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Exchange for FEC


1-hour flight from Bangkok I set foot on Yangon International Airport with expectation on first of February on 2002. Pass through the immigration, there are notorious enforced "Exchange" waiting us. "Dear me!"



You have to exchange 200$ for FEC (Foreign Exchange Certificates) just here. 1-FEC equal to 1$; so to say it's kind of a note. You can use them for Hotels, entrance fees and tickets to ride just in Myanmar.

But there is one problem we can't get common currency "Kyat" at the airport!

Anyway we have to take a taxi to Yangon town with 2-3 US$ (or 2-3FEC).

1US$ = 1FEC = 700Kyats (as of March, 2002)

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Shwethalyaung Buddha

Huge reclining Buddha image : Shwethalyaung Buddha

Bago is ancient town once capital of Mon tribe placed; located 80km northeast from Yangon. It took 2-hours ride by taxi and paid 6000 kyats for one-way trip. There is huge reclining Buddha image with beautiful mosaic decoration that's 55m long.

Mr. Htun Htun

Mr. Htun Htun with his "Trishaws" and his family

Shwethalyaung Buddha, Tobacco factory, Shwemawdaw Pagoda ...etc. We saw the sights of town by popular vehicle "Trishaws" that is bicycle with 2-seats on the side and the passengers sit back to back. As it's very fantastic experience we enjoyed the sightseeing of Bago.

Shwemawdaw Pagoda

Setting sun view at Shwemawdaw Pagoda

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Faraway to Kyaiktiyo

Truck bus

We were all jammed into truck bus

I recommend you to go Kyaiktiyo that is famous as one of the best pilgrimage place in Myanmar. Although it's hard to reach, if you chartered taxi you can see "Golden rock" on one-day trip. We started Bago at 8:00 in the morning, and changed truck bus at the foot village Kinpun of Kyaiktiyo.


Sedan-chair service with four young palanquin bearers

You have to 1-hour climb on a steep hill to the Golden Rock, but "Don't worry!" There are porter and have sedan-chair service.


Check point

Check point

You have to pay 6$ (6FEC) for enter the mountain

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Golden rock!

"Look!" At last we could see "Golden Rock".

As it was in the daytime uncovered marble pathway was terrible hot to my bare foot. You know visitors have to take their shoes off before enter the holy sites this custom is very important and stick to the rule in Myanmar.

Golden Rock

Holy "Golden Rock"

Nearly 85% of Myanmar's people are
Theravada Buddhism.

They pray and put gold leaves on Pagoda, Buddha image for it is generally believed that put golden leaves on holy things earned salvation.

But women don't allowed touch them. "Be careful !"

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Way to Inle Lake

Used Japanese bus named View

Used Japanese bus led us to Inle Lake

Next afternoon I left Bago to Inle Lake by long distance night bus. To my surprise the bus is Japanese used bus named "View". Although the body was beautiful enough, engine might be old and need to repair. The bus had engine trouble at midnight we were stranded for 2-hours. You know "Appearances can be misleading".

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