What is the Time in Yangon nowSo what's the time in Yangon now?
quinatown is more than even BBQ
When we talk about travelling history, our past Myanmar quests have included: to spend a day on the hard-wood ground of a Buddha school; to climb to the top of Mount Kyaiktiyo; to save a fishermen' s vessel (which was on its way to the snorkeling town); to ride motorcycles along the western coastline; and to watch the last few years as the land begins to play its game.
But what we had never done was to take the time to go beyond "Yangon the Stopover City" and explore "Yangon the Destination". Sure, we had seen Shwedagon glow at dusk and we had defied the crowds at Bogyoke Market, but in this frankincense and road meal mist the'real' Yangon had been wasted on us.
When Cathay Pacific and the iDiscover staff asked us to concentrate all our travelling energy on the town, we were fascinated. Anything else we'd find here? Or could one application really help two Austrians get under the skins of a strange town? Here is what we've discovered: Over the last few years it has become a kind of travelling custom for us to celebrate our first and last nights in Myanmar with meat skewers and Grand Royal Whisky on the nineteenth floor.
Here the natives come for shopping. The salespeople put their goods on colorful tarpaulins on the floor on 18. avenue and sell everything from the capture of the morning to antique sun glasses. Around the bend is the Clan House, a Cuban hangout behind a mountain of sculptured seats; on Maha Bandoola St. you will find your China medical treatment in the herbal store; and at 3:15 pm (Chinese time) you are welcome to join the local people in Bao Zi Kings for Myanmar milky teas and stewed ham.
And Yangon is a beautiful town, with unbelievable architectural features. The façades are covered with vineyards, the linen hangs on the window and the power cables crowd into the corner of the town. But as Myanmar opens its tourist door and forms a new administration, the land is rapidly evolving, so it makes perfect sense for those who own these old Yangon Colonies to want to evolve.
What are the risks? They are a symbol that the municipal councillor has pronounced the property "dangerous" and has thus given the owners the right to demolish it. The centuries-old, today disintegrating splendour of a house harbors a long lasting story within its fortifications. However, there is lighting at the end of the alley, the Yangon Heritage Trust is drawing up a nature protection scheme.
We have always been attracted to Buddhist culture, and Myanmar has always felt like a small ghost town. But what we had not noticed was that Yangon is actually a sacred crucible. It is a cultural blending town; where up in 29 U Aung Cuma U Aung Cuma Street the Namokar mantra is practiced in the chilly Jain haven; where down on Moses Samuels Moses streets the Synagoge is maintained for the eight left in the community; where Buddhist novices are meditating in the Sule Pagoda during the gold moment; and where worshipers of the Hindu godship Shri Kali are bringing gifts of Jasminblüten.
The Yangon has a multiculturalist past and a call to welcome everyone from Tamil immigrants to Indo-Persians. Japanese, Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Australians, Americans, Spaniards from Brazil and Malaysians from Singapore go along their mathematical road. For the first time we went to Myanmar in 2009, and the British meals were quite difficult to get.
What did the natives eat? Turns out we should have been spending more time in the indians. It was the first of its kind in Yangon with this small, family-run borehole in the walls with its violet gleam. Dinner is when the nutritional condition becomes reality. iDiscover suggests either Brazilian or Flying Noodles.
I am laden with gelled, sweetened, frozen lndian candy, I am eating a whole sachet of Gaul Joan and on my way home I am feeling sickened. Now there is a serious contest for the Yangon Best Sundown. The quayside is full of local people who close the store or kick the chinballs while the children are swimming in the canal.
The shaky local railway makes a three-hour round trip through Yangon and features some of the best spectators in the city, not to speak of the many photo possibilities. While it may move at a snail's pace, it is a nice way of looking at the everyday live of the Yangonese. While we are sitting, we see how folks storm on food and grain bagpacks; college kids scribbling in note books before class; cities flitting through open cascades; on tranquil routes we talk to English-speaking natives about living, loving and religious beliefs.
We' re buying some bunches and waiting for the next move, surprised at what we've been trip. Essentially, the iDiscover strolls help us discover a changing cultural town. This is the time for Yangon, in many ways. It is a town that looks to the past while doing its best to protect it; a place where, after years of global segregation, its door has opened to both the benefits of progress and the manipulations of it all.
We' ve learned that if you take the time to explore Yangon on foot, the town will speak to you.