We returned to Yangon for a few days with three (3) primary objectives.
1) To visit the township of Dala just outside Yangon.
2) To catch the sunset and evening ceremonies at the Shwedagon Pagoda.
3) To have our final chowdowns of Shan Noodles at 999 Shan Noodle Shop.
The township of Dala is a must see when in Yangon. A short ferry ride directly across the Yangon River will land you in this throwback city of Dala. Taking just the ferry over was a trip within itself and was quite interesting to see how day to day commerce takes place with locals vociferously hawking their wares. You even got ladies selling watermelon and pineapple from big/heavy trays that they balance on their heads. Barbie purchased some shit to feed the birds that flew alongside the ferry and I simply observed and took in the entire wacky scene.
The Dala Township was virtually destroyed by cyclone Nargis in 2008. It is the poorest part of Yangon with most living in simple wooden shacks. A visit to Dala will provide you with a great visual into the slow paced Burmese village life. It actually felt like we visited another country. There are no cars here, just bicycles and scooters. With the help of our excellent local trishaw guide and righteous dude named Sankee, we were pedaled around the alleys and dusty paths inside the villages, sweating our asses off in the sun outside where it burned atomic hot. Even the shade was scorching. And I loved it all! Nothing beats the smell of napalm in the morning and sweating your ass off all while simply observing the calm and simple way of life here in Dala.
My favorite day trips on this journey have seemingly been visits to local villages to see how the locals live. Our visit to the very poor Bamboo Village in Dala was quite an eye opener. Despite having so little, the smiles on both the adults and childrens faces were really nice to see and made me happy. It appears they have accepted their lifestyle with so little resources, yet simply carry on with their very basic lives in a fun way without worrying about all the extraneous bullshit existent in many first world countries. With Barbie and I being the only westerners in the village, they got a real charge out of us. Check out all the pix below of the awesome smiles we received.
Both Barbie and I took a real liking to the people of the village and we donated a pallet of rice to help feed them. I fulfilled my desire to one day be the Anonymous charity guy. I guess I am no longer Anonymous but I was at least for a few days before opening my big mouth on this blog post. We tried to spend as much money as possible in Dala because at the moment any tourist dollars going to the locals and not the government is a good thing. I took away the following from my visit to Dala. Be happy and content with what you have and you really do not need all the crap you have…..I hope this makes sense.
Junior Duck, The Taj, 999 Shan Noodle (triple header), Rose Garden Hotel
LOOSE STOOLS INDEX – 7
The index slipped a bit as a result of leaving the seafood capital of Myanmar in Nagpali Beach where I consumed a ton of freshly caught Red Snapper. As a result of straying from my high Omega-3 fish oil diet and migrating to the sticky Shan Noodle diet in the big city of Yangon, my index has taken a bit of a hit.
THRU THE BINOCS –
As we walk the world, sometimes we find ourselves staying in business oriented hotels and eating in places where business men/woman congregate and network. I see many of these business people having meetings and overhearing them talk a whole lot of mosty bullshit amongst themselves. Understandably, everybody is simply trying to get ahead career wise with the ultimate goal of making as much money as possible so they can buy more stuff. As we wonder the globe on this journey many thoughts and observations come to light. I cannot help but think when we are finally on our deathbed, all this business chatter and pressure to earn and accumulate is pretty much meaningless. It feels good being able to stay outside this circle of business all while being able to observe and simply look in. I have come to realize in the scheme of things, with seeing and hearing all this business chatter…….basically, “The numbers all add up to nothing”.