Myanmar – First Impressions

The Urge To Wander

The traffic snarls as we drive into Yangon, even with the ban on two wheelers within city limits, are reminiscent of Bangalore. But the roads are surprisingly wide and well laid (mostly). And they are garbage free! Pristine lakes and gardens abound. Splotchy red betel stains on sidewalks are familiar. Spotless public toilets, not.

Vehicles with right hand steering ply on the right side of the road! Why? Because an eccentric general decided one 1970 day, to change the (colonial) direction of traffic from left to right. Imperial units, eschewed by most ex British colonies however, still remain in use.

Wallets are boldly stuck to the back of men’s longyis (traditional wraparound attire) in an assertion of safety while the multiple coils of barbed wire adorning high walls of affluent (military?) homes belie the claim.

Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon

It’s been five days since we landed in Myanmar. We haven’t visited the Shwedagon Pagoda, and we are…

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