Last Days in Myanmar
The bus ride back to Yangon from Inle Lake was the longest one yet, arriving at 6 AM after we boarded the previous afternoon at 3:30. We returned to the Myanmar’s largest city a few days ahead of schedule with extra kyat to spend, having seen the big three tourist destinations of Bagan, Mandalay, and Inle Lake.
We upgraded our accommodations to a hotel room with a view of the traffic below and monks asking for alms at daybreak.
Yangon is home to the country’s holiest Buddhist site, the Shwedagon Pagoda. Legend has it that 2,500 years ago, the Buddha himself gave eight hairs from his head to two Myanmar brothers in exchange for a gift of honey cakes. The Shwedagon Pagoda was constructed to protect the hairs, with each successive government rebuilding it taller and adding gold and gems to make it more ornate.
This prayer procession was led by men blowing a conch and beating a drum while monks and non-clergy followed bearing rice.
Although Yangon is a bustling city, it does not offer much to see for tourists. So we spent our last day and a half of our two weeks in the country drawing down our remaining kyat and relaxing in various cafes. I was pretty excited when we set off on our world tour to visit Myanmar, and did not leave the country disappointed. Its ancient and modern history has been fascinating and the people have been the most worldly and friendly we have met.