This is the 2nd place in South East Asia I did some running in as part of a weekend away. The true British colonialists amongst you will know this place as Rangoon, Burma, but well, it’s not called that anymore.
First impressions of Yangon is that it’s not a touristy venue and fast developing but still quite “improvisational” in its infrastructure. I can’t recommend it enough for those that like the ‘real’ side of Asia over the tourist resorts. It’s cheap, the food’s great (and has it’s own variations) and it has incredible temples and massive buddhas.
So anyway – the running bit. So Yangon isn’t too bad for running: there’s not crazy traffic, and there are some lakes and sort of parks to use as a focal point. The pavements aren’t great, and sometimes there are no pavements so you just hope cars avoid you. A few stray dogs as well, but they all seemed pretty tame and none tried to bite me, so that’s a win. You can also do some great temple tourism as running through the city is reasonably easy.
So I did 2 runs, the first from my $50/night hotel which was functional if not luxurious. I ran about 3km North to Lake Kandawgyi and basically ran a lap of that, alternating between running inside the fence of the park around it and then back outside when the paths disappeared or if there was wooden decking which looked treacherous. I saw an early morning aerobics crew, a few other runners but it was pretty quiet otherwise. Strava link here. I found Yangon less hot than Singapore, and maybe a bit less humid too. This was a 10 mile run and it was pretty easy and some good sights also. Enjoyable!
The next day I decided to venture a bit further afield to Lake Inla. My plan was to run a lap then run home via the Shwedogan temple. I got a 6.30am taxi to the bottom of Lake Inla – which cost $6. I was initially greeted by a dead kitten and just a main road, but as I turned to the lake there was a really nice stretch alongside the lake. The lake paths did end at several points, so you have to navigate a few back streets to follow the perimeter but it was pretty easy and not too busy.
From the lake you basically follow a main road (which was quiet and had wide pavements( towards the People’s Park and Shwedagon Pagoda. You could see quite a few sights if you chose to – I elected to mainly keep running until I got home and see them when I was less sweaty and could unlock my phone more easily for photos! This was an 18km run altogether and shorter than I thought so you could add on more for a long run. Lake Inla isn’t the most beautiful lake in the world – it’s basically just an expanse of water, but I did see some cool aquatic birds, and there are some interesting little food stalls around it.
I enjoyed both runs and would repeat them – Yangon is decent for running, although I didn’t find a great spot for fast running or intervals. You’d have to do an out and back along a good strip of pathway I expect.
That’s all for part 2 of my sort of running sort of travel blog of not much substance!