Yangon is not only the first major city in the country but also the religious and economic center. A visit to Yangon will be a great opportunity for you to discover the essence of the Burmese civilization.
Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, was the capital of Myanmar until it was replaced by Naypyidaw in November 2005.
Today, with a population of more than 5 million, it remains the largest city in the country and the economic heart of Burma.
A visit to Yangon in Burma will be a great chance for you to discover the impressive architecture mixing oriental and western inspirations of this cosmopolitan city and the daily life of its ebullient residents.
1. How to get to Yangon and stay there.
During your tours in Burma, you will find Yangon one of the most convenient cities will all necessary infrastructures for you visit in term of both transportation and accommodation.
By plane: The newly renovated Yangon International Airport has modern terminals for domestic and international flights. Bus and taxis will take you 30 minutes from the center of the city. International flights will take you to reach many countries in Asia, and domestic flights will have a brand new terminal in 2017.
By train: Many railway routes connect Yangon to the rest of Myanmar. You will find a daily journey from Yangon to Mandalay via Bago, linking to Bagan and the Inle Lake. It costs you between 35 to 50 USD for a first-class ticket. Notice that these trains leave very early in the morning. There is also a direct Yangon – Bagan route, but the journey takes about 24 hours and is not very pleasant.
By boat, you will be able to reach Yangon from Mandalay in 5 days, with a connection to Pyay (return in 3 days).
By bus: Buses link Yangon to most of Myanmar’s sights, such as Bagan, Mandalay or the Inle Lake. You will have to pay 14USD per person for the journey of 8 hours from Mandalay.
As you can imagine, there are many convenient and cheap ways to get around the city: taxis, buses, trains and even the boat. Please notice that it will not be possible to rent a car on site with a tourist visa.
Finding a room to stay during your visit to Yangon can be really a challenge. Indeed, the housing services are comparatively more expensive than Thailand, Vietnam, Laos or Indonesia, and often less good quality. If you wish to have a room with an acceptable standard, you will have to book in advance, especially during the high season.
As far as food is concerned, you will find a very wide range of prices available. Restaurants and cafes in hotels and at the airport have prices similar to those found in the West. However, the local cuisine is very affordable in price. A meal in a street shop will only cost you less than $ 1.5USD.
2. What to do during your Yangon tour
During your visit to Yangon, you will be really aware that Yangon is not only an important economic city’ but a historical and religious center as well.
The city has many pagodas and religious monuments to visit. The most famous pagoda in the city is the Shwedagon Pagoda. You can also visit other religious monuments, such as the Sule Pagoda or the Cathedral of St. Mary.
Even though the city is the major urban center of the country, it has been able to conserve and protect its green spaces. You will find there many gardens, parks and lakes, to rest and enjoy a little freshness.
History lovers will be delighted with their presence in this city. Indeed, there are many monuments to visit, such as the houses of Aung Sang and Aung Sang Suu Kyi, or the Mausoleum of the Martyrs.
Yangon is really a paradise of shopping. Handmade products, precious stones or even clothing are very available throughout the city. Shopping is a pleasure in this city because of the diversity of products and the restraint of the sellers. However, you should spend your time negotiating for having best prices.
Focus on: The Shwedagon Pagoda
For 8USD per person, you will have permission to enter the most important religious monument in Myanmar. Located at the top of Singuttara Hill, it was built in the 6th century and renovated many times. Today, tourists love to contemplate its thousand of colors and beautiful carved wood ornaments.
Day and night, Yangon charm visitors by its mood changes. The city is not only the first major city in the country but also the religious and economic center. Making a visit to Yangon, you will discover the essence of the Burmese civilization.