We arrived in Yangon at 5:30 am and hopped in a taxi that took us to our hotel. Once there, I had a nice long Skype session with one Meg Huber, watched the NFL Divisional playoff highlights, cursed the Vikings, Jaguars, and Patriots, and took a much-needed nap.
After some yummy Thai food (I think Nok was missing a little taste of home), I headed to the train station to secure my ticket to Mandalay for the 17th. I’d read a blog that said it’s best to go to the station a day or two early to get your ticket. However when I got there, I was told to just show up on the day of. That meant I’d have to get to the station at 5 am to catch the 6 am train. Joy.
Having wasted my time, I headed towards Shwedagon Pagoda to meet Nok and Jo and experience the mother of all pagodas. This thing was massive. I’m pretty sure you can see it from most parts of the city.
I was very impressed by the cleaning staff at the pagoda. They swept in rows, leaving about 30 yards between each row. Very efficient.
This was probably my favourite of all the temples/pagodas/shrines that I visited in Myanmar. I still didn’t understand the need for vendors at the entrance or the opulence of it all, but I must admit, that was one sexy pagoda.
Jo took a little meditative tour of the pagoda, taking in a meditation session at the northern, eastern, southern, and western shrines.
Towards the end, Jo and I played a quick game of Hide and Seek. I like to think I won this one. He took a lot longer to find me in my little corner.
Afterwards, we went to a rooftop bar and enjoyed some post-seeking drinks at a really nice rooftop bar with a great view of the pagoda.
The drinking continued back at our hotel, where I once again defended my Mario Kart crown. Though admittedly, Jo gave me a run for my money this time around.
The following morning, I awoke to find a pair of shoes by my door. I assumed they were Jo’s, but it turns out they weren’t. I have no idea whose shoes I stole and where I stole them from, but to the owner of said shoes, wherever and whoever you are, I offer my deepest apologies. I promise it won’t happen again.