DAY 1 (9/9): A FESTIVE NIGHT, Yangon, Myanmar, 2017.12.23
After Shwedagon Pagoda, we took a taxi back to Downtown Yangon. Despite the taxi driver got lost on the way, we did eventually find our way on foot to LinkAge, a social development restaurant and art gallery that offers delicious food to customers and cooking training to local street kids.
Established by NGO Forever Humanitarian and Development Projects, LinkAge is situated on the upper level of an old apartment block on Mahabandoola Garden Street.
The time was a bit late but there were still several tables of customers in the restaurant.
The ambience was causal and relaxing, a perfect venue to have a local beer and chill out after a long day of sightseeing in Yangon.
We ordered lentil soup and curry shrimps. The food was decent and reasonably priced.
After the meal, we wandered around Downtown Yangon where streets and shops were still quite busy.
We walked past some of the street vendors who had spent the entire day on the streets.
We also passed by some of the city’s spectacular colonial architecture. Standing beside the High Court since 1917, the Myanma Post and Telecommunications (Central Telegraph Office) is another piece of fine architectural gem. Today, the former communication hub still offers counters for sending telegrams and emails.
Soon, we arrived at the Ayeyarwady Bank building (former Rowe & Co. Department Store) again. The former Rowe & Co. Department Store was covered with splendid Christmas lights.
Across the street from Ayeyarwady Bank, the street market along the east side of Maha Bandula Park was still running.
The north side of Maha Bandula Park across the street from Sule Pagada and City Hall was much more crowded than the morning.
A large crowd gathered for the live music performances on the stage where we passed by in the morning.
When we arrived, the performer was playing the guitar and singing in Burmese. For some reason, the Burmese songs did sound a little like Japanese to us.
Where there were people gathering in Yangon we would always find street food vendors.
Many cars just stopped by the roadside to absorb the atmosphere of the performances, even public buses.
A little further from the main stage, other vendors were selling festive stuff like illuminated wands.
Of course there were also helium balloons for the festival crowds.
Just a stone throw away from the crowds at Maha Bandula Park, Sule Pagoda continued to bathe in its peaceful spirituality.
On our way back to Loft Hotel, we climbed onto the pedestrian overpass north of Sule Pagoda. The overpass was originally constructed by the junta government where soldiers could shoot at an out-of-control political demonstration in front of the Sule Pagoda, an iconic and popular venue for massive protests.
The Christmas tree in front of Sakura Tower reminded us that Christmas 2017 was just around the corner.
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Blog posts on Myanmar 2017:
Day 1: Yangon, Myanmar
DAY 1: INTRODUCTION OF A SHORT BURMESE CHRISTMAS VACATION
DAY 1: WALK TO 999 SHAN NOODLE HOUSE
DAY 1: SULE PAGODA
DAY 1: COLONIAL ARCHITECTURE
DAY 1: BUSTLING STREET LIFE
DAY 1: GOLDEN WORLD OF SHWEDAGON PAGODA
DAY 1: A PLACE FOR PEOPLE, Shwedagon Pagoda
DAY 1: EVENING MAGIC OF THE GOLDEN SHWEDAGON PAGODA
DAY 1: A FESTIVE NIGHT
Day 2: Bagan
DAY 2: SHWEZIGON PAGODA, Nyaung-U
DAY 2: HTILOMINLO AND UPALI THEIN
DAY 2: ANANDA PAHTO
DAY 2: SUNSET AT OLD BAGAN
DAY 2: SILENT NIGHT IN NYAUNG-U
Day 3: Bagan
DAY 3: MAGICAL SUNRISE, Old Bagan
DAY 3: NYAUNG-U MARKET, Nyaung-U
DAY 3: SULAMANI TEMPLE
DAY 3: DHAMMAYANGYI TEMPLE
DAY 3: THATBYINNYU TEMPLE
DAY 3: NAPAYA, MANUHA AND GUBYAUKGYI, Myinkaba
DAY 3: SUNSET No. 2, Old Bagan
DAY 3: FINAL NIGHT IN NYAUNG-U
Day 4: Farewell Myanmar
DAY 4: FAREWELL BAGAN FAREWELL MYANMAR