13 good reasons to return to Yangon, Myanmar

And below are some reasons for me to return to Yangon in Myanmar. What a beautiful country it is! I have been there and some memories keep lingering on. 

1. Gemstones.

I don’t like this but my wife does. She managed to persuade me into it. Finally she bought 3 silver rings (with sapphire, ruby and jade stones) from her Myanmar friend in Bogyoke Market. I have to wear it for the first few days.  Where are they now?

2. Golf

Even though the price is picking up, relatively cheaper green fees of as low as 15000 kyats (USD15) with caddy is still available. Yemon golf course is on the way to Bago is good for beginners and intermediateries.

3. C otton textiles (Kain kapas)

Quality cotton material from Korea and China is cheap. Remember China is the most important trading country with Myanmar. Buy the textile at Bogyoke Market in Yangon and go to the tailor nearby. Your long sleeve shirt, for the cost of 5000 kyats will be ready in a couple days.  Pay urgency fees of additional 1000 kyats if you want it early.

4. Used designer watches

Take a stroll along downtown streets near Sule Pagoda and you will come to many watch shops. The front glass displays common watches only. Go inside and quietly ask for Rolex or Tag Heuer or Hamilton or Tissot, and in no time they will bring second-hand branded watches and make offer you cannot resist. Some watches come with certificate of authenticity.

5. T-shirt with embroidery or printed.

Near Shwegondaing junction in Yangon, there are many plain t-shirt shops, ready to be printed. Buy as many as you want for as low as 1500 kyats each and send for printing or embroidery the nearby printing shops. They will do design for you for free on their computer.  For printing, they will create stamping block, and minimum order is necessary.   

6.  Cashew nuts

3200 kyats (USD3.2)  for 500 gram of Grade A cashew nuts from upper Myanmar is certainly a good buy, especially for wholesalers. You need contact to get to the supplier.

7. Programming services

This one for techies. For 200,000 kyats (USD200 per month) or even less, you can hire a programmer well-versed in CSS and PHP full time to develop a customized website for you or develop on-line store for you. There are desparate for works. Myanmar people are creative in every aspect of life. They can make 40- 50  year-old cars and buses running on the city streets! Programming is a cup of tea for well-trained ones.

8. Stone paintings

Plenty of these at Bogyoke Market in downtown Yangon or at Sayasan Plaza in Yankin Township. Choose ready made or bring your own design or photo and give them some times before collecting the paintings.

8. Oil paintings

Plenty of street artists, unknown but very prolific. Meet them at Bogyoke Market in downtown Yangon. Choose ready made or bring your own design or photo and give them some times before collecting the paintings. Prices are very reasonable.

9. Simple life

If you want to run away from fake people in big cities, come to Myanmar. Life is so simple here. The telecommunication system is as secretive as its military government system is. High spreed internet access is only for few privileged ones. Websites are subject to heavy censorship by the government and . Power blackout is the order of the day. Main power supply is from diesel-powered generator, with backup supply from the government. Electricity supply is rationed to 6-hours per day. Your mobile will not roam in this country. Get a new local SIM card for USD70 with airtime USD30

Natures untouched. Wooden bridges along the main road to Pathein and Chaungtha Beach and other places are common sights.

10. AirAsia

AirAsia started flying direct to Yangon from Kuala Lumpur beginning July 2010 with incredibly lower fare, if you are lucky enough. Coupled with newly introduced Visa on Arrival at Yangon Airport, getting into Myanmar has never been that easy. 

11. Helping people.

Jika anda dari kalangan yang ‘ringan tangan’ dan suka menolong orang, Yangon memang sesuai untuk anda. Di sini ramai orang miskin dan peminta sedekah berada di mana-mana termasuk di pintu masuk masjid. Bahasa Inggerisnya orang yang suka menolong orang lain disebut sebagai  ‘good samaritan’ atau orang kaya yang yang punya banyak wang dalam bank dan suka menolong orang lain digelar  ‘philantrophist’  . Di barat ramai orang seperti ini seperti mendiang Putri Diana dan juga Bill Gates, yang mana bagi mereka kebahagian dan ketenangan hanya diperolehi melalui memberi harta benda mereka kepada orang miskin di seluruh dunia. Dikenali juga sebagai ‘compulsive helper’.

12. Pirated DVDs

Be it the latest movies or even the latest installers or softwares or antivirus signatures, you can find from street peddlers along downtown streets. If you a collector, the whole series of popular TV programs like LOST or CSI or even Korean dramas, can be found in a single DVD, costing only 1500 kyats. One single DVD could host 60 war movies or James Bond movies.

13. A pair of glasses.

Along downstown streets you can find a lot of spectacles shops. Choose your own frame and all sort of lenses are available. Common lenses available within 3o mins.

This entry was posted in Travel and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *