Downtown of Yangon

The old downtown of Yangon is the place to soak up the authentic atmosphere of the city with its long, narrow and perpendicular streets losing yourself in the constant buzz, deliberate chaos, various smells, a multitude of colours, strange noises and a mixture of architecture. I strolled through these streets numerous times for long hours. With each new walk, I discovered another eye-catching building, a different shop, an interesting craft on display on the sidewalk, or a local curiosity. I met all kinds of people. These daily encounters of people and things pleasantly surprised or suddenly saddened me, but I learned to appreciate each of them as events which I only live and see once. Every day is different and special in downtown Yangon. The smells follow you all the time and for the most part they are not pleasant. An advice for the sensitive visitors is to bring a perfumed scarf and keep it handy when passing, for example, open sewers which are usually covered by slabs of concrete which serve as a the sidewalk for pedestrians. However due to the often unstable and loose slabs, pedestrians usually prefer to walk on the street. The road thus becomes the crowded place where you squeeze in between cars, tea shops, trishaws, dogs and all kinds of objects stored randomly and waiting to be transported.

Cristina Dura