Where is John Lama? travel blog

Back to civilization! The Grand Plaza Park Royal was great, and at...

This woman in traditional dress was one of the greeters at the...

My friend Snow White (she said that was the accurate English translation...

There was a traditional Burmese wedding party at the Park Royal while...

 

My main man Joseph is a taxi driver. He took me all...

There were ornate and interesting buildings all over the city.

Almost all of the food in the city was sold by small...

The young Buddhist nuns were very cute.

 

The women selling food along the streets are raising their kids right...

There was something about this girl that beguiled me. I don't know...

 

No shortage of fresh fruits and vegetables.

There are also dried meats and sausages hanging along the right side...

Unlike India, things in Burma were clean and hygenic. This girl is...

Yikes! A Burmese haircut. He is trimming my sideburns with a razor...

I met Melvyn on a flight in Burma. He lives with his...

Melvyn and his lovely wife, who works for Chevron, invited me to...

 

More young nuns I met at a market.

I finally got a couple of them to crack a smile.

These guys were painting a wall, and then ended up painting each...

I met this very sweet young woman on my way into Shwedagon...

There are four entrances to Shwedagon, North, South, East and West.

This is the central stupa which is 300 feet tall.

A picture of a picture of the very top-top of the stupa....

I hired this guide named Zaw (same name as my Chin guide)....

There are hundreds of smaller stupas and temples circling the main golden...

There were many more local Burmese here worshiping than tourists with cameras.

 

The buildings here were spectacular.

Many local people were making special donations and prayers around the temple...

 

 

 

There were also many monks at Shwedagon.

 

 

 

There is a lot of gold around here.

 

This woman is praying to a deceased Buddhist leader who was a...

After her prayer she put the cigarette on this offering table. Very...

 

 

Groups of women volunteer every night to sweep the Shwedagon marble plazas....

I can only assume that this guy is giving the women a...

I was tempted to ask this young woman to marry me. She...

 

At dusk I heard a strange sound which turned out to be...

One of the four Shwedagon entrances on my way out.

More street vendors. Check out the video below for a tour.

 

The egg lady.

 

This woman selling tomatos was a flirt.

I was tempted to try one of these fruit juices, but my...

Who needs Home Depot?!?! These guys have a great selection of nuts...

Yiyi and her darling daughters one of the nights they invited me...

Anna modeling one of the roses I brought as a present for...

Anna thought I would look good with a crown and necklace of...

 

I was here during the Chinese New Year celebration. These red cakes...

Movie Clips - Playback Requirements - Problems?

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Here is a quick tour of a typical street market. Ninety percent...

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Check out the bats streaming out of Shwedagon Paya at dusk. There...

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My young friend Anna dancing for me. She is so cute I...

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More Anna!

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One more. Isn't she great?!?!


The last stop of this South Asia trip is Yangon, the capital city of Burma. I actually came here for a few days when I arrived in the country before heading to Inle Lake, and then I spent another several days in Yangon at the end of my trip. All international flights to and from Burma go through this city.

I visited one major site in Yangon called Shwedagon Paya, which is a large temple complex right in the city. At 300 feet tall and covered in gold, you can see the main stupa from all over the city. The main structures were build around 1,500 years ago, and there are many smaller temples all around the site. I included a number of interesting photos of this amazing place.

The Gold seen on the stupa is made of genuine gold plates, covering the brick structure and attached by traditional rivets. Myanmar people all over the country, as well as monarchs in its history,have donated gold to the pagoda to maintain it. It was started in the 15th century by the Mon Queen Shin Sawbu who gave her weight in gold and this tradition continues to this day. Above the base are terraces that only monks can access. The crown at the tip is encrusted with 5,448 diamonds and 2,317 rubies. At the very top, the diamond bud holds a 76 carat diamond.

Even though Yangon is a city, it still has a very authentic feel. Once you get a block from the hotel you are surrounded by Burmese people and culture. There are very few tourists here, and I think that is the reason the local people didn't seem to view me as a walking ATM which was how I felt in many other places. If anything, people seemed either curious or appreciative that I had gone to the trouble to visit their country. I was invited to the homes of several families, and I took a couple of them up on the offer.

I met one woman named Yiyi in an internet cafe in town. We got chatting and she mentioned she had five daughters! Then, as girls would enter the cafe, Yiyi would point and say "She is my daughter. Number 2. And they are also my daughters. Numbers 4 and 5." Ha! Yiyi invited me over for dinner, and I spent three nights with her family. Hanging out with them was a blast. The youngest daughter Anna (number 5) was a ham, dancing for me, singing, covering me in local thanaka makeup, and generally goofing around. I took the whole family to a movie which was pretty fun as well. Check out the photos and videos of Anna and the rest of the girls.

The people in Burma are extremely generous and sweet. I will definitely visit here again!



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