Dalah (Dala) is a 10-minute ferry journey from downtown Myanmar. There is much to experience, even before reaching the ferry terminal. Colonial era commercial buildings line the lower block of Pansodan Street. Across the pedestrian bridge over Strand Road, is a local market with street food, fruit and vegetable stalls.
Cherry (1), Cherry (2) or Cherry (3) ferries depart from the Pansodan Jetty every 20 minutes, with the last ferry from the Dala Jetty, at 9:00 pm. Foreigners have to pay MKK 4,000 for a return ticket in the office next to the ticket counter of Myanmar nationals.
The ferry to Dala is a colourful experience, which provides an opportunity to escape from Yangon for a few hours and view the city smoothly rocking over the water.
After disembarking at the Dala ferry, you will find a choice of rickshaws, tuk, tuks, motorcycles and taxis to take you into Dala township and beyond. A rickshaw (MKK 3,000 per person) or tuk tuk (about MKK 5,000) can take you to the seated Buddha statue at the Shwe Sayan Pagoda, the Dala market and to ChuChu, at 507 Khaye Road.
ChuChu is a social enterprise workshop that sells beautiful handicrafts made from recycled materials, such as bags and baskets woven from plastic strips, recycled fabrics and other materials, and colourful jewellery. As you walk the streets around the shop young children play, fixing bikes, kicking soccer-balls and dancing to the beat of contemporary Burmese music.
Dala provides access to the rural landscape of the Ayeyarwady Delta and also Twante, a small town that is a 45-minute taxi ride west of Dala. A taxi for the return journey to Twante can be negotiated for MKK 25,000 – 30,000. Twante is a small town about 45 minutes into the rice fields of the Ayeyarwady Delta past seemingly endless paddy fields.
Its attractions are the Oh-Bo Pottery Sheds, where the pot-making process can be experienced, and on the outskirts of Twante is Shwe San Daw Paya, which is a 76-metre (250ft) zedi (stupa) and Buddhist temple compound.
The road to Dala passes close to Baung Daw Gyoke Pagoda, which is surrounded by water, with 4 bridges to access the Pagoda. Also called Hmwe Paya or Snake Pagoda because 30-plus Burmese pythons, which are auspicious to local Buddhists. This is not the only Buddhist temple at which Burmese pythons are venerated. In Bago, at the Snake Pagoda, at Sakarwar MaGyiTaung Tawya Monastery, a large Burmese python (approximately 5 metres (17 ft) long and a 30 cm (1 ft) wide), is revered by local people.
The ferry to Dala can be part of a half-day or full-day adventure, or cheap evening cruise across the Yangon River to return for dinner in Pansodan Street . The middle and lower blocks of Pansodan Street features colonial era architecture and a choice of restaurants (The Burmese Brasserie, Sofaer & Co., Rangoon Tea House, Kafe in Town and Sharky’s). The street leading to the Pansodan Jetty, also provides opportunity to see the some of the grand colonial buildings of Yangon, such as the Lokanat building that now houses Sofaer & Co and the Lokanat Galleries, which exhibits contemporary Myanmar art, and Myanhouse that sells traditional Myanmar fabrics and handicraft. Further up Pansodan Street is Hla Day, a social-enterprise shop, that sells handmade products with contemporary designs, including articles made at the ChuChu social enterprise workshop.