|March 1, 2015||Filed under Myanmar (Burma), Yangon|
With the gradual introduction of political reforms, the release from house arrest of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in 2010, and the lifting of Western sanctions starting in 2012, foreign investment and tourists are returning again to Yangon, even though the city is no longer the capital of Myanmar.
New cars, mobile phones, Internet access, etc. are all now available in Yangon. However, local infrastructure can barely meet the capacity demands: hotel prices are high; traffic is gridlocked; Internet is slow. Even as new condominiums, offices and hotels rise, many historic buildings remain neglected. New Asian and Western eateries are gaining traction but luckily traditional street vendors, restaurants and teahouses remain. (more…)
|February 15, 2015||Filed under Myanmar (Burma), Yangon|
The nourishing glow of Shwedagon Paya witnessed on my first evening in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) stayed with me, even as the heat, traffic jams and downtown crowds of subsequent days vied to extinguish it. I felt the city pulsating with energy, trying to re-define itself, as very recent political reforms have begun to usher in myriad opportunities.
Yangon is a complex fusion of East and West, colonial past and quasi-democratic present, deep-rooted Buddhist traditions and budding 21st century spirit. For “Foreigners,” it may be perplexing and overwhelming, but it is a city surging back onto the world scene and worth exploring. (more…)