Yangon, the former capital and largest city of Myanmar, attracts visitors by its majestic pagodas, lush green parks, bustling markets and delicious dishes. Among various tourist attractions and sights of the city, here we suggest top five things to see in Yangon.
1. Shwedagon Pagoda
Being the jewel of Yangon and the pride of Myanmar people, the pagoda is always ranked first in the list of things to see in Yangon. Standing out by the main stupa which is 99 meters high, Shwedagon Pagoda can be seen from every corner of the city. It’s amazing that it is covered by 30 tons of gold and thousands of diamonds as well as other types of gems. No one can say exactly how old then pagoda is. Local people believed that it’s more than 2,600 years old while scientists estimate it was built 1,000-1,500 years ago. The pagoda is the most sacred shrine in Myanmar; it’s said to house four sacred treasures of Buddhism, such as the stem of Kakusandha Buddha, the water filter and a piece of cloth of Kassapa Buddha eight hairs of Sakyamuni Buddha. Every day, visiting nuns, monks and pilgrims from all over the country pray, chant, eat and snooze beneath beautifully carved eaves.
2. Chauktatgi Buddha Temple
There are at least two reasons to put Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple into the list of top 5 things to see in Yangon. Firstly, it’s the most well-known Buddhist temple in Bahan Township, Yangon, and secondly, you have to pay no fee to visit it, which is very usually to most tourist attractions and sights in Myanmar. The pagoda is famous for the Reclining Buddha, one of the most sacred and largest Buddha images in Myanmar. The image is 66 meters (217 ft) long; its crown is decorated with diamonds and other gems, and the feet are etched with inscriptions showing the symbols and characteristics of the Buddha.
There are a lot of floor space surrounding the Reclining Buddha where a lot of people having lunch with their friends and family. Join them if you want to chat with friendly locals and better understand their spiritual life in your Myanmar travel.
3. Bogyoke Aung San Market
You may hear a lot of travelers say that Bogyoke Aung San Market is a wonderful place to buy souvenirs. This is absolutely right! However, even when you do not have the intention to buy anything, the market is totally worth being included in the top 5 things to see in Yangon. Indeed, a visit to the market is a great opportunity to learn about the most typical handicraft products of Myanmar, such as woven textiles from the Chin and Naga tribes, woodcarving from Mandalay and lacquerware from Bagan, and trade practices of Myanmar people. Inviting tourists to buy goods, quoting the price, negotiating…all are carried on in warm and friendly attitude. In additions, you will find some currency shops where you can change US dollars into Myanmar Kyats with good rates on the south side of the markets.
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4. China town
If you are a foodie, head to Chinatown town on your Yangon tour. This is one of the busiest and most eventful places in the city, especially in the evening when food vendors appear on sides of the streets, and provide you with everything from ready-made foods to fresh produce.
The Kheng Hock Keong Temple, Sule Pagoda and Night market at Maha Bandula road are all located in the China Town area, so can make a day tour to these places.
5. Kandawgyi Park
Among what to see in Yangon, Kandawgyi Park is a very special phenomenon as it’s absolutely opposed to the business and eventfulness of the others. You will have a quiet, light and fresh space in the park. You can sit back, relax here amid green trees, fragrant flowers, and watch animals (some of which are rare) do their business.
Above are the top 5 things to see in Yangon. Besides, you can visit a great number of other tourist attractions and sights such as Sule Pagoda, Botataung Pagoda, Myanmar National Museum and Myanmar Zoo. Yangon is a limitless treasure; the only matter is how much time you can spend exploring it in your Burma tours.
Yangon, one of 4 tourist highlights of Myanmar (besides Mandalay, Bagan and Inle Lake), is the largest and most cosmopolitan city in the Golden Pagoda Country. Most international travelers spend several days on their Myanmar tour exploring the busy and dynamic city. Here we suggest what to do in Yangon Myanmar.
1. Shwedagon Pagoda – visit and buy souvenirs
Shwedagon Pagoda may be the best answer to the question: what to do in Yangon. Being the most important pagoda in Myanmar, the pagoda is a must to any traveler who tours Yangon. Shwedagon Pagoda stands out by the 99-meter-high main stupa, which can be seen from every corner of the city. Locals believe that it was built 2,600 years ago and thus one of the most ancient pagodas in Myanmar while archaeological reports say that it’s about 1,000 – 1,500 years old. No matter how old the pagoda is, it’s an extremely beautiful structure, covered in gold leaves sparkling in the sunlight.
Apart from being the sacred Buddhist site and magnificent sight, the pagoda is a wonderful place to shop. Lots of small stalls line the staircases up to the pagoda selling exquisite flowers religious icons and votive offerings, as well as handmade crafts and other unique souvenirs.
How to get there: Take taxi from downtown Yangon for 2,000 Kyats
Open hours: 4 am – 10 pm daily (but closed on certain holidays, check website for details)
Price: 8,000 Kyats ($8.11)
2. Chinatown Yangon – eat and walk
If you desire to have a rich cuisine experience of a Myanmar travel, do not hesitate to add Chinatown Yangon to your list of what to do in Yangon Myanmar. Chinatown is one of the busiest and most eventful places in the city, especially in the evening when food vendors appear on sides of the streets, and provide you with everything from ready-made foods to fresh produce. You will be able to find typical Chinese food like grilled pork skewers and rice congee at 20th street. In addition, you can stroll at the night market in the Chinatown while enjoying all the delicious traditional Myanmar dishes such as Shan bun, Shan noodles, coconut cake with quail eggs, etc.
How to get there: It takes about 10-15 minutes walking from the Sule Pagoda
Open hours: It’s best for you to go to Chinatown Yangon in the evening.
Prices: A feast of barbecued meat, prawns, and fish for 2 people costs about $20.
3. Bogyoke Aung San Market – buy souvenirs
Shopping may be one of the most interesting things among what to do in Yangon Myanmar. Known by its former name of Scott Market, Bogyoke Aung San market is the biggest traditional in the city of Yangon and a wonderful destination for shopping. In need, you will be able to find almost all products there such as artwork, handicrafts, souvenirs and Burmese dresses. More particularly, the market is a famous address in selling jewelry and gemstones. If you want to give your friends and relatives unique or valuable gifts brought back from your Yangon tour, you can purchase them with reasonable price at the Bogyoke Aung San market. However, don’t forget to bargain! The first price you will get is always too high. The market is open between 10 am and 5 pm from Tuesday to Sunday.
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4. Kandawgyi Park – relax, walk and have a drink
Kandawgyi Park is not so famous compared to Shwedagon Pagoda, Chinatown or Bogyoke Aung San Market; however, it totally deserves to be included in your list of what to do in Yangon Myanmar. Indeed, its tranquility and freshness are completely opposed to the busy and hectic downtown Yangon.
The park is one of the lush green lake parks in the city. Making a visit to the park, you will be able to choose either of the option. On the east side of the park are a number of restaurants, including the Karaweik Palace, where you can eat and have a drink. It costs you 300 Kyats ($.30) to enter this area.
The other section is the lake boardwalk, an ideal elevated platform where you can enjoy wonderful views of the lakes, the Karawiek Palace, and the Shwedagon Pagoda in the background while doing exercise or walking. If you come here on a nice day when it’s not raining, you will be able to contemplate a stunning sunset view of Shwedagon Pagoda.
How to get there: take taxi from downtown Yangon for 1,000 – 2,000 Kyats
Open hours: 4 am – 10 pm daily
Price: 300 Kyats ($.30) for restaurant area, 2,000 Kyats ($2.02) for boardwalk
5. National Museum of Myanmar – discover history
If you have a special concern about the history of Myanmar and enjoy the museum type of environment, we strongly recommend a visit to the National Museum of Myanmar. The museum displays an interesting collection of everything related to Burmese culture and history. You will able to find here a wealth of religious relics, artifacts, artworks, a myriad of golden objects from the royal courts, and cultural explanations and ethnicities.
How to get there: take taxi from downtown Yangon for 2,000 Kyats ($2.02)
Open hours: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm Tuesday – Sunday, closed on Monday and national holidays
Price: 5,000 Kyats ($5.05)
Above are what to do in Yangon Myanmar that we recommend for your Burma tours. No matter what you do and where you are, the city of Yangon always welcomes you by its warm and hospitability. Do not miss Yangon on your Myanmar tour!
Yangon is the largest city and one of the most important tourist destinations in Myanmar. The city and its outskirts are full of attractions and sights. If you are a solo traveler, it’s essential for you to have a map of Yangon to make your trip more favorable and easily. Here we suggest all of the useful tips to use the Yangon map effectively.
What type of Yangon map should you choose?
You can choose either a road map or a tourist (or both). The former is suitable for long road trip, especially going outside the city. It requires you good skills at the reading map. The latter is useful for city breaks. It generally shows the attractions and points of interest around the city of Yangon. It’s is usually available at local travel agencies or in lobbies of hotels and hostels.
Why you need a map of Yangon Myanmar?
The map will help you easily plan your Myanmar travel. For example, if you want to make a bicycle tour around the city of Yangon, you will determine on the map the factors such as what you want to visit, the distance among them, the most convenient roads to reach them and restaurants or footstalls you will stop at for relaxing or dining. Based on the information, you can work out the time and even expenses for your trip. In addition, the map will help you estimate taxi fare. Taxi price in Yangon is very flexible, depending on your itinerary and ability of negotiation. The routes to key attractions in the city such as Shwedagon Pagoda will cost more than others. Based on the Yangon map, you may know what route you should choose to have better taxi fare and the length of the route you will travel by taxi to negotiate for a reasonable price.
How to use the map of Yangon effectively
Understand the features of the map
Knowing the features is important to read the map. Listed below are important features of a common map of Yangon Myanmar and an explanation about them.
Legend: The legend gives a description and guide of the different features and markings on the map.
Title: The title of the map tells you what area the map is off.
Grid References: A map is broken up into grid boxes, with the first 2 (or 3, depending on accuracy) digits being the x-value, and the last 2 (or again, 3) digits being they-value. Each grid reference starts with the letter assigned to the map.
The North Arrow: This arrow tells you which way is north – it always points to the top of the map.
Scale: The scale will tell you what scale your map is – whether it’s 1:25,000 or 1:50,000.
(Sea a Yangon map sample at: http://www.magadotravel.com/map_pdf/Yangon.pdf)
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Put the map of Yangon into practice
1. Point Your Map North
To point your map north, place your compass flat on your map, pointing towards the top, and rotate yourself until the compass’ needle points north.
2. Find your location on the map
Identifying your surroundings and relating them back to your map is the most important thing when trying to locate your position. You usually won’t know your exact grid reference starting out, so a good idea is to start at a grid reference that you do know. For example, you are standing in front of Sue Pagoda, on the Maha Bandoola road; you just determine the pagoda on the map of Yangon to know exactly where you are.
3. Find your destinations
Now it's time to figure out where you want to go. If you just want to go from one place to another such as Sue Pagoda to Shwedagon Pagoda, all you need to do is to plot that single route out.
If there are several places you intend to go to, you may want to plan your route in such a way that you visit all the places in the shortest possible manner. You can do so by going to the nearest places first after which you will go to the further places.
4. Use the map's index
Take note of the map's scale so that you can estimate your travel time, and if you are taking longer then you expected, you can stop to recheck your map. Don't forget to check the map's legend so will know what you are looking at.
With the map of Yangon in your hand, you can travel around the city at ease, visiting the best attractions such as Shwedagon Pagoda, Sue Pagoda, Kandawgyi Lake, Chinatown, Bogyoke Aung San Market, etc. Do not forget to master your skills at reading the map so that you would have the easiest and most comfortable Burma tours.
Yangon (the country largest city), Bagan (home to a multitude of Buddhist sites), Mandalay (one of the former royal capitals) and Inle Lake (natural wonder) are 4 places you’ll definitely want to visit in Myanmar. A lot of international visitors arrive at Yangon first and then travel to the others. Similar to the journey from Yangon to Bagan (we have mentioned in other articles), you can travel Yangon to Mandalay by air, train and bus (and even taxi but not common). The flowing is details about their main options.
Travel Yangon to Mandalay by bus
Yangon terminal: Aung Mingalar Bus Station
Aung Mingalar bus station is the main bus station in Yangon and located at Thudhamma Road, North Okkalarpa Township, Yangon, Myanmar. It is about 13 miles (about 50 minutes by car in normal traffic) from downtown and about 5 miles (about 30 mins by car) from the airport.
Mandalay terminal: Kywe Se Kan Highway station
Kywe Se Kan Highway station is the biggest station in Mandalay, 8 km from the city center
Service provider(s): JJ Express, BOSS, Mandalar Min, Academy, Khaing Mandalay, etc
Bus Time: 10-11 hours (sometimes it will take closer to 12)
Ticket price: US $12-17 for normal buses and $20-22 for VIP buses.
Ticket booking/purchase: at bus stations, local travel agents
An air-con night bus trip is a popular choice for visitors during Myanmar travel thanks to its cheap price and acceptable condition. Buses leave Yangon 5 times daily (17:00, 18:00, 19:00, 21:00, and 21:30). The buses aren’t bad but the road condition is! It’s a bumpy journey; normal buses do not have any toilets but they do stop several times per trip. It’s faster than the train and the night bus can save you a night accommodation rate.
Travel Yangon to Mandalay by train
Yangon terminal: Yangon Center Railway station, located in the Yangon downtown, 3 km from the Shwedagonn Pagoda.
Mandalay terminal: Mandalay Railway Station, located the Mandalay downtown, 2.7 km from the Mandalay Royal Palace
Service provider(s): Myanmar Railways
Train time: 16-18 hours
Ticket price: US $15 for ordinary class/hard seats and $50 for air-con sleepers
Ticket booking/purchase: at the advance booking office in Bogyoke Aung San road (note that you cannot buy the tickets at the main railway station in Yangon)
There are several trains daily from Yangon to Mandalay. The tracks are old and, in some cases, the carriages may be old, and the journey is extremely bumpy. You will have to cope with noises and shakings during your trips, and even you chose sleepers, it’s impossible to sleep as most of the journey is made on extremely bumpy rails. However, the journey allows for some awesome landscapes through the Burmese countryside.
See more: https://medium.com/@reginerenaud2017
Travel Yangon to Mandalay by air
Yangon terminal: Yangon International Airport
Yangon International Airport (Mingladon) is approximately 30min north of city center. Allow 2 hours during the rush hours. It will cost about $7-10 to travel from the airport to the city center.
Mandalay terminal: Mandalay International Airport
The airport is far from the city, 45km on a modern toll highway. Pricing (2016) from the airport to hotels in central Mandalay is US $10 or 12,000 kyats (private taxi), or US $4 or 4000 kyat (shared taxi/minibus).
Service provider(s): Air Bagan, Air KBZ, Air Mandalay, Asian Wings Airways, FMI Air, Golden Myanmar Airlines, Mann Yatanarpon Airlines, Myanmar Airways International, Myanmar National Airlines, Yangon Airway
Flight time: 55m – 1h05m for a direct flight and 1h45m - 1h55m for a non-direct flight
Ticket price: $110-125 (economy class, one-way, low season, no promotion)
Ticket booking/purchase: at local travel agents or booking online via the websites of the airlines
Taking a domestic fight is the easiest and quickest way to travel from Yangon to Mandalay during your Burma tours. However, many travelers complain the ticket fee is too expensive. If you have a large budget of time, it’s better to choose others rather than the flights. In high season (November to February), the ticket price is normally $10 than that in low season.
Above are three options to travel Yangon to Mandalay (650-kilometer journey). No matter which transportation means you choose, prepare carefully for your trip. Spend several days on travel and tour in Yangon, and then freely head to the north.
During your trip to Burma, you can not miss the opportunity to admire the captivating beauty of the Inle Lake - Myanmar's famous scenic lake. Indeed, the lake is often selected in the Asian destinations that the travelers of five continents must explore. So, do you also want to come and explore the heavenly beauty of Inle Lake?
The Inle Lake in Myanmar - a landscape that is peaceful, beautiful, wild and charismatic
The Inle Lake bears the image of a quiet rural area but lively as an urban place by the presence of so many foreign tourists. The Inle Lake is a special destination in Bang Shan and is one of the most profitable sources of income for government and people in this region.
A great way to experience the beauty of the entire Inle Lake in Myanmar is to rent a boat and explore the scenery. The boat leaves the Nyaungshwe village wharf and then floats on the water. The wind blows gently, houses on both sides of the lake are quickly left behind, and the elephant grasses sway in the sunlight. Sometimes we can meet the boats coming in the opposite direction. The visitors, who are enormously excited, raise their hands to greet. You can also admire the calm and tranquility of the local population. The atmosphere here is really clear and fresh.
The green water and the deep blue sky blend in harmony. The boats become smaller on the waves of water and under the reflections of the sun, they shine like millions of stars hidden at the bottom of the lake. Herds of white birds fly in the sky. They follow the boats floating on the water, and sometimes suddenly fly into the air, sometimes play with the waves and let their wings touch the water. The scene undoubtedly brings a great emotional impression on the visitors.
The Inle Lake in Myanmar has refreshing natural scenery, with the harmonious beauty of blue water and the flamboyant red sunset. The life here is very quiet. It is the kindness of the residents around the lake that creates a good impression on travelers during your tours in Burma. The immensity and beauty of the Inle Lake will fascinate you.
The magnificent sunset on the Inle Lake
Under the magnificent light of the flaming red sunset, the image of the rowing boat seems to be well shown up in the dark sky. One admires a unique technique of directing the boats with one leg. They row and collect fishing nets in an impressive way. The wind blows and it seems that a nostalgic feeling surges in the souls of visitors, urging them to explore new lands. All are merged to form a sweet symphony flowing softly in the blood of travelers. The sunset slowly covers the entire Inle Lake and the boats still float over the waves. To the west, the sun disappeared quickly behind the mountains, so fast that we have not yet had enough time to admire the dark red of the sky.
The sunset on the Inle Lake is really wonderful. Do not forget to make your tours in Burma with a trip to the Inle Lake for an unforgettable and impressive experience.
Discover the exciting lives of people living on Inle Lake
On Inle Lake are 17 floating villages. You will find there many fields, gardens, and floating houses. A bridge spans the lake and wooden electric pillars persist between the sky, the earth and the waves of water. Here is the village of In Dein, situated to the west of the lake, with its canals flowing slowly in a forest of elephant grasses, or you can discover the floating market of Ywama once every 5 days. There is also a cat monastery where monks teach cats to jump through rings in their free time. There is also the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda - a sacred spiritual place for the Buddhists living around the lake. This pagoda is also one of the must-visit destinations of tourists during their trip to Myanmar.
There are also many traditional craft villages. Every day, local people live and work in various trades such as weaving, cigarette, embroidery, craft manufacturing, silver jewelry, etc. Tourists in their tours in Burma will be impressed by the kindness, simplicity of the inhabitants and the wonderful beauty of Inle Lake. Indeed, the life in the old villages by the lake and floating villages on the water are extremely attractive for Western tourists. Discovering the exciting life of people living on the Inle Lake is one of the most incredible experiences during the trip to Myanmar.
By visiting a weaving village, visitors will be surprised by the material of fabric. Here, the village is called the lotus weaving village (Lotus). Local people do not work with cotton yarn; they have a great way to extract lotus fibers instead. Being patient and so skillful, they get lotus filaments spinning them into the thread to weave products whose designs and colors are unique and exceptional. This is perhaps a unique weaving material in the world.
In addition, a trip to the Inle Lake in Myanmar is the opportunity for visitors not only to discover the life of Intha, craft villages but also to visit the colorful floating markets or admire the famous Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery. Moreover, this Burma trip is a good chance to explore the life of many other ethnic groups such as the Shan, Pa-O, Danu, Taung-yo and Kayah in neighboring villages.
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Another interesting and probably the unique feature of this area is that visitors can easily encounter the image of the man dressed in Longyi (a long traditional dress), standing on the tips of the fishing boats. He throws the fishing nets while quietly direct oars with one foot as a real artist on the immense lake. This image in the red sky of a sunset probably evokes a very keen feeling for visitors during their trip to Myanmar.
The people around Lake Inle meet their own needs through the cultivation of flowers, fruits, vegetables and legumes, such as tomatoes, beans, cabbage, onions, garlic, betel, melons, papayas, and bananas. They can also grow rice, especially towards the southern end of the lake. On Inle Lake are many famous resorts and beautiful restaurants scattering along the shoreline, or floating villages with many traditional trades to preserve the identity of the lake and also serve to attract tourists.
During your trip to Inle Lake in Myanmar, you will have the opportunity to attend the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival. The festival, which lasts nearly three weeks, takes place at the end of September or in October, just after the Thadingyut festival where the people of Shan and Intha wear new dresses and celebrate together the end of the period of Buddhist fasting. They are very religious and it is quite normal for them to use all the money saved during the year for this annual event. The procession of Buddha statues around the village and the floating farms and a competition of boats are two inseparable activities of this important festival.
Magnificent landscapes and a wealth of culture that the residents living on the Inle Lake still retain until today give a big impression to tourists in Myanmar. During your Myanmar travel, enjoy the exceptional beauty of the Inle Lake, an unmissable stop for most travelers.