Yangon is one of 4 most important tourist centers in Myanmar (besides Mandalay, Bagan and Inle Lake). Many international travelers choose the Myanmar’s largest city as the first stop in their Myanmar tour (the Yangon International Airport is the main gateway to the world of Myanmar). A several-day stay in the city will be a great opportunity to exploring the colorful cosmopolitan city. The following are places to visit in Yangon we recommend for you.
1. Shwedagon Pagoda
Being the most sacred Buddhist shrine in Myanmar, Shwedagon Pagoda is always the first name to call in the list of places to visit in Yangon. Locals claim that the pagoda is more than 2,600 years old, which means it’s one of the most ancient pagodas in the Golden Pagoda Country. The main stupa is 99 meters high, adorned with 27 metric tons of gold leaf, along with thousands of diamonds and other gems. The supreme sacredness of the pagoda has created by the belief that it houses eight hairs of the Gautama Buddha as well as relics of three former buddhas.
You do not need to worry about the shortage of things to visit in your Myanmar travel as there are various mini-museums and photo displays throughout the pagoda. It will take at least 2 hours to see everything inside. Shwedagon Pagoda is open every day from 4 am until 10 pm. Entrance fee is 8,000 Kyat ($8) per person.
2. Sule Pagoda
Although it’s much smaller and less striking than Shwedagon Pagoda, Sule Pagoda is possibly a must when you visit Yangon as it plays an important role in the democracy movement of Myanmar. The 2,500-year-old pagoda was a meeting point for anti-government and pro-democracy protestors. Coming here, you will be impressed by the tranquil and peaceful atmosphere, but you can hardly imagine that only six years ago Buddhists monks were leading seething protests. It’s a powerful reminder of the stark contrast between then and now. Sule Pagoda is open every day from 6 am until 10 pm. Entrance fee is 3,000 Kyat ($3) per person.
3. Bogyoke Aung San Market
Commonly known as the former name Scott Market, this is one of the most interesting places to visit in Yangon and buy souvenirs. It will take you half a day to wander around the sprawling covered market which has more than 2,000 shops selling everything from different regions of Myanmar such as woven textiles from the Chin and Naga tribes, woodcarving from Mandalay and lacquerware from Bagan.
Pick up some nice slippers here, convenient for all the on-and-off demanded by paya protocol, and a longyi (sarong-style lower garment); U Maung Maung in the main hall has a good selection ranging from cotton ones from K5500 to silk-mix ones from K9500.
4. Htwe Oo Myanmar Traditional Puppet Theatre
If you’re interested in the rich traditional culture of Myanmar, do not miss the theater when you visit Yangon. The traditional puppet shows are performed by Htwe and his family, who’ve traveled the world and won awards for their shows. Each show lasts about one hour, including English explanations, and you can inspect and play with the beautiful puppets.
If you’d like to buy one of the puppets which is much superior in quality to those found in tourist markets and shops in Yangon, Htwe can arrange this with the master puppet maker for around US$60.
5. Botataung Pagoda
Botataung Pagoda is a very interesting tourist site in Yangon. The pagoda is located by the river. The name of the pagoda refers to the donations and support of the military generals of Myanmar. The first impression for tourists visiting the pagoda is that they are slightly dazzled by the ceiling and the walls of the temple covered with gold. The temple is also protective of a treasure which is hair relics of the Buddha. It’s said that the relics was taken from India to Myanmar 2,000 years ago. This pure and solemn space here will bring you absolute tranquility during your Burma tours.
In addition to the places to visit in Yangon above, you can visit a variety of interesting attractions and sights in the city such as Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple (famous for Reclining Buddha Image), Yangon zoo, Myanmar National Museum and green parks. Yangon will always welcome you with its friendliness, hospitability, and business.