Why I would rather want to make home in Yangon, than in Hyderabad
Barely 10 hours after a trip back from Hong Kong and Myanmar, things at home in Hyderabad seems to be boring and falling apart. I travel not to escape home, but to find a home which is less ordinary.
The dumped capital city of Myanmar, might be somewhat 30 years back in time, but since my first day in Yangon there was an equation building up between me and this city. I totally love to be there than in my home city.
I am still in search of a city where I could find the life I wanted. Here are few reasons why Yangon could well be it.
1. Shwedagon Pagoda
This temple is one of my favorite temples in the world alongside Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia. A temple with stunningly complex geometry, this is where peace and serenity can be found even among the 2000 odd people around you. As, the sunsets, this place is mind blowing. The special thing about the pagoda is the lighting, which gives an aura that Lord Buddha’s soul is still prevailing here.
2. 19th Street
Not as vibrant and sexy like the Lawn Kwai Fong of Hong Kong or Clarke Quay of Singapore, 19th street in Yangon is equivalent to Khao San street of Bangkok. Here cheap beer flows plentifully, smoking sea food barbecue or occasionally some weird foods, its the place where both the rich locals and the poor tourists love to socialize. There is no place like this in Hyderabad.
3. Wonderful people
By far, the greatest experiences I have during travel are the moments shared with strangers. In Myanmar, people where the best part of the journey. Their overwhelming kindness and pleasant smiles automatically melts my hearts. Everyone who knew that I was a foreigner, would like to interact and very curious to know my name and where I come from.
4. Living a real life
Yangon is 10 to 25 years beyond the world and technology plays a very little role or no role in daily life. So, I guess it gives me an opportunity to live a real life than a digital life. Traveling made me realize that modern technology are nothing but distractions from human interactions where there are no expressions or emotions.
5. Low costs of living
The cost of living is really cheap in Yangon. Food costs about 1-2 USD a meal and the transportation costs are the cheapest in Asia. The cost of hotels are expensive to the rest of South East Asia, but the real estate property prices are very low and it is actually cheaper to buy a house in Yangon.
No rapes. No robberies. No accidents. That’s how safe Yangon. Though westerners might be worried about safety in Yangon, it is really a safe city than most of the other Asian cities. The people are very compassionate, so they would be the last person to cause harm to others. The crime rate is very low. Cheating or causing harm to foreigners carries a heavy penalty.
7. Overall city vibe
Yangon is much more happening than Hyderabad. The people are more energetic and artful. Many people might disagree, but I disagree with them.
So, had I found a better home in Yangon? Few things about Myanmar might be weird, but yes, maybe. I don’t know. All I want is a life which is less ordinary. My quest to find the best place to make a home is still on.
Couple praying at Shwedagon Pagoda – http://www.flickr.com/photos/rwp-roger/4361022275
Smiling Burmese kids – http://www.flickr.com/photos/deepblue66/8577667524/