Ever since the government in Myanmar opened the boundaries of the country I had wanted to go to this wonderful country. This year I finally got my opportunity. Emerging from the Yangon International Airport has been a Fantastic feeling. Here I was, at last, at the most secretive and fascinating country in the world, going to bear witness to a lot of things that had remained impossible for Westerners to enjoy for so long. He described a beautiful land of lush greenery and warm hearted peaceful people. I was going to find out for myself.
The airport is only about ten kilometers to the north of the former capital community. A brief taxi journey soon had me ensconced in my hotel, unpacked, checked-in and ready to go exploring. Yangon itself is a city of fantastic complexity and several surprises. The wide paths are a throw back from the former French colonial days. There are just a few high rise buildings, many temples and everything is very green. The older style Asian buildings are delightful, sitting perfectly together with the French architecture, much of that is well faded out of the former glory, but all the more charming because of it.
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The famous Shwedagon Pagoda is magnificent. I loved this place, with its golden foliage facade and fabulous gardens. This is definitely the most famous and admired in all the country, and it’s not difficult to see why. In recent years It’s Been visited by Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, American President Barack Obama and US Secretary of state Hilary Clinton. It is a magnificent illustration of Buddhist Temple design, standing almost three hundred and fifty feet .
I spent a couple of days in town before flying to Bagan, where you will find an incredible two thousand two hundred and twenty eight temples. This sounds impressive but once you realise that these are what are left, of over ten thousand that were initially built here, it puts things into a wholly different perspective. Bagan is so green, it’s among the most beautiful areas I’ve ever seen. On spiritual importance it rivals Angkor Wat and is thought by many professors to be the middle of faith for the entire place. A city of types has stood for over twenty five hundred years.