On our second day in Yangon we decided to visit Dalah as it was described by Lonely Planet as a “Don’t miss” location. We walked from our hotel to the ferry station (it is approximately 15 mins walking from Sule Pagoda). Leading up to the ferry there is a market selling fruits and vegetables.
At the station of the ferry we were immediately approached by someone working there who instructed us on how to get the ticket. The return ticket to Dalah from Yangon ferry station is 2000 Kyats per person. We bough our ticket and boarded the ferry. There is a special seating area reserved for foreigners on the ferry, but you are allowed to sit anywhere. Lonely Planet described the ferry ride as a spectacular experience with a market on the boat, however on our boat ride there was no market unfortunately and everyone was just sitting down quietly.
The ride is 15 minutes to the other side of the river. When you arrive in Dalah, your foreigner look will sure attract a lot of attention from taxi drivers. You can go to several places around including a snake temple and a fishers village. We were more interested in checking out Dalah and decided we will just walk around the town.
Dalah is indeed different and much more rural than Yangon, however it is not a breathtaking experience. It is a small village / town and does not have too much to offer. We walked around there for about an hour hoping to find something nice, but besides the vegetable market there was not much attraction, and besides it was a really hot day.
So we decided to have lunch in a small restaurant, which was mainly for locals as no one spoke English and the plastic chairs were so small that Tomer practically had to squat while eating. But we managed to order some vegetarian dish with rice for 1000 Kyat per person. It was very tasty and a fun experience with all the locals watching us carefully to see how we enjoy their traditional vegetable curry with rice.
After lunch, we headed back to Yangon by ferry. This time the ferry was also a normal ride without any of the spectacles described in Lonely Planet (maybe times have changed…). We then decided to go to Kandawgyi lake to see the Karaweik golden palace with its two golden chicken looking birds. We walked to Sule and then took a local bus that dropped us off just in front of the lake. The buses in Yangon are really useful! They take longer than a taxi but cost only 100 Kyats per person and are quite an experience and a good way to mingle with the locals. The lake was definitely worth the visit. As an artificial lake (created from water of nearby Inya Lake), it is quite large and is the home for some little turtles.
We finished off the day eating at the touristy 19th street restaurant district (we had to see what it was all about). The 19thy street was also the only place in Yangon that we saw many tourists at once. The restaurants seemed to be all nice, however the prices were of course a bit higher due to it being the tourist center. We had a tasty grilled whole fish for 6000 Kyats (3-4 Euros), which is still very cheap for European standards.