MYANMAR:

This was the sign that welcomed me as we exited the airport.

Hello Yangon; Photo by Michelle Africa

I did not think I would ever get the chance to visit Myanmar, known to many as the former Burma. It is such a secret destination for the longest time. But when they opened their gates to visitors and tourists, the sudden gush of guests was evident in the airport as we landed.

I did not know much about the country before I came. It was unfortunate to know so little about our ASEAN neighbor. This trip gave me that chance to know more.

My acquaintance party with the country was unforgettable alright. But I was in awe to find a spot that left me without words. I have never seen so much gold in my life. It shone nonstop from dusk till dawn. Just laying eyes on the Shwe Dagon Pagoda made me feel like a million bucks!

The Shwe Dagon in Sunset Colors

At the pagodas, footwear is not allowed. So we had to walk barefoot from the entrance of the pagoda. We left our shoes by the door. Visitors are expected to wear respectful clothing, no sleeveless shirts or shorts. The national costume, a longyi, would come in handy.

Golden Wonderland at the Shwe Dagon Pagoda

Myanmar cuisine is a vegetable feast! During my visit to Myanmar, my diet required eating a healthy amount of vegetables. This was a challenge in my native Philippines. Our cuisine was not a big fan of vegetables, which is lamentable. But here in Myanmar? No problem!

I tasted vegetable and non-meat options that I have not seen anywhere else. Gingko nuts stir-fried with asparagus, green beans.  What a treat…

Now, what do I say about this tofu salad? I had to check with my friend Khaing what the main ingredient on this salad was. And she confirmed that it was tofu indeed. I had tried many types of tofu. The Japanese silken tofu was a cut above all the rest. But after trying this tofu, I’d say this is a very close second. It had the interesting consistency of a maja blanca, a Filipino coconut dessert. So unique! And boy I really loved it!

 

During our rest day, we headed to the Bogyoke Aung San Market, formerly known as Scott Market to see what’s in store. Just like before, shopping didn’t interest us. Except to buy some longyi to take home.

We looked for a noodle soup to try. To mark another street food conquest, but this time in Yangon. Check this video out to see where we took a seat for lunch.

https://youtu.be/sB7lXMi-vPQ

In this canteen, we found this noodle soup reminiscent of a Filipino sotanghon. Vermicelli noodles, veggies, chicken/pork in a clear soup, topped with peanuts. Another noodle soup that was so worth the trip. Another achievement, unlocked!

I swore this could pass as sotanghon, but with a clear soup

Ready for lunch!

 

Bogyoke Aung San Market
Bogyoke Aung San Rd,Dagon, Yangon, Myanmar

 

P.S. This article was originally published in my personal blog, Chowpowwows, where chow is always on the lowdown. 

Published by Michelle Africa