Best things to do in Yangon Region and sightseeing in Yangon Region
Yangon - Yangon Region
A young vibrant city. Interesting street food and beautiful Pagodas.
We only stayed a night in Yangon and traveled to Mandalay the very next day. How we got here: Took the budget Jetstar airline from Singapore and arrived at Yangon International Airport. Paid around $220 each for our tickets. Where we stayed: We booked a room at Yangon Regency Hotel, 127 Sin Oh Dan Street, Chinatown, Downtown Yangon via agoda.com. Better rates offered on agoda than walk ins. Nice and clean hotel, great central location. Highly recommended by us if you don’t mind the slightly high cost. What we did: We took the highly recommended circle line train that cost us only $1 each! The entire journey will take 3 hours, but we got bored after awhile and decided to alight at a random station. Do note that the train counter staff will scrutinise all of your $1 bills and reject any note with a slight fold or stain. It was quite ridiculous as some of the stains were really not visible and we didn’t even notice them at first. But I guess they’re really adamant about accepting only new and crisp dollar bills. How much we spent in total: Food – $51 Activities – $2 (circle line train) Transport – $440 (airplane tickets for 2 pax) $10 (taxi from Airport to Yangon Regency Hotel) $7 ( taxi to bus station to head to Mandalay) $0.20 (local bus) Accommodation – $45 (1 night) Others – $20 (local sim card) $7.30 (we bought bought a traditional “longyi” each) Total expenditure for 2 pax - $582.50 Average expenditure/pax - $291.25
The prime attraction in Yangon is the Shwedagon Pagoda. Entry Fee 8USD. Best time to visit : After 5pm until sunset. Top attractions list and things to do are easily available on internet. However, my personal experiences are as mentioned. Must Visit Destinations: Shwedagon Pagoda Nya Htat Gyi Pagoda Bohtahtaung Pagoda Reclining Buddha Bogyoke Market Can be missed: Sule Pagoda Avoid: Circular Train Ride (Super Boring) Cabs are very easily available. However, bargain hard.
Shwedagon Pagoda - Yangon Region
Tourists pay a small fee for entering and must wear very conservative clothing. If you are wearing shorts or an above-the-knee skirt, then you are asked to wear a longyi, which is a traditional cloth folded into a skirt that both men and women wear. Additionally, we had to take off our shoes before entering the pagoda. We went right around sunset, the best time as the fading sunlight catches upon the golden temples and statues quite beautifully! There are several entrances to the pagoda. I forgot which side we entered from but the doors were guarded by two enormous lion statues. There is a great hall, and escalators inside to take visitors up into the actual pagoda area. I was not sure what to expect at all. It's simply stunning. At the top of all the escalators is a surreal land of shiny temples, statues, Buddhas. Local Burmese families mix with tourists from all countries. People mill about, some praying, engaging in religious rituals, taking photos. Reverence fills the air. Everywhere I looked, the architecture was breathtaking. There were almost too many points of interests - I couldn't focus on any one object since there were hundreds more to look at - shiny, carved rooftops, temples, various deities, fountains, burning incense. Everything was so detailed and intricate, and full of symbolism that I sadly did not understand. The golden pagoda, the one at the center, is the main religious feature of the whole area. It's the building at the left in my photo below. The photo doesn't depict the scale accurately, but it's enormous and towers over most of the surrounding area. It's about 100 meters tall! There is a large diamond bud at the top. We spent about an hour there, looking around at the architecture. At dusk we sat down before one of the temples and watch the play of light on the pagoda as the sun slowly set. Later, we went back down to collect our shoes and to wash off our feet, which had by that time collected a pretty thick layer of dirt
This is one of the most spectacular Pagodas I have ever seen. It is mentioned that Shwedagon Pagoda is covered with hundreds of gold plates and the top of the stupa is encrusted with 4531 diamonds; the largest of which is a 72 carat diamond. DO NOT miss this !
Sunflower Hotel - Yangon Region
Bogyoke Aung San Market - Yangon Region
This market is the main shopping destination for tourists, though not exclusively so - there were still plenty of locals. Prices tend to be higher in the businesses that line the perimeter of the market, and these shops also appear to cater more to tourists and sell knick knacks and souvenirs. You have to wander in to get to the good stuff! However, as noted in my last post, most shopkeepers were very friendly and don't aggressively hawk their wares. A big indoor section of the market sold gold and jewelry. I don't have any skills in distinguishing good quality gems and metals from fakes, so I mostly just walked through this area without really looking closely. We came to an inner area with tightly-spaced shops that sold lots of fabrics. Many of the shops have tailors that they know who will create a longyi (the long skirt) for you out of a fabric that you choose. The fabrics come in a dizzying array of colors, patterns, and material. I ended up buying a hand-sewn bright green longyi with flowers along the border for about $15 USD, plus a tailoring fee of $5. There are many cheaper options; you can buy fabric for less than $5, but in this case I was willing to spend more for the quality.
Kandawgyi Lake - Yangon Region
Outside of the busyness of the city, there are a few parks and lakes where you can enjoy some peace. We went to Kandawgi Lake (below) and Inya Lake (not to be confused with Inle Lake, which is located in northern Myanmar. Often times we would see lots of couples hanging out by the lake or taking long strolls. Sometimes young people also bring along a guitar and start strumming along and singing in a group. It's a really nice atmosphere and also provides some pretty scenic views, especially near sunset.
Bogyoke Aung San Museum - Yangon Region
Chauk Htat Kyi Pagoda - Yangon Region
Finally arriving at our last destination and the largest city in Myanmar- Yangon. It was the former capital of Burma and has a good number of buildings belonging to the British colonial era. The reclining Buddha at the Chauk Htat Kyi Pagoda is a 6 storey high Buddha image.The Reclining Buddha image is decorated with very expressive colors, white face, red lips, blue eye shadow, golden robe and red finger nails. He is wearing a Golden robe and is resting his head on his right hand. The Buddhist worship the statue, while the tourists are filled with awe by the magnificence of it.