Yangon is the former capital of Myanmar and is the largest city in the country. For travellers, Yangon remains the usual point of arrival by air and the base of exploration for the area. But what can you do in the city itself? There are a surprising number of interesting attractions scattered around Yangon – and not all of them are pagodas!
10. If you want a good overview of the city, then hop on the Yangon Circular Train. You can go ‘full circle’ around the city and check out both the urbanised parts and the rural areas.
9. An example of the frenetic pace of Yangon can be seen near the Sule Pagoda, which is situated at a crossroads of a few busy roads. The golden stupa of the Sule Pagoda is one of the icons of the city, but it is not the only golden stupa in Yangon…
8. The Maha Bandoola Garden is a great place in downtown Yangon to recharge your body’s batteries and get some exercise in the tropical weather. These gardens are a great place to meet regular Burmese people.
7. Despite its somewhat unattractive façade, the National Museum in Yangon is undoubtedly one of the top attractions in the city. You should allocate at least a couple of hours to take a look around all of the exhibitions that detail Myanmar’s rich history.
6. Aung San Suu Kyi House was the place of house arrest for the revered Burmese stateswoman Aun San Suu Kyi under the previous military regime of Myanmar. It is a very historic – if humble – place that continues to attract the tourists.
5. In a picturesque location beside the Yangon River, the Botahtaung Pagoda is another Buddhist sanctuary with a golden stupa. Because it is not as busy as many of Yangon’s other religious sites, you can get some great photos here.
4. Kandawgyi Park acts as a centrepiece of Yangon, with its serene lake also taking centre stage. There is a lot of greenery around here and it is the perfect place for an early morning stroll or an evening jog.
3. If you want a taste of true Burmese bargaining, then head down to Bogyoke Market and witness how the locals go about their shopping. While the market is now also aimed at tourists, it remains one of the more traditional and authentic places to shop in Yangon.
2. Located just outside Yangon city limits, you can find a change of pace at the Taukkyan War Cemetery, which honours the dead from World War 2. The gardens and grounds of the cemetery are beautiful and you are sure of a quiet and respectful visit.
1. The ultimate thing to see in Yangon is of course the Shwedagon Pagoda. The giant golden stupa of this Buddhist sanctuary is known all over the world, and the Shwedagon Pagoda complex is much larger than you think, as you can find a little museum and plenty of shops scattered around the stupa itself. Just remember to take off your shoes when you visit!