Myanmar, Around Yangon
Yangon’s circular train runs on rickety narrow gauge rails from the city center, out past the airport and suburbs, and into rural lands surrounding the capital. The loop takes three hours, stops at around 40 stations, costs just a dollar, and is a great way to see life outside of the city. Children working is a common sight here, whether labouring, selling street food or in the fields, they are everywhere and are obviously not at school.
Women would lay their laundry on the tracks to dry, monks on bicycles glide past serenely, families are living and sleeping under bridges, a vegetable market is setup on the platform at one station, shacks cling precariously to the sides of trash filled rivers, and life on-board is a buzz of chat and betel nut spitting amongst the locals.
Bogyoke Aung San Market
The Bogyoke Aung San Market is a sprawling mass of antique vendors, gem stores, art galleries, and souvenir shops selling all manner of Buddha images, carvings, lacquer-ware, handicrafts, pottery, textiles, books, and artifacts from the colonial era. Hours slip by wandering around the complex and through tiny alleys, wet markets, electronics shops, trinket stalls and pretty much anything else you can imagine – its all here somewhere.
A little known crocodile farm out in suburban Yangon is the destination today; I’ve been to these before in Thailand and Malaysia but nothing as up close and personal as this. A large central lake holds 165 reptiles, some up to 6 meters long. For a buck you get a bowl of fish to feed the crocs (they don’t use meat as it is too expensive) which are literally a few feet away from you. If you left your hand there for too long there is a distinct possibility of losing it, safety standards don’t exist out here, enter at your own peril.