Well, I had a mediocre night’s sleep. Ambien just doesn’t seem to work for me anymore. I was hoping for a good night’s sleep, because we have a grueling day ahead. Hours of sightseeing, then a few hours at the airport (our flight leaves at 10 minutes to midnight), then five hours on a plane to Beijing, seven hours on a layover in Beijing (ugh!), and then almost 14 hours to JFK airport. Hey, it is what it is.
We met back up with Myo, our guide from our very first day. Our bags were loaded into the car, and off we went to Bago. Located a 90 minute drive northeast of Yangon, and formerly known as Pegu, the town of Bago was the capital of several Mon and Burmese kingdoms, and flourished as a bastion of Theravada Buddhism in the 15th century, and then as a regional trade center in the 16th century. Each time a new kingdom arose, new gilded pagodas and reclining Buddhas were added. This quiet, scruffy little provincial market town now boasts a spectacular crop of monuments spanning more than 1400 years of history. Bago has been chosen as the location for Yangon’s new Hanthawaddy International Airport, so the town will become even more accessible, if the project ever is completed. (It started in 1994, so don’t hold your breath.)
The drive to Bago took a while, and wasn't very scenic, I'm afraid. But as we headed north toward Inya Lake, I knew we were getting close to Aung San Suu Kyi's home, so I asked if we could take a detour and see it.
Outside are prominent signs indicating that this is the headquarters of the National League for Democracy, and there's a picture of her father, General Aung San, at the top.