What an amazing introduction to Yangon and Myanmar! My guide, May, and I started our morning at the vegetable market, full of ladies doing their daily shopping, and even a procession of monks, who were fed by the local vendors.
We walked through the streets, exploring the country’s contradictions, challenges and changes. It’s quite rare to find a pagoda as the central roundabout in a city, flanked by small stalls and shops (which you can see in the background.)
Mobile phones are still too expensive for many, and SIM cards can be hard to get. Landlines are set up on the street in these operator-run stalls.
We visited a nunnery and monastery during lunch-time. While the monks go into town daily to receive alms, nuns go out once a week and collect money instead of food donations. Monks bring what they’ve collected to their meals, sharing with the younger boys, while the nuns are served from a collective kitchen.
We managed to get an appointment with one of the most famous astrologers in Myanmar… He was spot on for both of us. Here’s a glimpse into my future…
And onto the stunning pagoda at sunset. The astrologer recommended donations for May and me, based on our charts. I was to give a red umbrella and five Eugenia leaves at the Tuesday temple (as Burmese astrology focuses more on the day of the week you were born, there are temples within the pagoda for each day of the week.) May and I gave our donations and admired the incredible golden pagoda as the sun set.
More details to come!