Inle Lake Park, Yangon, Myanmar
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Mission Dolores Park, San Francisco meet your Burmese soul sister
Everywhere I travel, no matter how close or far away from home, I notice family and friends gathering together outdoors. Rosy cheeked children run around, teenagers don the latest fashions and adults mingle together sharing stories. Whether it be in small town Ohio,coastal Vietnam or urban Paris, public spaces and parks are common gathering places for loved ones. I like to say that it's the same, same everywhere but just a bit different. Case in point - my favorite park in the whole wide world is San Francisco's Mission Dolores, where hippies, yuppies and absolutely everyone in between gather on sunny afternoons to picnic, play music and simply hang out. It's soulful. It's flavorful. It's a unique utopia where just about anything goes. In fact, I didn't think I'd find anywhere in the world quite so unique. But, then I did - in Yangon, Myanmar. Yangon's Inle Lake Park has all of the pizzazz of Mission Dolores Park, but with a distinct Burmese flavor! Like Mission Dolores, there are guitars, food vendors and even a few beer cans. But, men also wear longyis (long skirts), women paint their cheeks with white circular shapes and the music tends more toward Thai pop than American rock. While visiting I sat back, relaxed and tried to take it all in - savored the action, the music, the intensity. Enjoyed every last minute until the park lights went out, and it was time to cycle home.
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