Trip 2015-16. Day 331. Myanmar, Yangon

Just before first light we arrived to Yangon after a 10-hour night bus ride. The city was just waking up. The first hour we spent in a poorly-lit local bus with sleepy passengers going to work to the center.
Early morning bus in Yangon, Myanmar
It was still dark when we arrived to Sule Paya. The benches in a small park didn't seem welcoming, we sat for a cup of tea in a nearby Chinese cafe which was empty and quite dirty. The prospect of spending the whole day in this big noisy city wandering around with backpacks was definitely not inspiring. “The name of your hotel, please. I'd like to invite you for dinner at 5pm”, I got a text from the lady, a senior government worker, who ten days ago picked us up on the highway from Yangon to Naypyitaw. “We don't have a hotel”, I replied “We need to be at the airport at 7:30pm. We'll just walk around”. “Oh, then I'll pick you up in an hour. You can rest in my home and then use our car to go to the airport”. Since I almost didn't sleep last night, I thought I was still dreaming. A woman with a very high status in the society that has seen us, sweaty hitchhikers, only once on the road, wants to save us now from the hot streets of Yangon?! It seemed unreal if not surreal but nonetheless we quickly went to the nearby market to buy flowers. Just in case...
In exactly one hour we were on the way to Pa Pa's and her husband Aung Myo Oo's house in a brand new air-conditioned Toyota car with a private driver. They both spoke good English and finally we could have a meaningful conversation about life in Myanmar. They offered us a welcome chance to clean up in their beautiful home in a nice suburb of north Yangon and a breakfast with delicious homemade dishes. We also met their lovely 7 y.o. daughter who was keen to speak English with us. Several maids were helping in the house. We were also offered a car with a driver for the whole day ("Sorry, we can't stay with you, we need to go to work but you can have our driver").
In spite of the complete chaos we saw outside the windows, we were relaxed and content, though a little bit perplexed I must admit. We bought English books for the little girl, presents for our friends, saw a couple of impressive golden pagodas and even (thanks to an Indian man) managed to find an old synagogue in this packed yet colorful and mixed city.
A synagogue in Yangon, Myanmar
Muslims and buddhists in Yangon, Myanmar
In the evening Pa Pa and Aung Myo Oo invited us for dinner to a fancy Chinese restaurant just before our flight to leave Myanmar. It felt like we were saying goodbye to the family, our family in Burma.
Burmese family in Yangon, Myanmar


  1. We never met the couple as it turned out he had an important business meeting in another state. But what a great experience you had with them!


Post a Comment