast Asia’s next boomtown. Diplomatic missions, business delegations and tourists have filled Yangon’s hotels since the country’s military government began transferring power to civilian leaders in 2011. The spotlight continues this year as Myanmar, also known as Burma, takes on the chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
For now, though, as the road map for laws and reforms is being drawn, the city remains in a kind of urban time warp, still awaiting a much-needed capital infusion to fuel what it hopes to be its renaissance. Golden pagodas, colonial-era buildings, traditional shop houses and moldering jazz-age mansions form a low-rise fabric unique to Asia, the whole stitched together by tree-lined avenues swarming with buses and cars. While ethnic and religious tensions simmer along Myanmar’s borderlands, including in remote Rakhine State, where there have been recent outbreaks of religious violence, Yangon is far from these areas. Still, time will tell whether the city will reclaim its former status as a cosmopolitan capital.
Spiritual heart of Myanmar, the Shwedagon Pagoda’s bell-shaped stupa rises in golden splendor above Yangon. Buck the tourist trail by taking in the colorful pagoda neighborhood first, beginning with a bowl of mohinga noodles — Burma’s breakfast — at deli-like Myaung Mya-Daw Cho on Yay Tar Shay Old Street (about 500 kyat). Then, peruse shops brimming with Buddhist religious items, papier-mâché toys and herbal health remedies before climbing up vertiginous steps to the Shwedagon Pagoda’s eastern entrance. By engaging a local guide in advance, you’ll both support the economy and gain cultural insight. Some travel agencies, like the local operator for Kensington Tours, even donate a portion of proceeds to community projects like the renovation of a 120-year-old Buddhist ordination hall hidden at the foot of the Shwedagon Pagoda, featured on the half-day “Spiritual Shwedagon” tour.
Photo By Richard DO
(Mandalay will be next)
Map of Shwedagon Pagoda Myanmar click for a larger map