We are pleased to welcome you to Yangon. You will quickly see that this Southeast Asian city is like none other in the world. With a population of over 5 million, Yangon is lively and filled with excitement. This city was once under the power of the British Empire, and you will notice the Victorian architecture of the colonial days throughout the city. Yangon is filled with lush green parks, vast lakes, and charming people, and were sure that you have made the right choice for your travel destination. There are many things to do and see in Yangon and we assurethat your time is well spent. We have highlighted some of the main destinations within Yangon, but this city has a lot more to offer.
While roaming around the city of Yangon a very tall golden pagoda may have caught your eye. This is the most famous pagoda, Shwedagon, in all of Myanmar. Built in the 6th century B.C. Shwedagon is said to hold eight strands of Buddha’s hair. It is a place of worship for the local people and an amazing site for non-locals. With thousands of Buddha images and hundreds of monks wondering around the temple, it is surely to touch your heart and soul. The pagoda also provides and excellent view of the city and its surroundings. You can easily spend a few hours gazing up at the gold covered tower, as well as exploring the different and lavishly decorated buildings within the complex. Shwedagon also has a lot of history within its walls.
Sule Pagoda is located right in the heart of Yangon, within a traffic circle, in fact. Indeed, Sule Pagoda is considered the very heart of Yangon. When the British administrators planned the grid-street system for Yangon, they used Sule Pagoda as reference point for the heart of the city. The landmark of Sule is the 48 metre (157 ft) pagoda. The octagonal structure is indicative of Brahman-Buddhist style.
The name of Sule Pagoda is linked to the Sule Nat, the guardian spirit of Singuttara Hill. According to legend, two monks Sona and Uttara, were sent from India to Thaton as missionaries after the Third Buddhist Synod, around 230BC. The King of Thaton gave them permission to build a shrine at the foot of Singuttara Hill to preserve a hair of the Buddha which they brought from India. The pagoda was known for centuries at Kyaik Athok, which means "the pagoda that contains the hair relic" in the Mon language, or Sura Zedi, after the minister who supervised its construction, Maha Sura.
Here within the old metal roofed shed you will find one of the larges reclining Buddha images in all of Southeast Asia. This temple is a must see while touring around Yangon, and it is just a short distance from Shwedagon pagoda. You’re sure to be impressed by its massiveness. If you are into fortune telling then you have come to the right spot. There are quite a few astrological and palm readers within the temple. If you’re impressed by this Buddha and would like to see one a bit bigger we suggest a day trip to Bago. (see day trips around Yangon)
The National Museum in Yangon hosts a great collection of artifacts from around the country. Here you can begin to understand the culture and history of the people. The displays range from Myanmar paintings, ancient ornaments and jewelry, culture of the ethnic races, and various craftworks. A trip will give you the understanding you need to have a better feel for the culture of Myanmar.
Bogyoke or Scott market is located in the southern part of the city near Chinatown and the river. It is known for its lively upbeat pace. This market hosts a variety of goods from all over Myanmar ranging from jewelry, paintings, fabrics, lacquer wear, wood and stone carvings, gems, and much more. The prices at Scott market cannot be beaten, and be sure you try a bit of bargaining. It is quite fun and you will be surprised at how low you can get the price. If shopping wears you out and you are looking for a bite to eat, Bogyoke has a wide assortment of traditional Burmese food to try and it is a different experience than your typical restaurant