Bagan

Yangon’s main bus station is more a small village than a station. The individual companies have their offices along several small streets, which are all packed with buses. The air is filled with suffocating diesel fumes and still, people sit down for a drink or a bite to eat.

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Most of the drive up north was much quieter than the trip to Ngwe Saung. The Yangon-Mandalay highway is reasonably smooth and we used it for all but the last 2h of the 9h trip.

The main (only?) reason to visit Bagan are the endles amounts of stupas, pagodas and temples that are all over the area. Cool way to get around: e-bike!

IMG_0541 IMG_0545For sunset I had picked one of the bigger pagodas. However after the 5th bus load of tourists arrived and the noise level was that of a morning market, I packed my gear and drove 10-15 minutes to the next spot. Not even 10 people and dead quiet except for the sound of shutters – much better!

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Tazaungdaing Festival

The Tazaungdaing Festival, also known as the Festival of Lights, held on the full moon day of Tazaungmon, the eighth month of the Burmese calendar, is celebrated as a national holiday in Burma (Myanmar) and marks the end of the rainy season. It also marks the end of the Kathina season, during which monks are offered new robes and alms.

So much from Wikipedia. The area I’m staying at in Yangon (Sanchaung) is a little better off, people living here work as merchants or have their own business. Accordingly they have a few Kyat to spare and are taking Tazaungdaing as an opportunity to make merit by proving alms to the poor.

It took place in the street right in front of the hostel and was a little wild at times. Everything was calm and orderly while the monks (or nuns in this case) received their alms. However once donations and food were open to the general public, push came to shove.
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From what staff at the hostel told me, people travel from the outer parts of Yangon to this part of town in the hopes to fill their bellies and bags.

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Next stop: Beach

Quiet day with a bit of work and exploring street food around the hostel. At the train station now, waiting for the bus to Ngwe Saung beach. Not a big fan of overnight buses but it was kind of the lesser of two evils.

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