After Koh Phangan we spent 15+ hours traveling on a ferry/bus combo to Bangkok. By paying a little extra we were able to ride with Lompryah instead of the popular Songsern, that had stolen our friend’s shoes on the bus transfer to Ko Samui. It ended up being cleaner and more professional. No sketchy things were going to happen, they run that shit like a fancy airlines.
We were headed back to Bangkok to fly from Thailand to Myanmar. The food in Southern Thailand was quite boring to me and I needed/desperately wanted a change. I was relieved to be traveling to a new country, especially since everyone we met that had been to Myanmar before raved about it. We watched the Anthony Bourdain episode on Burma to get ourselves hyped on different types of Burmese salads and curries to try.
There is a local train that takes you all around Yangon called the Circle Line. It costs 200Kyat (15¢ USD) and takes about three hours in total. It was my favorite part of Yangon, so picturesque! We hopped on at the Central Yangon Train Station just after the morning rush hour therefore it wasn’t crowded. Amazingly, no backpackers or tourists were in sight. Instead the train was filled with locals on their daily commute and merchants walking up and down the unsteady carts selling bags of chili covered mango. We are lucky to have been here while tourism is still low and authentic experiences like this are not uncommon.
Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred pagoda in Myanmar, was quite a spectacular sight to walk into. We were short on time and crammed a lot of events into a few hours making our stop there right in the middle of the day. As the sun beamed down to heat up the white marble floors it reflected back onto the hundreds of tiny gold stupas reaching for the sky, throwing blinding light in all directions.
We ended the day with a sunset at the Sule Pagoda in the middle of a roundabout downtown. It was highly recommended by Lonely Planet but I thought the sunset was anti climactic and would have preferred ending the day by walking around the night market that unfolds outside our hostel every evening. Love me some street food!