One of the most wonderfully culture rich cities in Myanmar has to be the country’s former capital, Yangon.
Yangon is busy, bustling, interesting and packed full with mesmerizing sights and activities to entice all of your senses making this incredible city the perfect introduction to Myanmar.
With everything from delicious cuisine, friendly locals, history, nature and beautiful sights, Yangon has something to offer everyone and it’s easily worth spending a couple of days or more soaking up its magnificent atmosphere.
There is no better way to explore Yangon than by foot. Get stuck in, let your senses run wild and really experience the city’s fascinating fusion of rich culture and intriguing history.
With that in mind, here’s a collection of all our favourite, magical experiences you absolutely must enjoy during your once in a lifetime visit to Yangon.
Myanmar is famous for many things. Burmese sunsets are right up at the top of that list. A visit to Yangon’s most sacred site at sunset promises visitors the most breath-taking sunset opportunity.
Shwedagon Pagoda is one of the most sacred temples in the world. You don’t even have to visit at sunset to appreciate the spectacular 90-metre-high pagoda encrusted with over 5,000 sparkling diamonds and roughly 2,000 rubies. But trust us, visiting the pagoda at sunset guarantees a once in a life time experience.
Watch the pagoda against a beautiful backdrop of surrounding statues, bells and mosaic laden temples glimmer in a truly out of this world medley of colours whilst the orange sun sets in pinks and purples on an evening you will never forget.
Indulge your senses on a still, warm Myanmar evening and walk the streets of Yangon to sample some of the country’s most mouth-watering culinary delights.
Yangon, is every foodies dream. From street food, to tea houses and upmarket restaurants, you will not be short of places to dine and immerse yourself in Yangon’s thriving dining culture.
Explore Yangon’s many winding side streets. Taking a risk at restaurants with no menu will always pay off. Learn to trust street vendors with large crowds.
19th street is a fantastic place to start. With its abundance of delicious BBQ’s ran and enjoyed by locals, and its endless local beer, 19th street promises an evening crammed full of culinary delights and an unrivalled immersive experience.
Home to Myanmar’s most sacred, and most beautiful reclining Buddha, Chaukhtatgyi Paya promises to impress the whole family. The stunning statue was built in 1966 and is almost 60 metres long and an incredible 30 metres high.
Located just north east of Shwedagon pagoda, the reclining Buddha at Chaukhtagyi Paya makes for a wonderful family afternoon trip, and if you’re travelling on a budget, entrance is free.
Marvel at the Buddha’s fascinating inscriptions to the large feet, stunning golden robe and beautiful brightly coloured lips and nails. This is the perfect place to introduce yourself to Myanmar’s Buddhist history.
Yangon is full to bursting with fascinating local markets that offer the perfect stop for fresh food, souvenirs and everything in-between. Local markets offer a true glimpse into local life and provide visitors with the perfect spot to observe Burmese people going about their daily lives.
Located at the centre of lively Yangon is the famous Bogyoke Aung San market. Here, you can wander endless stalls, practice your bargaining skills and shop everything from local handicrafts, to jewellery, food and even traditional puppets.
Located right in the heart of Yangon you’ll find Theingye market. This is where Yangon’s locals shop for everyday items such as cosmetics, toiletries or even traditional herbs. Head right into the heart of Yangon for this traditional market experience and the opportunity to browse never-ending street vendors.
Yangon’s much-loved circular railway, or ‘circle line’ as its affectionately known to locals offers the perfect escape from city life and a fantastic opportunity to witness the city’s locals going about their daily lives around the city.
Jump aboard the vintage looking trains at the Yangon central train station and take a step back in time on this magnificent loop journey around 39 stations. The ideal way to sit back and get to know this intriguing city and its friendly local people.
Home to one of Myanmar’s most respected politicians, the U Thant House is a wonderful representation of colonial architecture in the city. Not only a feast for the eyes, the U Thant House is also home to an array of fascinating artefacts and archival photographs for a journey back in time and an opportunity to learn some more about Myanmar’s political background.
One of Yangon’s most beautiful colonial buildings is the wooden built, 1921 colonial-era villa, home to the Bogyoke Aung San museum. The villa was famously the residence of the founder of new Myanmar, General Aung San. After his assassination in 1947, the villa was set up as a museum. Today it offers visitors one of Yangon’s most beautiful representations of colonial- era architecture as well as the chance to learn the fascinating story of Aung San’s life.
Don’t miss the Victorian style Minister’s Building. Located just south east of Yangon railway station, this unique building is hard to miss. With its large U-shaped architecture, red bricks and extensive garden, the Minister’s Building boasts a rich exterior and an even richer history.
Also known as The Secretariat, the Minister’s Building is the sight where Aung San and a further six cabinet members were assassinated in 1947. During the 1930’s several earthquakes unfortunately caused damage to the Victorian era building. Today, the dome and two of the towers have been perfectly restored and small guided tours offer the public the unique opportunity to take a glimpse into the complex history and beautiful interior of this fascinating landmark building.
No visit to Yangon is complete without a visit to the famous St Mary’s Cathedral. Located in the south of the city on Bo Aung Kyaw Street, St Mary’s Cathedral is known and loved as a major Yangon landmark.
Standing at over 100 years old, St Mary’s cathedral is the largest cathedral in Myanmar and is listed on the Yangon City Heritage list. It’s stunning red brick construction, spires, bell towers and breath taking neo gothic style make it an unmissable stop on your journey through Yangon.
A visit to a Myanmar teahouse is the ultimate way to immerse yourself straight into unique Burmese life. Hang out with locals, sip on the country’s finest teas and feast on freshly prepared local food. Sit back on a tiny chair and table with a local newspaper, catch up with old friends, play games and drink and eat until your heart’s content.
This is where it all happens. Teahouses are by far the best spot in the city to watch the world go by and you won’t be short of choices. There’s a teahouse on almost every corner.
Some days, there is no better way of exploring than simply setting out by foot on an adventure. Yangon is home to thousands of tiny backstreets, local markets and fabulous colonial buildings.
Established in 1952, Yangon’s National Museum of Myanmar is absolutely worth a visit. Perfect to visit in the height of the midday sun, or to escape the rain showers. The museum boasts a huge collection of artefacts, memorabilia and historical collections related to Burmese culture and its colourful history.
You’re bound to leave here feeling knowledgeable and better equipped to take on your Burmese adventure.
From markets, to temples, mosques, street art, flower stalls and food vendors, Yangon is a city made to be explored by foot for the ultimate immersive experience, and it will never, ever disappoint.