This could also have been more aptly titled as 28 days in Yangon (the duration which a tourist visa lasts). But I wanted to stick with what I wanted to show about this post – the city once named Rangoon beyond its white elephant: Shwedagon Pagoda. So in the fewest of words (and mostly verbs) and mostly images, I wanted to share with you the best that the city has to offer outside of those main tourist bits.
The high and the low. The Indian, the Shan and the Myanmar. The street and the city down. This city has it all. Much of it is hidden, but whether you are looking for a pop-up turned brick and mortar from a bunch of international upstart hipsters to the best local breakfast in the city, there is only one rule: go by the numbers. A packed stall or resto means business. Plus tummy troubles will hopefully be avoided.
This will happen. You cannot avoid it. That is all.
My pal Dustin was looking for a gramaphone. I also couldn’t say no to the invitation to go antiquing in Yangon. Across the country lay treasures waiting to be discovered. Whether they are vestiges of the colonial era and the trading that happened between colonies, or native artifacts which would be preferrred to kept in-country (or brought back in the case of Jojo and Jerome), there is so much to discover.
There is something to be said about the Westerner wearing the local garment. But judgers beware, the longyi is the best thing since sweat pants. From the moment I landed, I knew I could adopt this look. And on men? Even better.
The city is filled with secret watering holes. From The Blind Tiger to Hummingbird and Gekko – they range in price and some would say quality. But one thing is certain: they definitely all adhere to a post-colonial, classic frame of mind. Great conversations at the bar are a must.
All photos by Tiffany Tsang. Please request permission for use.