"diversity... and complexity" Rangoon by picek

Rangoon Travel Guide: 726 reviews and 2,075 photos

I woke up early in the morning and waited for entrance doors of our guest house at Merchants street to open. They usually do that around 6 am or so, maybe bit later.
I made my way towards shining Sule Paya, passed the Muslim quarter, it was breakfast time. Many people were sitting at small tables and occupied the narrow street. The city was about to wake up - every day the same way, I suppose. But so exciting for me to be there. Women have already put thanaka over the face. I put it on sometimes too, as I better cover my face with local sun block of one kind or another. And the scent of thanaka is soooo good! The traffic is rare in the early morning and air not yet too dusty. Was like in another dream... I am not yet awaken and yet there we see glittering Shwedagon Pagoda when driving from the airport. And when we arrived, at 6 am previous day, there was feeling about being at Maribor's railway station. So empty the buliding was at that time and only a few officers worked. I lit my cigarette after long flight in the building itself. Like everyone else did.
I was curious about the city... and its people. I didn't know what to expect anyway... was almost one year after I first time visited Asia, China but I knew I cannot expect the things to be the same. I knew I know nothing about life here or anything at all. I only read few books, checked web sites of all kind, but yet... sometimes truth is stranger than fiction (was Bad Religion song).
The city is at stage of awakening. Me too. My camera will remember, if I don't. As usually, I start my exploration of nearby streets, the pavement, houses, architectural styles. The arrangement. People's movement and flow, the activities around the area. The sounds. The smell.
A few rats I see too. There are stains of brick red colour on the floor and I see people spitting that thing out. Was unknown to me. I later learned to know the betel nut and its little secret. Hmmm... has that a bit spicy smell after all. I later discovered on my trip to Malaysia that paricular smell was well recorded in my brain as I passed the Burmese quarter in Kuala Lumpur near Puduraya bus station.
How good is for brain to remember smells! It will take you back directly to certain country!

  • Last visit to Rangoon: Mar 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (3)

Comments (2)

  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo
    Dec 19, 2011 at 10:46 PM

    Hi vesna, nice page, I especially like the intro - you have captured the feelings and atmosphere so well! I have dreamed of visiting Burma for a long time, I hope I will make it one day :-)

  • DennyP's Profile Photo
    Sep 18, 2010 at 6:27 PM

    Hi Vesna...love your writings..your pages rekindle so much about Burma..great tips and pics thanx for sharing memories of so far away..

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