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Journey through Yangon, Myanmar
It is an air photograph of Yangon, Myanmar's trading and manufacturing centre in Southeast Asia. It is Myanmar's biggest and most populous town. Myanmar's trading centre is located directly on the Yangon River. Small-sized vessels in Yangon harbour amidst bigger vessels.
Fisheries are vital both for the regional economies and as a means of feeding the population. There is a native angler who takes care of his net. Yangon River angler with his mate. Municipal fishers have to contend with merchant vessels that use calves, a large web of webs set free around an array of them.
Over-fishing is not the only ecological topic discussed in Yangon.
This is my kind of place: Yangon, Myanmar
About Yangon? While Yangon may be a run-down country after years of Myanmar's neglected Burma army juntas, it has much more personality than Asia's contemporary skyscrapers. And in the centre the 1,000-year-old -Shwedagon Pagoda, a sparkling, gold bell-shaped stupa, still predominates the skin. As a result of the new civil government's effort, the formerly dangerous sidewalks of the town have been repaired, the rusty buggy cabs have been superseded by newer limousines from Japan, and most of the power is now working.
Yangon is a safer, friendlier place for visitors to walk - the Burmese are some of the most inviting individuals you will encounter around the globe. Yangon's hotels have seen their price increase in the past year as demands outstrip supplies. The advertised price is around US$350 (Dh1,286) per room per day for a five stars room in a five stars property, inclusive of tax, but there are also offers through on-line coaches like www.agoda.com.
You can also make a reservation through the Yangon representative Asia Expeditions (www.asia-expeditions.com). Doublerooms start at $500 (Dh1,840) per room per day. Situated on the former Grand Hotel of the town is The Strand (www.ghmhotels.com; 00 95 1 243 377), which looks over the Yangon River Dock. It is well situated if you want to discover the colorful town.
Doublerooms start at $400 (Dh1,470) per room per day. I like the Savoy Hotel shop just south of Shwedagon Pagoda (www.savoy-myanmar. com; 00 9 5152 6289). Doubleroom rates start at $200 (Dh735) per room per day (www.agoda.com). SWEDAGON Pagoda is the most important pagoda in the land, which can best be accessed via the eastern stairs with prayers beads and florists.
A network of roads leads from here to the riverbank, full of merchants, bookstores and cafés offering refreshing herbs. Soak up the sun in a outdoor café or bank on the shore of Lake Inya, adjacent to the Aung San Suu Kyi home, a red-roofed campus on University Avenue.
Join commuteers, salesmen and friars on the round trip, which departs every hour from the main railway stop and connects all the towns around Yangon. Alternatively, take a boat across the Yangon River to the dozy town of Dallah. In the twilight you stroll with native teams over Lake Kandawgyi overlooking the illuminated Shwedagon.
To sample genuine regional food, head to Feel Myanmar Food (124 Pyihtaungsu Avenue, Dagon Township; 009 7320 8132), a supreme canteen-style event loved by business people and embassies at noon. An ample meal with pasta, curry and aromatic salad costs under 3,500 kyats (Dh15). The Planteur (www.leplanteur. net), a traditional chef in a villa in reddish bricks near the Shwedagon, is serving tasty home-smoked canard on an asparagus of olives and truffle-filled cuccia.
L'Opera (operayangon. com), an ltalian pub and restuarant on the shore of Lake Inya, which produces its own pastas and has a wood-fired pizza stove for 8,000 euros (Dh37). However, today about half of the central hallway is filled with handicrafts from all over Myanmar: Woodcarvings from Mandalay, shan with shells, golden and precious stones from the northern part and chinscarfs.
Myanmar Lakeware (No. 7, No. 7, Street 13th) in Yangon city centre is the best place - and the best price - for top of the range lacquer goods, purchased directly from Bagan manufacturers. In Myanmar, we do not yet accept foreign bank accounts - not even in five-star establishments. Twilight in the Shwedagon Pagoda - before the touristic busses reach - for the unbelievable spirit-elosphere.
The cost of a flight back to Etihad starts at Dh3.300, inclusive of tax (www.etihadairways.com).