I had to do a little research on the aircraft we flew on from Heho to Ngapali and Ngapali to Yangon as it seemed similar to an old Soviet aircraft we thought we were going to die in on a flight in Cuba several years ago. The Cuba plane was dual prop and rear loading but had no windows while the dual prop plane in Myanmar was rear loading but did have windows and an air conditioning system that didn’t spew fog and freak everyone out thinking the plane was on fire. It was a much nicer plane, an ATR 72, built in France and Italy. We had never flown in one of these so this was a first and second. It took off, it flew, it landed so a very good airplane as far as we’re concerned. Yangon has a sparkling new airport but maybe it only sparkles in the International arrival section. It is small and nice in the domestic area and there is no hassle when you leave the arrivals area. The taxi guys are nice and non-pushy, typical of this country so far, and the drive to our hotel was pleasant, The roads in Yangon are good. There are traffic lights that people respect. They don’t blow their horns, they drive in their lanes and it is oh so civil. The city, what we have seen so far is clean and litter free. There are next to no motorcycles, only cars and a few bicycles. The air is clean but traffic jams do seem to be a bit of a problem from the little we’ve seen so not fair to lay judgment just yet.
So, we had a late lunch at Hard Rock Cafe, Yangon. Who would a thunk. Located in the great big new Myanmar Plaza, Yangon’s first international retail shopping centre, we decided it was time for a burger. A quite expensive burger. Two burgers with cheese and bacon, fries and a shared Caesar salad, about $58.00 CAD. Ouch, but we haven’t had a beef burger since the airport in Male airport (Burger King) in the Maldives and I think it cost pretty close to the same. Moral of the story, don’t eat junk food, especially American chain junk food. It’s expensive but it fills this little craving that you get from time to time and then sits as a great big lump in your stomach and you want to go to sleep and your thirst keeps you awake and then you want another one. Hmmm.. I see a pattern here.
Tomorrow we will set out to explore this city of close to 8 million people, the largest in Myanmar. The city boasts the largest collection of colonial era buildings in SE Asia and is home to the gilded Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar’s most sacred Buddhist pagoda.