|Aung San Suu Kyi's lakeside home in Yangon, where she was under house arrest for 15 years.|
|These buses didn't look much better to me than the ferry-buses (below) did.|
|Open-air tailor's shop|
The Committee (all Department Heads, some of whom came out of retirement to serve unpaid) and my husband posed for a photo together, and then all the committee members came to shake our hands and make us feel extremely welcome. I cannot think of these kind, brave people now without feeling awed and humbled.
|A young novice monk is carried by his father to his new home at Shwedagon Pagoda.|
We marveled at a huge Reclining Buddha and learned a lot about Buddhism.
We tramped through the Scotts Market where of course I could not resist a cotton longyi (Burmese for sarong) that turn out to be the most comfortable garment for the heat of the Myanmar spring (it was over 100 F every day of our week there).
The street market in Chinatown was filled with color and smells, not always pleasant.
We saw former British Colonial buildings like the Post Office (from the inside) and the Burmese Railway (from the outside).
Everywhere were the open-faced, modest and friendly people of Myanmar, many with their faces decorated with a cooling and sun-protective paste.
Best of all, we took a ferry across the Irrawaddy (pronounced Eye-RAH-waddee) River to a village from which workers commute to Yangon every day.
They now have a more reliable electrical supply (thanks to the US government), but still live in bamboo houses with thatched roofs and hang little plastic bags of sand and water from their fences in case of fire.
The first restaurant he took us to only inspired us to want more Myanmar food! Tangy Burmese curries don’t have the coconut milk used in neighboring Thailand but do use Thai and Indian spices. Every restaurant offered a number of vegetable dishes including stir-fried watercress with garlic and mushrooms.
We sampled Marinated Tea Leaves Salad, but avoided many fresh salads in case they’d been washed with contaminated water. Most restaurants for ordinary people have a counter filled with various dishes (not labeled, and in any case we wouldn’t be able to read Burmese script) at which we pointed, instead of the menus found in more upscale places. Our favorite dish was Pork Curry with Pickled Mango, but we didn’t taste much we didn’t like.
|Daw Saw Yee Restaurant, one of the best in downtown Yangon for real Myanmar cuisine.|
Four days in Yangon wasn’t nearly enough, but it was all we had. Then it was time to hit the Road (or rather, board the plane) to Mandalay.