It all started a little after sunrise on a Saturday.
The coffee-stained boarding pass pretty much speaks for the rush and stress I had that morning.
I nearly missed my flight!
Nonetheless, I made it.
The trip was meant to be a quick one for the long weekend.
Little did I know it was going to be quicker than I originally planned.
From 3 days & 2 nights, the trip was cut short to 1 night.
This is how I spent my 27 hours in Yangon, Myanmar.
We left Singapore around 07:25am
and arrived at Yangon around 09:00am, local time.
(The time difference between Singapore and Myanmar is 1 hour, 30 minutes)
One of the struggles with being a tourist in most Asian countries is getting ripped off. I’ve experienced locals trying to jack up prices once they find out I’m not from the area. The key is to ALWAYS bargain and not play the dumb foreigner.
For this particular trip, a driver attempted to charge me 12,000 kyats (approximately 12 SGD / 8 USD) from the airport to my hostel and even tried to sway me by assuring me that it was a good deal. Offhand, I knew he was bluffing ’cause for one, he initiated the conversation by asking “Hello. You not from here, right?”
Don’t get me wrong though. Coming from a country like the Philippines, I know these people are just trying to make a living. I normally give tips and give extra but I’m not exactly a fan of being fooled.
Well anyway, good thing there was one who was kind and honest enough to charge 8,000 kyats (around 8 SGD / 5 USD).
It was a 45-minute ride to the hostel.
I stayed at the Chinatown area of Downtown Yangon.
The hostel was cozy
and fairly priced at around 12 SGD / night for a bed at a dorm.
The owner is a nice fella who was kind to explain to me what to do, where to go, and how to get there.
After settling down, I was off to walk around the streets of Downtown Yangon.
I had my first Burmese meal at a nearby restaurant.
They recommended that I try their set meal
which includes soup, which was much like the Filipino soup called Sinigang,
local vegetable sides,
two curries, and two vegetable dishes.
Not bad for a 3 SGD meal!
After eating, I walked around,
spotted street food,
and just delved into their world.
After strolling, I cooled down
then I was off to see the famous Shwedagon Pagoda.
It was just a 12-minute car ride from the hostel.
Since I cut my trip short and wasn’t able to go to Bagan, I was relying on the Shwedagon Pagoda to be the highlight and redeeming factor of this trip.
And it did not disappoint.
It was as beautiful as they all said it would be.
Also, I’m relieved and happy I went there late afternoon.
The weather was perfect.
It wasn’t raining
and it wasn’t too hot either.
It was just right.
The sky made a magnificent background.
It was picturesque.
It was almost 6pm when I finished exploring the area. Before leaving, I picked a spot and just waited for sunset.
Though it got cloudy by the end of the day, it was still a sight to see.
Watch the time lapse video there:
Oh! I almost forgot. I knew I wasn’t allowed to enter the vicinity by just wearing shorts so I brought my own sarong to cover my legs. What I didn’t know was that I wasn’t allowed to wear sleeveless either.
Since I had to cover up even my shoulders, they lent me their malong and ended up looking like this:
My Pagoda OOTD was a colourful look with screaming patterns. HAHA.
Was the Shwedagon Pagoda worth seeing? Oh yes.
It was a good way to end afternoon.
Since I was already going to leave early the next day, I needed to choose the best restaurant for my first and last dinner in Yangon.
After sifting through all the recommendations from my friends, I chose to have a nice meal at the famous Rangoon Tea House.
So much good food on the menu!
It was a tough decision but I ended up with this:
Coconut Noodles: chicken thigh cooked in coconut milk, turmeric, and fresh pea broth.
The best part? I had this plus two glasses of beer and my bill was just 7,700 kyats!
That’s roughly just 7 SGD / 5 USD!
Nice place, good food, friendly staff. I’m glad I went here for my last meal for the day.
Flying from Singapore, walking around, visiting the Shwedagon Pagoda, and eating dinner, it has definitely been a long and exhausting day. I was sooo drained I didn’t have energy to meet up an old friend based in Yangon (Big shoutout to Rhinna. SO SORRY! 😀 )
So by 10pm, I was back at the hostel and I was done for the day.
I got up the next morning at 7am and had breakfast at the hostel.
Yes, they serve free breakfast and it was so good!
By 9:30am, I was at the airport having coffee and waiting to board.
At 10:45am, I boarded the plane.
We took off at 11:15am
and I was again above the sea of clouds.
At 3pm that Sunday, I was back in Singapore.
It felt great to be back home. ❤
For those planning to go to Yangon, I suggest you make it a quick trip and head to Bagan after. That was what I originally planned.
They all say what I did was crazy. The quick trip was as good as having a staycation in Singapore.
It was a short one to begin with. 3D/2N. Yet I still cut it shorter.
Did I regret going to Yangon for just 1 night? Nope.
As always, I’m charging it to experience. 🙂
YANGON, MYANMAR | JUNE 2017
(All photos and videos were taken by Sam using GoPro Hero 5 and Samsung Note 5)
Writer | Solo Traveler