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Surprises For The Tet New Year in Yangon

Tet New Year, Dance of the Dragon, Yangon, Myanmar

Tet New Year, Dance of the Dragon, Yangon, Myanmar

The best while traveling often occurs completely unexpected… I actually didn’t even know it was the Tet New Year on that Friday, February 20th, 2015!

I first got completely lost on the way to the People Park (it wasn’t the best idea to try and walk), where I wanted to have a relaxing stroll in this warm afternoon, waiting for the perfect light at Shwedagon Pagoda. I dropped by at a small café, but could not get clear explanations, only “very far, very far”. Not really comforting… A few minutes later, a cab stopped, and 3 ladies that I saw at the café told me to climb in, seriously explaining “No Money, No Money”. None of them would take a “No” for an answer, and they definitely wouldn’t leave a poor, lost tourist walking these hot streets in mid-afternoon. So I got a free ride to Shwedagon Pagoda with 3 very elegant ladies I had never met in my life…

Miss Election, Tet New Year, Yangon, Myanmar

Miss Election, Tet New Year, Yangon, Myanmar

Entering People’s Park, I was in for my second surprise of the day… Attractive young ladies in traditional dresses were posing for the picture in front of some kind of stage or “catwalk” surrounded by many food stalls. I couldn’t get clear explanations, so I sat down and waited for what would happen. And waited, and waited, until some obviously famous people (everyone took pictures of them) arrived and took VIP seats. Then the show started! I am not sure I understood everything (anything), but being the only foreigner, flashing a big camera at that, I was allowed to stay right next to the stage to take pictures of what seemed like the election of “Miss Whatever”…

Miss Election, Tet New Year, Yangon, Myanmar

Miss Election, Tet New Year, Yangon, Myanmar

Miss Election, Tet New Year, Yangon, Myanmar

Miss Election, Tet New Year, Yangon, Myanmar

Miss Election, Tet New Year, Yangon, Myanmar

Miss Election, Tet New Year, Yangon, Myanmar

After a few cocktails at the Vista Bar (outstanding Margaritas), enjoying stunning views of the Shwedagon Paya, I must have been unclear (nothing to do with alcohol, of course) but the cab drop me 25 blocks from my hostel, so I decided to go for some serious street food and have one of those amazing BBQ… I saw a large crowd and simply joined, without knowing what was happening… And stumbled upon Dragon Dances for the Tet New Year… 3 dancing schools were competing against each other. I was quickly invited to seat on the first raw, so I had an almost perfect view of the Dance…

Yangon-211

Shwedagon Paya, View at night from the Vista Bar, Yangon, Myanmar

Yes, while traveling, the best is almost always the least expected!

Miss Election, Tet New Year, Yangon, Myanmar

Miss Election, Tet New Year, Yangon, Myanmar

Miss Election, Tet New Year, Yangon, Myanmar

Miss Election, Tet New Year, Yangon, Myanmar

Miss Election, Tet New Year, Yangon, Myanmar

Miss Election, Tet New Year, Yangon, Myanmar

Miss Election, Tet New Year, Yangon, Myanmar

Miss Election, Tet New Year, Yangon, Myanmar

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