Trips and Itineraries for Yangon
Top Places To Visit in Yangon 116 Spots
This is one of the two major lakes in Myanmar and is referred to as "the great royal lake." The lake provides a great view especially of the Shwedagon Pagoda, located on the eastern bank of the lake. The Shwedagon Pagoda or the Golden Pagoda dominated the skyline of the city as well as leaves quite a clear and beautiful reflection in the Kandawgyi Lake. This pagoda is one of the most sacred places for the Buddhists with the relics of the previous four Buddhas in it. The pagoda has several stupas made from different materials: gold, silver, tin, copper, lead, marble, iron, and brick. The main pagoda is gilded with gold along with the 86 stupas surrounding it. Thousands of diamonds and other gemstones were used to decorate the pagoda. Myanmar is known as the "Land of Golden Pagodas" and Shwedagon is one of the reasons why. Even though the stupa has been repeatedly plundered over the years, it has been able to maintain its glory.
Bogyoke Aung San Market
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.
Start your Myanmar expedition in its largest city, as well as the most important commercial centre – Yangon. What immediately strikes you is the omnipresence of buildings from the colonial-era. The entire city seems to have been planned around the 2,000-year-old Sule Pagoda, which acts as the commercial core. There is a big Indian influence visible throughout because the city was a major business hub during the British rule in India. If somebody there told me that it is still circa 1947, I wouldn't mind believing it because Myanmar doesn't seem to have developed much since. The ironic part is, Yangon is still the most happening place to be in Myanmar.Things to do in YangonSince you will spend a lot of your first day in Yangon trying to understand the mannerisms of a new country, it's important that you spend at least two days here. Here are some of the best things to do in and around Yangon during this time:1. Visit the Shwedagon Pagoda – The most sacred Buddhist Pagoda in Myanmar. Believed to contain relics of four previous Buddhas, including strands of hair from Gautama Buddha's head.2. Visit the Sule Pagoda – More than a religious symbol, it is an iconic structure for Yangon and Burmese political changes over the years.3. Visit the Kandawgyi Lake – Literally meaning the "great royal lake", it's a 150-acre large fresh water lake surrounded by the Kandawgyi National Park. This acts as a nice picnic spot for families in the evenings.4. Visit the pristine white beaches in Ngwesaung. It is a 15-km long beach resort located at a 5-hour drive away from Yangon. You can even spend the night here if you wish.In order to be better prepared to explore Yangon you can read this detailed piece on Yangon. You can even book hotels in advance to prevent the last-minute rush.Day 3 & 4
Best Time To Visit Yangon