Saturday, August 30, 2014

Some thoughts about the last weeks in Yangon

The weather improved a lot. There is still some rain but at least we see the blue sky from time to time and feel the intensity of the sun.

Changing the hotel and its many facilities and moving to a new house is quite challenging. Things that one should consider when moving to a new home in Yangon: distance to work due to heavy traffic, flooded areas of Yangon, internet connection, Buddhist schools (they have Sunday programme which takes several hours and is very loud) or markets (open very early and some sellers sell their products very vocally and loudly) close by, quality of the generator, water tank and roof, proximity to the Inya lake and its convenience/inconvenience: running paths vs. snakes in the garden, frogs' concert at dusk.

We spent a long weekend in Bangkok. What a difference when coming back to Yangon. When we first arrived here, from Europe, we did not have any expectations and we took things as they came. But now, not even an hour away by plane, our stay in Bangkok highlighted the huge differences with Yangon. After four days spent in Bangkok, arriving in Yangon it was like returning back to a provincial town. It starts with the rudimentary taxi at the airport, the basic and small buildings which line the streets, the traditional clothing the most Myanmar people wear, and the bettel the men chew and spit on the streets. The common thing they have is the heavy traffic. There are many expats and rich Burmese who actually spend their weekends in Bangkok mostly for shopping and going out in fancy places.

But, as already mentioned, Yangon is changing rapidly. Shops, offices and foreign representations, restaurants, apartments buildings are being built or opening each day. It is very impressive to be here these days to witness this rapidly changing environment and the buzz that comes with it.

Last, SOS International Clinic at the Inya Lake hotel is a good address in case you are getting ill. Foreign and local doctors provide a very good and quick service. Inside the clinic they also have a pharmacy. We experienced its services when visiting with food poisoning which put us down for almost two weeks. Things are indeed different here compared with other places we have been :)!


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