Report by Peter Long
Campomanes Memorial Yangon International Open was played on 5-12 July 2011 in Yangon, Myanmar. Philippine’s IM Oliver Barbosa emerged winner with 7.5 points. FM Peter Long enjoyed a tour around Yangon and here are his impressions.
One of the most important Buddhist shrines in the world but by itself one of the wonders of the ancient world, the Shwedagon Pagoda dominates the Yangon skyline, part of the life of ever city dweller, and is literally the centre of the Myanmar universe.
Shwedagon Pagoda is 2,500 years old, materialising in brilliant epoch in Buddhist history. Two Myanmar brothers visited the Buddha in India with a gift of honey cakes and were rewarded with 8 hairs personally removed from his head for enshrinement in their native town which is Yangon today.
On their return the hairs were presented to their King who erected the Pagoda which originally just 66 feet high has grown from the 14th century onwards to its present 326 feet height!
Shwedagon is not the only thing that Yangon has to offer!
Another major attraction is Karaweik Palace in the Royal Gardens (yes, Yangon is a city of parks) which for many years was something only ordinary people could gape at! With the end of the royalty, this golden barge was where only the richest and most noble of society would assemble for whatever such people did for leisure and so became of symbol of aspiration.
Today it has become a restaurant for grand events and functions, with cultural shows daily together with Myanmar traditional food served most evening as a buffet (not the food pictured which is a typical meal!).
For more, I strongly recommend you visit Myanmar! It is inexpensive and a truly wonderful experience.