Travelogue: Myanmar - Day Three

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DAY THREE

In the morning, we had another lecture, this time about education in Myanmar and its recent reforms.



It was very informative and I learnt about the different kinds of education in Myanmar, with one big difference from that of Singapore is the monastic education there. It's a bit similar to the Madrasahs we have here, but over there it's more common for children to go that route. I also learnt more about the history of Myanmar, especially about the socialist government in the past, the rule under army generals, and politics now, what with their upcoming elections and all.



I think this group photo is really nice, with the strategic placing of the umbrellas being a good frame for the photo! xD Haha. And I'm really honoured to be lectured by Dr Thant Thaw Kaung, who's a distinguished person in society and he helps out in many voluntary organisations in book donations and loaning! Myanmar needs more of these people to help boost their education sector and society in general. (:




And this is sandalwood, where you rub it against the stone below, dab some water, and there you have the 'cream' substance, which women apply on their faces. It's a very common thing to do because apparently it is a natural sunblock!



Lunch (clockwise from top left): something like Char Siew Fried Rice, Glass Noodles, Wanton Soup with Prawns, Pad Thai



Next we visited the National Union Races Village. On the itinerary it was stated that we're going to see some 'traditional ethnic/tribal village', but guess what... It's actually a park built by the government, i.e. everything is constructed! I was so shocked, followed by feeling utterly disappointed! Because I was expecting to really go to the outskirts and see some ethnic village... I mean, well, Myanmar isn't that developed yet so I'd expect that it's possible to do that. Guess I was expecting too much...



So this park is essentially a place where traditional houses of the different ethnic groups are built for showcase. Something like an exhibition?






Yeah so that was... kinda it. Didn't actually go into the house too because we had to remove our shoes.



But... another unexpected thing is that there were animals in the park! Hahaha ok I don't just mean the little ducks/chicks above, but deers!



Selfie with the deer before I forgot that the leaves in my hand were very close to my hair and the deer almost nibbed on my hair too......







We totally LOL-ed at this haha!



So sad, this cow is chained up in the middle of nowhere...



We climbed up a watchtower that was built to model after the one in Mandalay Palace, and the above is the view~



And we're guessing that the pagoda in the distance is Shwedagon Pagoda!



Next we visited the Botatung Pagoda where Buddha's first hair relic is enshrined.



This pagoda is quite unique, because it is 'hollow' inside and not solid, hence we could go in.





This is where the hair relic is enshrined. Yes you obviously can't see it because it's a strand of hair! But I'm very overwhelmed by all the gold and glitzy stuff...



Wow. Just wow. Look at the amount of money and offerings! Not sure if you can see, but it's quite deep down too.



One part inside the pagoda contains real gold ornaments, hence you can see that it's very heavily guarded and gated! Three layers of protection!



I think by now you can probably also tell that all (ok, most) pagodas look more or less the same...






I love the idea of food vans and informal seating! (:




The buses drive on the road with their doors open... o.O



Dinner was at a very nice seaside restaurant! And since it was near Chinatown, they serve Chinese food!



Check out the hugeee spread on our long table! Needless to say, we couldn't finish all and I feel quite bad for wasting the food... :(




After dinner it was time for us to walk around Chinatown!



To me, this Chinatown is very atypical of others. There are not much Chinese signboards, Chinese traditional shops (be it food or non-food), and no oriental decorations at all. Once again, I attribute it to the fact that they're still not that developed to turn Chinatown into a touristy place.



Instead, this Chinatown is like a street market that sells a lot of fruits!



Saw this woman cutting meat by the road. Hmmmm I definitely wouldn't dare to buy that...



Passed by a rare Hong Kong pastry shop (or at least by the looks of it) and I was attracted by the mooncake look-alike food!






The Chinatown here is also known for their BBQ stalls. Look how they display the seafood.


Wah the crayfish...





Quails' eggs



Traditional Myanmese dessert (which we didn't dare to buy there)


We walked down this very busy and lively street selling BBQ! Shop after shop, it seems like the skewers are the only things that are being sold on that street.



Presenting to you, the dosa! It's something like a crepe, very thin and with chickpea fillings inside. It was very oily but tasted good!




I'm the kind that needs to go to local night markets whenever I travel. It just feels more... complete when you walk down the night market, see the kinds of food available, and most importantly walking and eating on the wide variety of food! :D So I shall end off now with a picture of me all happy with my dosa! (All for sharing, of course!)



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