Myanmar vs. India AFC Football at the Thuwanna

AFC Football Myanmar vs. India

Yangon’s Thuwanna Stadium played host to the FIFA AFC Football Qualifier between the White Angels and the Blue Tigers

The 2017 FIFA AFC Football Asian Cup Qualifier match between Myanmar and India was played on March 28th at the Thuwanna Stadium in Yangon and ended in a 1-0 result for the visiting team.

For all the high-resolution photos from the Thuwanna Stadium: Click Here

AFC Football

“Mate, wanna go see the Myanmar vs. India Football game? March 28th and tickets should be cheap.” Sounds good to me hey. For 3,000 Myanmar Kyat (roughly $2.50 USD), you can sit in an open-seating area near the pitch which honestly, you really can’t beat. I won’t go too deep into the details of the match (you can catch all the highlights here), but as you can imagine from two teams ranked quite low on the FIFA Rankings there were many easy chances missed for both teams albeit with several spurts of decent play. India took the win 1-0 at the end with a goal in the last five minutes. I’m going to focus on the stadium and experience, but if you want to see all the pics in high resolution check out the Facebook album here.

The Thuwanna Stadium in Yangon is the premier multi-function stadium in Myanmar. I know that might not be saying much given the state of stadiums in the country but it is everything you need for a sports event and literally nothing more. No concessions, limited signs (and those that exist are in Burmese) and chairs which range from affixed plastic shells on concrete to bare concrete steps. I felt like the VIP box seats might be worth a few extra Kyat, but no… no a/c in the VIP. Fine by me, I like to be a ‘man of the people.’ What I didn’t realize was that myself and a mate would be two of the handful of foreigners in the entire stadium.

A couple of Israelis Abroad

First things first – the kit. Upon hopping out of the cab, we drew looks from everyone around wondering why two foreigners (read: white guys) would be at the AFC football. Not wanting to stand out and, of course, being railroaded by a couple old ladies with obviously ‘official’ gear, we picked up two Myanmar football headbands for 500 Kyat each ($0.35) and upon entering the stadium, two official kits for 9,000 Kyat each ($7.00). Not bad compared to the Euro kits which run from $100 USD and up. Each step of the way we were stopped for selfies by locals who loved our outfits and the fact that we showed up to the match. Two Israelis and 32,000 of our newest and closest friends.

Once we found our gate (which of course was any gate they let us in), we made our way to some primo seats thanks to the open seating setup. I caught several people taking our photos and you know, when in Myanmar you just get used to that sort of thing. One of the awesome things about the Myanmar people is that they are the politest fans I’ve ever seen. They smile the whole game, sing and chant for their team and never boo or curse the team even if they miss a sitter or when they gave up the winning goal at the death. Really a great experience vs. western fans who curse as a matter of commentary.

And… free scarfs for the diehard fans. We were able to get some as well.
Not a bad seat for about $2.50

 

Night falling on the Thuwanna

The 18:00 kickoff saw night fall in the second half and after the final whistle, fans started pouring out of the stadium en masse. We got out and started heading towards the main road when I spotted a gap in the surrounding fence and a clear path to the field. About 10 minutes after the whistle the path was empty and we headed towards the field. Perhaps they thought we were FIFA officials or something but no one batted an eye. So to the field we went!

Myanmar’s #1 Ultra Fan
View from the penalty

All in all, a great experience at the Thuwanna Stadium and for the price, absolutely worth it. If you happen to be traveling through Myanmar and find out there is a match to take in, definitely make the effort and of course, if you can make it on to the field don’t skip the opportunity!

For all the high-resolution photos from the Thuwanna Stadium: Click Here

Of Tropical Diseases and Beautiful Lakes

Inya Lake

Of Tropical Diseases and Beautiful Lakes – Checking out Inya Lake in Northern Yangon

Surrounded by new developments and dilapidated old ones, Inya Lake is a part of Yangon’s long and storied history.

For Myanmar Travel Guide information on Inya Lake: Click Here

For all my high-resolution photos of Inya Lake in Yangon, Myanmar: Click Here

Inya Lake Inya Lake
Before & After – 4 days in

When people talk about their worst fears, usually it’s like “bro I hate snakes” or “dude I can’t stand clowns” or even “OMG, like, cockroaches are icks.” Welp, in my case I learned that it’s being in a third-world country and getting bit by a bug with some weird type of infectious disease and the local doctor says with absolute authority “yeah we’ve seen that before.” Then does nothing because there is nothing he can do.

Well this morning I’m grateful for doxycycline, the atomic bomb of antibiotics. The Iron Sheikh of Defeating Infections. The… you get the point. Doxycycline treats “Lyme disease, chronic prostatitis, sinusitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, acne, the yips, rosacea, rickettsial infections, urinary tract infections, intestinal infections, eye infections, gonorrhea, chlamydia, periodontitis, Baltimore-rioting syndrome and more. As an aside, I do want to mention how three nurses came running over to me in the International Emergency Medical Center and waited on my every need. I received two doctors’ undivided attention and they sorted me out with high priority. Israel could learn a thing or two from the Burmese as how to run an emergency med center efficiently and effectively.

So let’s continue shall we to the gorgeous Inya Lake, located smack-dab in the center of Yangon. Surrounded by beautiful golden pagodas, hotels, restaurants, a gorgeous walking path and gardens (as is custom here), the lake played host to many events for the Thingyan Festival (Myanmar’s New Year).

Inya Lake

Modern and primitive come together all around the lake and, as I’ve said before, the higher you go the more it seems like the city is growing right out of the jungle. This is also a hot spot for young local couples to come out, take a walk or lay and rest in one of the many gardens. The gardens are dotted with umbrellas which shield the couples from the blistering sun and weird foreigners with cameras snapping photos of them… like me.

Inya Lake

Inya Lake

Inya Lake

Inya Lake

Inya Lake

Inya Lake

Inya Lake

Inya Lake

Inya Lake

Inya Lake

Inya Lake

Inya Lake

Inya Lake

Inya Lake

Inya Lake

Inya Lake

For Myanmar Travel Guide information on Inya Lake: Click Here

For all my high-resolution photos of Inya Lake in Yangon, Myanmar: Click Here

Photo Journal: Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda Yangon Myanmar

The world-famous Shwedagon Pagoda is more impressive in person than in photos or videos

The Shwedagon Pagoda is a pillar of Myanmar Buddhism and is as revered as it is incredible.

For all my High-Resolution images of the Shwedagon Pagoda: Click Here

For all my High-Resolution images of the Shwedagon Pagoda at NightClick Here

Shwedagon Pagoda

The Shwedagon Pagoda located in Yangon, Myanmar is certainly a one-of-a-kind compound visible from all parts of the former Burmese capital. Also known as the Great Dagon Pagoda or the Golden Pagoda, the main spire stands 325 feet tall (99 meters or taller than a football field is long) and is one of the more impressive sites in the entire area.

Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda
There are thousands of statues of Gautama Buddha around the Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda
Gautam Buddha is covered by different robes according to the season in Burmese tradition

The entire “compound” features hundreds of smaller stupas with Buddhas and carvings of all shapes and sizes. The detail on each column, figurine, statue and stand is incredible. There is so much to see even in one of these individual stupas that it overwhelms the senses to the point where you look at the main figurine and move on. To give each its proper due would take months. Literally months.

There are 4 entrances to the Shwedagon – East, West, North and South. Each entrance contains a massive covered walkway guarded by two Chinthes – Burmese mythological creatures – and many flights of stairs. There is a ‘bonus’ entrance off the north side with an elevator for those who need assistance reaching the pagoda which sits on top of the Great Dagon Hill.

Shwedagon Pagoda
Yangon Myanmar in 2016

Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda
Rangoon, Burma, is one of the premier places for travel photography

Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda

Vipassana Meditation techniques along with many others are practiced throughout Myanmar and Burma is home to thousands of monasteries, some of which accept foreign practitioners.

Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda
All type of meditation can be seen at the Shwedagon, including Vipassana

Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda

For a country that ranks 2nd in landmass in Southeast Asia, Myanmar has more than its share of golden stupas and pagodas located throughout. Yangon’s centerpiece is a class above the rest as its renown is legend around the globe of the world.

For all my High-Resolution images of the Shwedagon Pagoda: Click Here

For all my High-Resolution images of the Shwedagon Pagoda at NightClick Here

Shwedagon Pagoda
Rocking a longyi in Myanmar Burma

Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda
Actual Ivory carved with images of Gautama Buddha
Shwedagon Pagoda
Make your own globe of the world!