I woke up at 8am, and forced Jives awake at 9:30am so that we could get our free breakfast on the rooftop. Breakfast was pretty good. It was buffet style, with fried rice, noodles, veggies and toast. This breakfast was a great indication of how the next two weeks would be travelling as a vegan/ vegetarian in Myanmar!
We went back to the room for Jives to sleep a little, before heading out to explore Yangon for the first time!
First we walked to a temple near by called Kheng Hock Keong. This temple is built in the Chinese style, and many Cantonese people visit it. The temple is built to worship the sea goddess Mazu. The courtyard of the temple was filled with bright red lanterns, presumably for the Lunar New Year, which had just ended. Jives could not go in the temple because he hadn’t yet purchased a Longyi (the long skirt like leg covering that men in Myanmar wear) to cover his legs (scandal)!
We then walked to Junction city, a mall just north of where we were staying. Here we found Jives a Longyi in dark green! We also stopped for an iced coffee at a place called Barboon, to refuel for the rest of the walk to Shwedagon Pagoda.
We then walked through a fabric market (Bagyoke Aung San Market). You can find every type of fabric here, and being a tailor, it was like a dream to wander around and look at all the colours and patterns of fabric available.
We then continued on our way to Shwedagon Pagoda. Just before Shwedagon we were approached by a young boy who wanted to sell us a plastic bag for our shoes (you can not wear shoes inside any pagoda or temple in Myanmar). He followed us for quite awhile demanding money, so we asked if he could help Jives tie his Longyi. I gave his some money for the help, and then we entered the South entrance of Shwedagon Pagoda. At the south entrance there is an official tourist entrance. Tourist pay a higher entrance fee, which is fair. It cost us 10,000 Kyat each to enter (around $10USD). You have to leave your shoes and socks here with a lady who will give you a bottle of water in return (as well as a face mask to prevent Coronavirus). We then had to put our bags through a scanner before boarding the elevator to the top of Shwedagon pagoda.