Yangon looks very different now compared to the time I visited it some 15 years ago. There were much fewer shops and cars. Everything looked grey, sooty and gloomy. Back then, most of the shops looked like they only stocked up once every 10 years. The goods were mostly old and dusty. Books and magazines were sold on mats placed on the floor. Even airline magazines were on sale.
Well, I stayed in Yangon only on the first and last day of my trip. Compared to the beautiful countryside, Yangon was ugly and uncomfortable. After watching these videos, Yangon may be worth a few more days of the traveller’s time.
Of course, one cannot expect Yangon to remain the same today as it was 15 years ago. China used to be Myanmar’s biggest ally until the former’s influence started getting a bit worrying. The generals relented, the lady came to power and as UN sanctions were lifted, Myanmar’s economy has been booming ever since. The streets are now bustling and the women dress more fashionably. Still so pretty.
I’ve only met Asian and European travellers in Myanmar. Like Pakistan, I didn’t come across a single American. If I visit now, I’m sure I’d run into many travellers from the USA. Will they change the face and character of tourism in Myanmar? We shall see.
The creative use of Thanaka.
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