Monday, February 10, 2014

FEBRUARY 11, 2014: SULE PAGODA, WALKING TOUR, BOTATAUNG PAGODA


February 11, 2014

     It's our first full day in Yangon!  I look out the window to make sure Shwedagon is still there.  It is!!  Almost glowing-beautiful even from this distance.  With coupons in hand we head downstairs and over to the Parkview Cafe where the breakfast buffet is.  We hand over our coupons to the hostess/greeter, find a table, and are quickly asked if we want coffee or tea.  The buffet is a huge spread and just by the outside seating area is the egg station.  I have what will be my usual breakfast for the this trip-1 egg, toast or danish, fruit, juice, and coffee.  Everything looks good.  Now it's time to make plans for the day and explore the hotel now that it's daylight!  First I make arrangements with the hotel for a driver to take us sightseeing.  $10 per hour-wow-pricey but I agree for the few hrs. we will need.  We have time to do a quick tour of the hotel.  Huge lobby area with lots of seating, a business office area that also sells some items like nail clippers which I need, area that sells very nice looking jewelry, and of course that pool that my husband is overjoyed to see.  Near the pool area is a well equipped gym.  There's also a florist shop and a bar and a huge ballroom where weddings, etc. are held.
View of Shwedagon from our room

View using telephoto lens function


Entrance to Summit Parkview
Pool

Pool


Gym


Dagon Bar at hotel

Yummy!

This is also where the breakfast buffet is located.

Lobby

     We meet our driver at 9:30.  We have a list of places we want to see which were written out in Burmese by staff at the lobby desk.

     SULE PAGODA entrance fee $6 for us both.  Our driver has parked in a large parking area where he will wait for us.  We cross the busy street by the designated crossing area.  Over 2000 yrs. old, located on a busy roundabout.
Sule Pagoda 




Entrance

Ticket 

   


A Hinthar bird carrying a pagoda on top of its body.










From here we start our mini walk.  We pass CITY HALL, walk around inside MAHABANDOLA GARDEN up to the INDEPENDENCE MONUMENT, out to the BAPTIST CHURCH, the HIGH COURT, the CUSTOM HOUSE.


Under renovation


Immanuel Baptist Church-founded in 1885, destroyed during WWII, rebuilt 1952.

City Hall-construction finished in 1936.  Listed on the Yangon City Heritage list.


High Court-formerly known as Parliament for Justice.  Constructed in 1914 before World War l.

Independence Monument




View of City Hall from inside Mahabandoola Park

View of Sule from Mahabandoola Park

Custom House-well preserved British building.  Located along Strand Road where most colonial buildings are.

We walk back to our car and driver and go to BOTATAUNG PAGODA-Pagoda of the thousand military leaders.  They escorted the relics of the Buddha brought over from India over 2000 yrs. ago.   Located near the Yangon River.


Buddha's sacred hair relic in the main pagoda

Almost blinding!






















Botahtaung Boe Boe Gyi




















We then walk over to the YANGON RIVER.  Busy.






Unloading

















 







     Over to ST. MARY'S CATHEDRAL, then the STRAND HOTEL.  The hotel is Victorian style built in 1896 by Aviet and Tigran Sarkie.  Opened in 1901 and faces the Yangon River to the south.  We go inside this hotel I've read about.  I really wasn't as impressed as I thought I would be.  We decide to have lunch here.  Cost $21.  Our driver takes us back to the hotel.  I's now 1:30 so I pay $40 for our "tour."  The rest of the afternoon is spent at the pool.
Street vendors



Family outing?

St. Mary's Cathedral-designed by a Dutch architect, completed in 1899.



Myanmar beer

Lunch at the Strand









Me and my lazy feet and my DH swimming away the afternoon at the hotel pool-bliss!!
     Dinner-PADONMAR  A very good choice.  It's within walking distance from our hotel but I've been having problems with swollen feet so a taxi it is at a cost of 3000 kyat.  We have appetizer of mixed vegetable tempura.  Entrees consist of rice, pomelo salad, stir fry shrimp with peas in the pod, and chicken curry with potatoes.   This time my husband samples Tiger beer.  He's on a mission to sample all SE Asian beers available in the countries we will visit!  I have colibai and a coke.  We're given free desert of fried bananas.  Bill is 27475 kyats with 10% service charge included.  The restaurant secures a taxi for us back to the hotel, this time for 1500 kyats.  As we are leaving there is a big group of people coming in.  Now I know who all those reserved signs were for.  There must have been 30 or more in this group.  Glad we got there first!  Back to our hotel and warm greetings from the guys holding open the entrance doors.  The staff here are super nice.  Now it's bubble bath time and my aching feet, etc. disappear.  DH and I relax with some glasses of the wine I bought and some macadamia chocolate chip cookies left for us by the hotel.

Dining in the outside garden area

Lovely setting



Mixed veg. tempura

Chicken curry with potatoes-delicious!

Pomelo salad

Cauliflower and carrots

Stir fry shrimp with peas in the pod

Rice

Fried banana

Getting dark so lanterns are on

Friendly, efficient wait staff






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