Highlights of our trip to Myanmar:
Just a few interesting details about our trip to Myanmar: We left San Diego with our friendly and very talkative driver to LAX. We arrived in good time and our first problem was finding China Air. At first, we went to the wrong airlines – Air China and waited there until I asked someone in our line where he was going and he mentioned some place in the interior of China. We realized it was the wrong airline and went to find China Air. We found the right airline and joined quite a few others already waiting in line. It was a long wait but we were finally checked in and then made our way to security.
While in the security line we noticed the “drug” dog walking up and down sniffing everyone. When we got to the TSA, we were told not to remove anything but I had already removed my computer to put in the bin. The agent explained that when they have a dog checking for drugs – the passengers do not have to remove anything (that was new to me). Our seats were in the back. Shawn sat behind me so we both could have an aisle seat. I slept most of the time and Shawn watched about 4 movies. I was impressed with how attentive the flight attendants were and how clean they kept the bathrooms throughout the whole 16 hours to Taiwan. The food was not too bad as far as airplane food goes.
It was a very confusing transfer in Taiwan. We followed the transfer signs and an airport personnel kept telling everyone to get in line. So along with a few hundred people, we got in line. It was 5:30 am and our flight was supposed to leave at 6:30 am. Another person traveling to Myanmar was next to us in line and she was also worried about catching the flight. We had to go through security and then finally made our way to our gate. The plane was not leaving until 7 am. We arrived in plenty of time. Our flight to Myanmar was almost 4 hours. Shawn and I sat together. A lady who got on late had the window seat. She tried to get us to move over so she could sit on the aisle but we declined politely. It was a very long four hours. When we arrived in Myanmar our lady “friend” stood up and proceeded to bulldoze us so she could get to the aisle. It was a crowded and “hurry up and wait”situation. We had our immigration letter so no problems getting into the country. I changed dollars for kyat ( about 1,500 to the dollar) but the taxi driver asked for dollars. The taxi charge was ten dollars. The ride to our hotel took more than an hour and traffic was horrendous! We did get to see quite a bit of Yangon City, which was a plus.
At last, we arrived at the Belmond Governor’s Residence Hotel. It was situated near the embassy area. We were treated to drinks and wet towels and were asked to sit down so the receptionist could register us comfortably. Within a few minutes, we were taken to our room and luggage soon followed.
We had a very nice room with all the usual amenities plus some native fruit and a jar of cookies. We enjoyed our snacks, took some photos of the room and then went outside to take some pictures of the grounds.
It had started to rain but since the ladies at the desk suggested a taxi tour, we hurried and got our things and met Mike, the taxi driver. He had previously worked ten years for the hotel. He suggested an itinerary and we were willing to give it a try. The price was right – $7 an hour. It was actually our only chance to see some of Yangon.
Here are some street shots:
Our first stop was the Reclining Buddha which, unfortunately, was under renovation. I took a photo of it anyway.
After walking around for about 20 minutes, we concurred with the taxi driver that conditions were too rainy, and too much traffic to go into the downtown center. We returned to our hotel. We were both very tired and thought we would rest before dinner, but dinnertime came and went and we decided to just go to bed! Thus ending our first day in Myanmar!
Wifi and internet connections have been almost impossible, but I will publish my first post and keep trying to publish future “adventures”.