Anthony Bourdain YangonBourdain Yangon
A perfect day in Yangon
Yangon, the former and trade capitol of Myanmar, is one of the few towns in Southeast Asia on the road to modernisation after several conflicts, colonisation and dictatorships. Yangon has been my home for 13 years. Grown up in a small village where most of its inhabitants travel by motorcycle, I never thought I would settle in Yangon, where automobiles are the dominant feature of the people.
They' re expecting you to run in Yangon. With a population of over 5 million, the town was the nation's capitol until 2005, when the reigning army regime appointed Naypyidaw as its new administration capitol. Initially known as Dagon in the early eleventh centuries, the town was known as Rangoon under UK settlement domination.
1989 the army regime moved its name to Yangon. Yangon's singular charme is the effort to bridge urbanisation and the conservation of our culture's inheritance. A lively mixture of culture, religion and gastronomy and a wealth of civic treasures make the town an attraction for nosy backpacker tourists from all over the globe.
The increasing denunciation of the young civil regime, headed by Aung San Suu Kyi, could also prevent visiting foreigners from travelling to Myanmar. Myanmar merits better than further insulation - so does Yangon. Although the magical nature of these touristic hotspots cannot be denied, Yangon is still a major part of Myanmar's heritage.
Head to Myaung Mya Daw Cho Dohinga on lower bloc in Lanmadaw township. Supermarkets, teashops and even the finest restaurateurs are selling morning cereals, but every store has its own tastes, depending on the origins of the recipies. Its name Myaung Mya Daw Cho, the name of the suggested store, indicates that the source of the prescription is Myaung Mya, a city in the Irrawaddy Division.
It is open for business before sunrise and will close around 9:00 a.m. when most stores in the town start their operations. Go to 17th December street on the same street pad. There' s a small teashops named U Chit, one of the most famous teashops in the area.
It occupies almost every street in the trading capitol and has a great deal of communal power. Once refueled, it's a good idea to explore the centre of the town before it gets too hot. However, it is only a 15 to 20 minute stroll from Twelfth Street to the town centre.
Though it can be a bit messy, you can get an insight into a little bit of town' history through the town' s tight footpaths and past overcrowded houses and stores. The Yangon Town Hall, Independence Monument, Sule Pagode, Immanuel Baptist Church and the Bengali Sunni Jameh Mosque are all in the immediate vicinity of each other in the centre of the town.
This structure testifies to Yangon's varied and harmonic past, which I believe contributes to its singularity. Sule Pagode, located on a traffic circle in the centre of the town, is said to be over 150 ft high and more than 2,000 years old. Walk along Maha Bandula Park Street, Bank Street and Pansodan Street, where you will find a truly original selection of the city's historic monuments.
This itinerary gives you a good impression of what Yangon was like in the early twentieth century: an important socio-political metropolis in Southeast Asia. Strand Road, at the lower end of Pansodan Street, offers further colorful houses, among them the customs house and the main post office. You will probably like to drive to Sharky's to buy the best ices in Pansodan after a walk through the historic area.
A place you should not miss after a walk through the Pansodan area is the secretariat. This huge compound extends over a 16-acre bloc between Bo Aung Kyaw Street and Thein Phyu Road and between Anawrahta Road and Maha Bandula Road. This is the former headquarters of the UK COLOMNY, where General Aung San and his fellow ministers were murdered on 19 July 1947, shortly before Myanmar's independenc.
Tip: If you want to know more about the old surrounding structures, you can hire a hike organised by the Yangon Heritage Trust, an organisation dedicated to the conservation of the city's historic complex. It' lunch time and the Kyaw Myanmar Food Center in top Maha Bandula Park Street is the ideal place to enjoy the locals cook.
The Cafe Genius is less than 10 walking minute from the midday restaurants and serves the best locally produced beans. It belongs to the Myanmar businessman Ngwe Tun, who tried to sell locally produced coffees at home and abroad. Previously known as Scott Markt, the old Bogyoke Aung San Markt on Bogyoke Aung San Street is a turntable for textile, clothing accessoires, handicrafts, memorabilia and jewellery, especially iade.
Opened in 1926, it is not only the most famous market place for the inhabitants of Yangon, but also an attractive place for international travel. Suffice it to walk - we take the Yangon main railroad on the east side of Bogyoke Aung San Market. Circle Line runs 30 leagues and has 39 main bus and tram terminals; it is the best and least expensive way to get an insight into the everyday lives of Myanmarans and take a rest from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Let us spoil your appetite with good regional sweets in the Shwe Pu Zun (Golden Shrimp) cafeteria and bakery house. There are two stores next to each other and serve some of the best regional sweets. Yangon will not be completed without attending Shwedagon the holiest and most renowned Buddhist pilgrimage in Myanmar.
Shan Yoe Yar is slightly more expensive than other Shan Yar restaurant, with food from 2,500-3,700 Kyat, but it's still rewarding (and still below $2-$3). Finish off your ideal outing with a traditional China barbeque or a 360-degree panoramic tour of the town. Not much night life beyond Chinatown's nineteenth avenue.
On some evenings the 19. road can become filled with foreign and local people, but it is definitely interesting to take a look at it. Almost every store on the streets is selling barbecues and beers. Yangon Yangon, a top of the range lounge on the roof of the 20-story Sakura Tower on Bogyoke Aung San Road, is another possibility.