Great weekend in Yangon

May 5, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

20130505_125523Saturday and Sunday here in Yangon were great. Yesterday I had a lazy morning and then worked for the rest of the day. I had a meeting and went to an awesome supermarket. The supermarket the day before was pretty dinky so it was a nice surprise. Today, my day off, was a day for exploring.

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I walked around the downtown area near my hotel. The first stop was the Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue! It was neat to be in a Synagogue in this city. There is still a small Jewish community that goes there! It’s the third coolest thing to visit here according to Trip Advisor.

The synagogue was on the way to Chinatown so I walked around there next. 20130505_132342To be honest I didn’t notice a difference between the areas except that Chinatown was a bit cleaner and less chaotic and there were more signs with Chinese writing than in the surrounding areas. Maybe I was in the wrong place? After that I walked around the river area.

20130505_153703It was actually cloudy today, which was good because it was a bit cooler. After taking a quick break at the hotel to get another bottle of water, I headed out to the Schwegadon Pagoda, the iconic pagoda here in Yangon. Normally it is not recommended to 20130505_150324go to the Schwedagon Pagoda when it’s the middle of the day because you have to be barefoot and the marble floors get Extremely hot, but I went earlier than I had planned due to the cloudy conditions. It was awesome there. I really like these big religious areas.

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I walked around for a while and then met a guy that worked in the Pagoda who studied psychology and taught english and also taught people about the Pagoda. He’s from Myanmar countryside. He said that it’s not legal for foreigners to go there. We walked around together and he taught me all sorts of things about the Pagoda and Buddhism in Myanmar.

20130505_154521We figured out that I was born on a Monday, so I made offerings to the Monday Buddha, the moon, and the Tiger, which are all important for people born on a Monday. Additionally, 15 is a good / lucky number for people born on Mondays. The way that you make some offerings is by pouring water a certain amount of times over the Buddha, the lion, the nearby flowers, etc. The offerings are made to bring luck and happiness to all living things. Not bad!

As I mentioned earlier, you have to be barefoot in the Pagoda, not even socks are allowed, so my feet got pretty dirty.

ellis island fam

When I got back to the hotel area, I went to the local market for a snack of a samosa and sour mango and bought some cool maps and posters with Burmese writing on them for my office. Then I had a work out and went to dinner. I just wanted to share this last photo of my parents and brother sailing into NYC! Pretty awesome. My dad has always wanted to sail past Ellis Island so I’m glad they got to do that!

Love, Annie

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2 Responses to “Great weekend in Yangon”

  1. Bubbie marlene Says:

    Wonderful pictures of the synagogue and pagoda. Where is the Jewish deli? Love you


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