After yet another sleepless night at Khaosan (all thanks to that live musician from across the street with his great variety of Oasis-songs) me and Heidi were on our way to Yangon, former capital of Myanmar.
I’m not gonna lie, the first hours upon arrival were rough. You know, as a combination no sleep, no caffeine, no food, no correct currency to purchase food/coffee and how it seemed that every bloody hostel was fully booked. I can’t say we hadn’t been warned. It was after all the peak of the season and after the tourist boom hit Myanmar a few years ago, Yangon actually have more tourists than they have room to host. This of course affects the room rates as well. For instance, you pay x10 as much as in Thailand for a standard that is a lot lower.
So after wandering about the city, from northern districts to southern, with our heavy backpacks pushing into our shoulders, we finally find a place that doesn’t say “$60 per night” or “Yes we have room – but for family only” (What??). Now this place doesn’t immediately show us the available room. In fact, they claim that they’re fully booked. I think it’s after the miserable expression on my face that they suddenly change their minds. “Well we do have one room…”, one receptionist say dubiously. They bring us upstairs to a room with, how do I put this, very spartan furnishings. By spartan I mean there’s like two or three very thin matrasses spread on the floor and a few cartoon boxes. To their suprise, I’m almost crying of joy. “We’ll take it, we’ll take it!”. And so we end up paying $2 for the best night’s sleep I had in a long time.
Despite the rough start – it only took a couple of hours (well, quarters of hours) in the country before I was completely hooked. In the taxi from the airport, driving past a man balancing a huge, like gianormous, bale of hay on his bike. This in combination with the mixture of both left and right-sided vehicles; a relic from when they decided to swap to right side traffic after their colonial days were over. This city is as much me as it can be, with the fading paint and buildings remaining from the colonial times in the midst of all this dirt. It’s a fabulous mess. Not to mention the cuisine and how my cheeks are actually aching at the end of each day after returning all of the curious smiles that constantly greet us on the streets.
But my favourite part of Yangon is a given number one. Watching the sun set over their pride, the Shwedagon Padoga, was worth every single cent of the $8 spent. The colours were simply amazing. You know those fireworks over the castle when a Disney film begins? Well, it was like that, but in real life.