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Stopover Rangoon

Calcutta - Rangoon - Bangkok


View London to Sydney 1966 on Ozac's travel map.

From a letter home dated Saturday 22-10-1966

Bangkok, Thailand

We were a day and a half getting from Raxaul down to Calcutta by train and we stayed for four days in the Salvation Army hostel in Sudder St., in the same room as two years ago. I rather like Calcutta, but most people think it is one of the most depressing and overpopulated cities in India. We had a hectic day on Monday last, racing all over the city getting visas etc., as we had to have everything fixed before we flew out on Tuesday morning. We flew Union of Burma Airways and we were not even sure if we were going to take off until we were actually in the air; things were very disorganized - on their part, not ours. Anyway, we managed to get away at 9.15am Tuesday morning and had a very pleasant flight to Rangoon, Burma, as there were only 7 passengers on the plane (a Vickers Viscount) including ourselves and two other Australians, a Canadian, an Indian and a German. We flew over the Bay of Bengal, then crossed the coast and covered a vast area where they are having floods, before landing at Rangoon Airport. It was a 2½ hour flight. We had a 24 hour stopover in Rangoon, which was all our visas allowed, but time enough to see something of the place. The whole country of Burma is nationalized, and Rangoon appears to be a dying city. All the stores, banks and offices are locked and barred, closed down, and the people cannot even buy the simplest necessities. Still it is not a bad looking city, though fairly small, and there is one fabulous Buddhist temple there (Shwedagon) which is the most fantastic I have seen anywhere - everything covered in gold. We slept the night on couches in the terminal at the airport and left at 6.30am Wednesday for the 1½ hour flight to Bangkok. From Don Muang Airport in Bangkok we rang Mr. Windsor, the father of one of Ade’s friends in London, and he came out and picked us up. The Windsors are lovely people and their home is very pleasant. They took us downtown to a favourite restaurant for dinner last night. Bangkok is a really swinging city; restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, bright lights everywhere. It is very prosperous and very Americanized. Everything caters for the Yanks and there are thousands of them here, most of them soldiers on R&R from Vietnam. It’s very different from India, and we are enjoying it immensely. We are leaving tomorrow for Laos and then on to Cambodia, and we expect to be back in Bangkok about the 5th Nov. I can’t say yet exactly when we will be home. After we finally leave Thailand I guess we will spend about two to three weeks in Malaya and Singapore. Then it all depends on whether we decide to visit Indonesia or not, and we won’t know that until we reach Singapore. I have lost some weight on this trip Mum, same as last time, but I am in good health, especially after the walk in the hills, and you can fatten me up again when I get home.

Love, John

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Rangoon

Shwedagon Pagoda

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Shwedagon seen from nearby fields

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Approaches to the Pagoda complex

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Gilders at work on the Stupa

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(above & below) Shrines at the base of the Stupa

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Devotion

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A young Buddhist monk

* * *

Downtown

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The Sule Pagoda in central Rangoon

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Ade and I do the town

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Posted by Ozac 02:05 Archived in Myanmar Tagged temples pagodas burma yangon myanmar rangoon buddhists stupas

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