Awakening In Yangon

After my 2nd night in Yangon (formerly known as Rangoon, and also formerly the capital of Myanmar), I found myself standing on the Asia Plaza Hotel's rooftop. A modest hotel by all accounts, my 2nd night was far better than the first. Arriving late at night, my first night brought me the surprise of having a hotel employee walk right into my room at 1am, without knocking no less. What. The. Hell?!

To kind of add a bit of sugar on top, 30-45 mins later, I found myself digging my flashlight out of my bag after the power went out. In the end, it was just a blown fuse, but required me to head down to the lobby and wake up the staff to get assistance. Not a great start for your first night in a foreign country. Did I mention that I had my drone confiscated at the airport too? Well, yeah, so drone confiscated (to be returned upon my departure), stranger bursting in door, and a blown fuse within the span of a few hours. Hello Burma!

Fast forward two mornings later, and it's up and at 'em in the morning to take some pictures from the hotel rooftop before settling down for some buffet breakfast. I believe the western option highlighted the European delicacy of white bread with butter. It'd be an Burmese buffet breakfast for me - noodles and meat.

The view though, for such a modest hotel, was really quite arresting. The Yangon Central Railway Station, the largest in all of Myanmar, was just a short walk away. Over the years, taking these trains has become a bit of a tourist attraction in their own right. I found it to be overall an experience worthy of an hour or so of your time. Such a huge part of photography in Southeast Asia are the beautiful opportunities presented before you when just walking the streets and seeing the daily lives of people. The train, is an extension of this. A great chance to see another side of Burma.

Far in the distance, on the left-hand side, you might notice a golden pagoda breaking the skyline. It is the grandest pagoda in all of Burma, the famous and most sacred Shwedagon Pagoda. It's one of those "must visit" destinations on any itinerary to Burma. Small note about visiting the pagodas, stupas and temples of Burma - unlike some other countries, in Burma you must remove your shoes/socks before entering. Be prepared to do a lot of barefoot walking around when visiting the country.

With the sunrise breaking, and the city coming to life, it's time to get out and explore.