But this is an old, disheveled work in progress, multi-ethnic, interesting, and even picturesque. The city border to the south and west is the Yangon River, also called the Hlaing River. To the east is Pazundaung Chaung (Canal),which flows into the Yangon River. To the north, the city pens up, spreading along long avenues. The northern end is where most businesses and hotels are located.
The two most important townships outside of the central area are Dagon, home to the famous Shwedagon Paya, and People’s Park, and Bahan, home to many of Rangoon’s mid range and top end hotels and inns. The Kandawgyu Lake sits directly on the north south flow of traffic, and is a most convenient landmark for us tourists. The central city is where we plan to explore on foot.
Since Mike and I are not “temple” guys, we will find other things to amuse ourselves. Both Chinatown and the famous Bogyoke Aung San Market are sure to capture our attention for at least one day. But the Shwedagon Pagoda is the highlight of most tours in Rangoon, along with the nearby excellent restaurants in the area.
The area is a contrast of great dimension, our 5 star Shangri-La Hotel amidst filth, grime, poverty, open sewage, and beggars of all shapes and sexes. But people go about their lives, perfectly safe here for us to walk the streets after dark. We walked about 20 minutes to energy infused Chinatown, filled with teeming youngsters, eating and drinking cheap beer in big groups. Mostly, young boys, few women, usually families only or couples. Not sure if it is demographics or culture.