Pre-monsoon bucket list

Feel like you’ve wasted your dry season? Didn’t do enough jogging, ultimate frisbee or rooftop drinking? Don’t worry, there’s still time to sneak in these dry season activities.

By JARED DOWNING | FRONTIER

Feed reptiles

The Thaketa Crocodile Farm, which raises crocs for their hides, allows visitors to admire their prehistoric death lizards from raised catwalks. Buy a bag of raw fish filets and watch the crocs snap the treats out of the air.

Visit the Nagar Glass Factory

While this famous glass factory was destroyed in 2008’s Cyclone Nargis, it is not forgotten. The overgrown (and mosquito-infested) compound is covered in literal heaps of cups, plates, vases, decanters and other charming rustic glassware, available for purchase from the owners of the former factory.

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Take a sunset river cruise

Had enough wild boat parties? Try a romantic river cruise. Roughly K20,000 each will get you and a sweetheart dinner and beer on the Yangon River from one of the tour companies that operate from Botahtaung Jetty (Royal Green River is a good bet).

See the fountain show at People’s Square

People’s Park is always a good spot for a picnic, but the elaborate dancing fountain show – with lights, music, and even video projected on a screen of water – makes it worth visiting the promenade at dusk.

Rent a motorbike in Dala

It isn’t hard to convince one of the motorbike taxi operators that gather near the Dala ferry to let you self-drive his bike for an afternoon. Cruise the rolling fields and villages south of Yangon and bring a picnic for sunset.

Hop to Seikgyi island

For another quick escape, head to Wardan jetty in western downtown and hop onto one of the longtail boats that ply regularly back and forth from the docks to Seikgyikanaungto, an island township in the Twante Canal. Once in Seikgyi village, rent a bicycle and pedal through a rural scene of rice fields and overexcited children. Go early to avoid heatstroke.

Rediscover 19th Street

I get it, the novelty of Yangon’s bustling, open-air hotspot wears off. But these last few dry nights are the perfect time to give 19th Street’s iconic cheap mojitos and BBQ skewers a last hurrah.

Visit the Rangoon War Cemetery

While the Taukkyan War Cemetery in Mingaladon Township is a better-known site, the smaller Rangoon War Cemetery, off Pyay Road in Sanchaung Township, is an impeccably manicured memorial garden where more than 1,000 Allied soldiers have been laid to rest.

Play paintball

Got a flatmate who won’t do the dishes? A friend who never returned your toaster oven? Bring them to ANT Paintball Club in Mingaladon Township and unleash your rage in a potentially painful but not life threatening display of violence.

Go horseback riding

The Yangon Equestrian Club in East Dagon Township provides horses and riding lessons to indulge your inner cowboy/cowgirl/Aragorn from Lord of the Rings.

Do a rooftop pub crawl

Yangon’s lovely rooftop bars will soon either close for the season or, at least, become a lot less cool. So engage in an epic rooftop tour with a sunset drink at Atlas followed by Penthouse, Sky Bar, Vista Bar and Eclipse, before ending the night at Sapphire Lounge atop Alfa Hotel.

By Jared Downing

By Jared Downing

Jared Downing is an American journalist from Colorado and Alabama. He likes podcasts, radio theatre and hitchhiking and collects cans of sardines from around the world.
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