When we arrived for our two night booking Trevor was away on a work trip leaving us in the care of his partner Sanpapa. She was at work herself, but she made herself available by phone to direct our taxi driver to her home where her mother Winwin was waiting and made us welcome. Win Win spoke minimal English, but took us to the local phone shop to buy SIM cards. We were surprised how few people spoke English and our Burmese was non-existent, so San Pa Pa's consistant availability on the phone to translate our needs was very welcome.
Our room was simple with a mattress on the floor, but very clean and comfortable and it was obvious an effort had been made to make it as lovely as possible, with coffee and tea and a kettle. Also, we had the privilege of the only air conditioner in the house which was very welcome.
Their home is off the tourist track and right in amongst the local suburbs- which means traffic, busyness and dense population. It is about fifty metres from a busy road but noise was not an issue. Getting too and from the house took some time and cost with taxi's, but Yangon is just busy- and there is no way of avoiding the time and pollution that transport takes. Across the lane was a local market which felt as if no tourist had ever trodden before.
A taxi to downtown cost about 6000 kyat or we caught a taxi to the closest circle line station Parami for 2500. IT took about 20 mins by taxi to the Shwedogon Pagoda and cost 4000 kyat. The train was slower but a worthwhile alternative to travel downtown, being out of the slow traffic and to view of the suburbs.
The most outstanding part of our stay was San PaPa and Win Win's generosity and care. San Pa Pa went out of her way to support us with tourist information, itinarary ideas, interesting conversation, translation, free access to her kitchen and washing machine and on the night we left even made us a feast of Burmese food. Win Win was always waiting for us at the gate to return home saftley and negotiated the taxi fare for us. We couldnt have asked for more support and care from our hostesses which really helped us navigate the culture shock we felt on arriving in such a busy Asian city as Yangon, where little english was spoken.
Overall, we felt we had an authentic experience of life in the austere suburbs of Yangon.
If you want a a similar experience right in amonsgt it, that is clean, friendly, with not too many frills, and to mix with locals, Trevors place will suit you.
Thanks SanPaPa and WinWin for your generosity. Let us know if you ever make it to Australia.
Jude and Tom.