Rumbling Yangon

Shwedagon Pagoda

Cleaning up Shwedagon Pagoda

Yangon, the largest city in Myammar is rumbling. It had been reported that soldiers and police fired into crowds of demonstrators to crackdown the largest uprising in 20 years. Monasteries were raided in the middle of the night and hundreds of monks who had led the protests were rounded up. Such incidents I guess put off many tourists. When I went there with a friend many, many years ago, during the days when there were no digital cameras, Yangon was just as peaceful as any other peaceful city in the world. I would not say it was bustling like any bustling Asian cities but it did bustled . There were many cars plying the streets only that these cars , having Japanese characters splashed across their bodies, looked more like reject goods from Japan . Maybe the city looked a bit drab in certain places and the buildings from the colonial days looked like in dire need of paint. Some streets were also rather dark at night and in certain places, peddlers would light up carbide lamps as they plied their wares by the roadside. There were nightspots if I remember right and a bustling Indian town, I should say since the shops in a street we came across were run mainly by Indians and there was even a cinema showing Bollywood movies. Betel nuts were sold by peddlers on the roadside and our local Chinese guide who wore his sarong like the local Myammese chewed on it like a pro! Of course, the highlight in Yangon was the Shwedagon Pagoda, a must see to all travelers but enough said. Even then, when Yangon was not rumbling, many people were surprised when they found out that we went there. Why of all places, Mymmar? Images of police and soldiers gunning everyone down must have appeared instantly in their mind eyes. That must be scary, I guess. After all, in normal cities, only people who dress in street clothes gun down others that is if they have a gun. Otherwise, they just slash and chop or in less violent cases, they just shove and pull just to take away your handbag!


JANE TOH said…
Myanmar is a beautiful country. Wish to visit tat place someday when the mess is over
footiam said…
I do believe there is mess everywhere, big mess, small mess, mess which you rather see or not see.Just this year, my friend went over to Yangon and they came back in one piece. Going anywhere is a risk, staying at home is a risk, just that it is nicer because of the feeling of security.

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