Our one day Bago trip start early in the morning, at around 8.30 am. The private taxi meets us at the hotel lobby sharp at the promised timing. The car approach Inya Lake (picture above) which is one of the largest lake in Yangon after 20 mins driving. Inya Lake is a popular recreational area for the local. It is located next to Yangon University. Inya Lake (beside Kandawgyi Lake) is also an artificial lake built by the British as a water reservoir to provide water supply to Yangon. If you have more time and don’t know where to go, you may want to have a stroll in Inya Lake.
Observe th pedestrians in the small township outside Yangon
Not far from Inya lake, prabably after half an hour drive; I know we are in a small township away from the city as they are no tall buildings anymore and more motorbikes. You see people rushing out on the Saturday morning, probably to do some groceries shopping. There are yellow pedestrian crossing but look like cars aren’t stopping. It seems like locals are familiar with crossing the road without using the yellow pedestrian crossing. The walk freely and fearlessly through the road didn’t realise that they actually taking a risk every time they cross the roads.
Pick up Cars are widely seen
Pick up cars are often seen as a public transport in Myanmar. Sitting like so ( above pic ) can be very dangerous for that man with Thanaka painted face and I hope Myanmar government can help raise the public awareness in Road safety.
Below are monks in another pick up truck. Pick up truck seem like a very popular transport in Myanmar.
Pagoda in every corner
Myanmar is a country full of pagodas. You see it everywhere and every corner, not just Shwedagon Pagoda and Sule Pagoda. There are still thousands of pagoda in little township that are not famous. Most pagodas are in gold color but there are also in white. The word pagoda in Myanmar mean a cone-shaped structure related to Buddhism religion.
Myanmar monastic school
Myanmar has tons of monasteries and going to visit one later in Bago and happen to pass by one of them on the way. Monks in burgundy robes lined up walking on the streets seeking alms. ( Donation can be food or money).
Taukkyan War Cemetery – Topic of this blog!
Our driver has the first stop at Taukkyan War Cemetery. It is a cemetery for Allied soldiers from the British Commonwealth who died in battle in Myanmar during the Second World War. It is about 25 km away from Yangon.
This is the largest of the three war cemeteries in Myanmar which home 6374 Commonwealth graves from Second World War (867 of which were unidentified) and 52 from First World War.
The Rangoon Memorial pillars with over 27,000 names inscribed.
Picnic in the graveyard
The war cemetery is well maintained but I was surprised many local Burmese come here for leisure. Few families have the food and drink on the grass, nice picnic area for the local I suppose since the lawn are well-trimmed. Some couples sit romantically amongst the graves and the children play happily. Not sure the dead would like the lively atmosphere? Probably some would like it as they have the locals entertaining them and won’t be too bored; dead & buried alone in the foreign land.
There are in total 867 unidentified graves in Taukkyan.
Final thoughts :
Sorry to learn that many soldiers from UK, Australia and other part of the commonwealth countries has fought in the Second World War, against the Japanese and sacrificed in this piece of foreign land. The saddest things was the soldiers were burried here in Taukkyan War Cemetery, which is so many thousands miles away from their home country, family, relative & friends.
Visit Taukkyan War Cemetery only if you are doing Bago one day tour as it is on the way and about 45 mins from Yangon. What surprised me most is I saw local Burmese use it as a place for leisure and picnics. I thought cemetery should be a quiet place for the dead?