A bunch of Phnom Penh friends have jumped ship for the newer, more exciting emerging market of Myanmar, and now live in the Yangon. Those guys are the worst. But it means that I travel to Myanmar every few months to catch up, eat a different kind of noodle, and explore a new place.
Honestly, in the 10 or so times I have been here in the past two years, I have never really loved it. The people are amazing and kind and smart and funny, but it has been tough for me to be excited about the actual city. It’s a working city and not made for tourism. So in my struggle to find cool things that make the city fun, my buddies Laura and Bill pointed me to an old glass factory that had long since collapsed. The prospect of wandering through a condemned building and overgrown vines to dig for chunks of broken glass sounded like the best treasure hunt ever to me. It was.So this past weekend, we did just that. After being warned of the massive mosquito/spider/possible giant snake situation ON THE WAY THERE, we arrived and bathed in Deet. It felt like equal parts Indiana Jones and Terminator, but with looking for decorative vases. I found a few vases and glasses I love, but my favorite things were the fused glass chunks that I dug out of the dirt. When I brought them up to the very lovely lady managing the little shop, she laughed and gave them to me “as present.” Apparently no one else wants glass garbage.After this field trip, I am coming around on Yangon. I think I am spoiled a bit in Phnom Penh, as it only takes 20 minutes to get anywhere, and it’s easy to get around in English. Yangon might be more difficult to get navigate, but there are treasures here that are well worth the trip.
I will go back to the glass factory, and next time with more water, more bug repellent, and a big old basket. If you are in the neighborhood and want to check it out, you can find the factory here:
Address No.152, Yawgi Kyaung Street, Hlaing Township
Tel.: 95-1-519718, 95-1-526053