To round up our time in Myanmar, and Yangon specifically, we planned to ride the Yangon Circular Train for the full 3hr journey. It would, I hoped, provide a small insight into the daily life of those who lived on the outskirts of Yangon, rather than the inner and downtown bustling neighbourhoods we had seen so far.
The journey is known for the onboard vendors selling everything from fresh fruit and vegetables, to local snacks. They move between carts, perching on a small plastic stool to allow commuters to buy produce.
The train took us past local markets within inches of the train tracks, bustling with people picking up their daily goods. The dried and fresh fish stalls giving off a particularly strong smell. What interested me was just how close local life was to the tracks. Small shack like housing built within metres of the train, kids playing football and volleyball directly next to the tracks, people washing clothes and themselves in any available water, local farmers growing crops and livestock alongside the bustling trains.
The most eye opening sight during the journey were the mounds of rubbish piled next to the tracks, often directly next to locals housing, both small shacks and low-rise buildings. Considering how generally clean we thought Yangon was, this was quite a shocking sight. Yes, this is a developing country and full waste management services don't exist, but allowing rubbish to pile up like this, infecting the water systems and creating such health risks for those who live in these areas did show a great divide in the population.