Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, is the largest city in Myanmar. It’s also a very busy and hectic city. It’s considered the commercial and artistic hub of the country hence the busyness. It’s full of character and a must see if you plan on visiting Myanmar.
The best way to experience and observe the daily life of the locals in the suburbs of the city. This train stops in 38 stations for the duration of 3 hours. It’s a bumpy ride but it’s one hell of a ride. It’s a very basic train, with no air conditioning and hard seats but the experience of a lifetime! Vendors will hop on and off and only God knows what you will see, from traditional food, to furniture, to animals, you name it! In several of the stops you will see a market, full of fresh vegetables and fruits, Danyingon station has the biggest one.
Departure: Yangon Central Railroad Station
Price: Around 300 Kyats ($0.30). You can buy the tickets in Platform 7
Tip: The best time to ride is early in the morning.
Also known as the Golden Pagoda, the 2,5000 years old Pagoda is one of the most important religious sites in Myanmar. With its 99 meters of height (326-foot-tall), the Pagoda is visible throughout the city. It’s covered with hundreds of gold plates and the top of the stupa has 4531 diamonds encrusted, the biggest one being a 72 carat diamond.
Opening Hours: 04:00 – 22:00 hrs
Entrance fee: $8.00
Note: You can borrow appropriate clothing when buying the ticket. You’ll have to leave a deposit which they will return once you return the clothing.
Tip: Golden hour is the prettiest time to visit but also the most crowded.
The Sule Pagoda is a 44 meter tall Burmese stupa located in the heart of downtown Yangon. The legend says it was built before the Shwedagon Pagoda, during the time of the Gautama Buddha, making it over 2,600 years old. It’s also an important landmark for orientation. It is said that all streets lead here and it’s seen all over the city, making it a good reference point.
Opening Hours: 6am – 10pm
Entrance fee: $5.00
Tip: There is not much to see inside. I recommend seeing the Pagoda from a viewpoint, such as the Sule Plaza.
BOGYOKE AUNG SAN MARKET
Also known as Scott Market was built in 1926 under the British Colonial period. The surrounding area looks a little like Europe with cobblestone streets with shops. Inside the market there is a big bazaar. Here you’ll find anything really, from food, to jewelry, to souvenirs or clothing. Prices are high since it has become one of the major tourist attractions in Yangon. It feels as it is made purely for tourists so have this in mind when visiting.
Located in downtown Yangon, it’s the perfect place to take a break from the city chaos. There are 2 sections of the park. One on the east side, where there is an entrance free of 300 Kyats ($0.30 cents). Here you can find several restaurants to grab a bite or relax. The other part of the Park is where the lake boardwalk is located. Here you have a great view from the Shwedagon Pagoda! You can also ride the Mingalarbar Balloon up to 100 meters high, a balloon that offers amazing views of the surrounding area ($22 per person).
Opening Hours: 4am – 10pm
Entrance fee: $0.30
Also known as the Reclining Buddha, it’s a 65 meter long (215ft-long) reclining Buddha. Originally there was a standing Buddha instead of the reclining one but it fell so it was replaced with a safer version. The Buddha’s crown is decorated with diamonds and other types of precious stones. Next to the Buddha’s feet is a small shrine to Ma Thay, a holy man who has the power to stop the rain thus granting the sailors a safe journey.
Opening Hours: 24/7
Entrance fee: Free
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF MYANMAR
Founded in 1952 it’s one the national museums of Burmese art, culture in history in Myanmar. The highlight of the Museum is the jewel-encrusted Sihasana (Lion Throne) that belonged to King Thibaw Min, the last king of Myanmar.
Opening Hours: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm Tuesday to Sunday
Entrance fee: 5,000 Kyats ($5.05)
LOCAL FRESH MARKETS
Yangon is a busy city but you will find several local markets with fresh products on the streets. The best way to find them is by wandering the streets of downtown Yangon early in the morning. You can see the locals in their daily life and you can even buy some products. For moments you will forget that you are in such a busy city until a car passes through the market.
Chinatown, also known as Tayoke Tan is one of the busiest places in town, specially during the evening. This area goes from street 24th through 18th street. 19th street is the main centre of the city’s Chinatown. There are vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables to chinese and burmese food. Don’t miss out on the street barbecue!
The largest lake in Yangon, is located north of downtown. It was built in 1882 by the British as a water reservoir. Nowadays there are several activities you can do here such as sailing, golf, swimming and rowing. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the nature in a busy city. One of its main attractions is Aung San Suu Kyi’s House, the house where she spent 15 years under house arrest.
WHERE TO STAY IN YANGON
Budget: Once in Yangon Hostel, located downtown and built in a colonial building. It’s very spacious and offers all the amenities you’ll need.
Mid-range: Hotel G Yangon, a vibrant hotel with a terrace that offers fantastic views situated right downtown.
Luxury: Pan Pacific Yangon, a luxurious hotel with an infinity pool and a spa. The perfect place to hide from the busy city.
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Let me know if there is something else that I should have featured on this post. Would love to hear your opinion 😀