Yangon – or Rangoon as it was known – the former capital of Burma, is the bustling city full of colors, amazing sights, and wonderful experiences. It is also a great place to shop – handicrafts, antiques, textiles jewels and the beautiful lacquerware that Burma is famous for. Here is our guide to the best popular places to go shopping on your Yangon tour.
1. Augustine’s Souvenirs
This treasure used to be called Augustine’s Antiques; however as the Burmese government doesn’t allow antiques to be sold outside the country’s border, its name has been changed. Today, the shop concentrates on newer items but the quality remains to be guaranteed. Visiting Augustine’s Souvenirs when you tour Yangon, you can find carvings from Mandalay workshops, colonial-style furniture, lacquer from producers in the Shan States, gilded wooden statues and some beautiful 20th-century silver and brass temple offering bowls, which are sold by families in need of the cash. Make sure that you receive a receipt and a stamped letter proving that the items you purchase are not antiques.
Address: 23 Attiyar Street, off Thirimingalar Street, Kamayut Township, Yangon, Burma
2. Shwedagon Pagoda
The stunning Shwedagon Pagoda, nicknamed “the jewel of Yangon”, is considered the symbol of Yangon tourism and an absolute must-see for any visitor to the city. The pagoda symbolizes the cultural and religious life of the former capital in particular and Burma in general. Additionally, it’s an amazingly wonderful place to shop. Lots of small stalls line the staircases up to the pagoda selling exquisite flowers religious icons and votive offerings, as well as handmade crafts and other unique souvenirs.
Address: Shwedagon Pagoda, Dagon, Yangon, Burma
3. Bogyoke Aung San Market
The Market is commonly included in the itinerary of any Yangon tour. Built by the British in 1926, the market was considered as the larger and oriental version of London’s Covent Garden market. It’s now largely given over to stalls designed to draw tourists: woven textiles from the Chin and Naga tribes, woodcarving from Mandalay and lacquerware from Bagan. Friendly saleswomen will size you up for a traditional longyi skirt and blouse, made-to-measure upstairs in minutes. Make your outfit more perfect with a pair of traditional velvet slippers which are sold on the south side during your Myanmar travel. Along the west side is a range of antique shops although much is new-made-old these days. Some negotiation on prices seems to be acceptable and expected. If you go with a local Yangon guide, sellers will tend to quote fair prices. On the south side are also several currency shops with goods with good rates for changing dollars into kyats. Do not pay attention to the roving moneychangers.
Address: Bogyoke Aung San Rd, Pabedan Township, Yangon, Burma
4. Myanmar Gems Museum
The Myanmar Gems Museum plays exactly the role of a museum; however, it also houses 82 vendors over three floors, selling high-quality raw gems and finished pieces with sapphires, rubies, jades and pearls, semi-precious stones, gold and silverware – some exquisite pieces of jewelry here such as Burmese carved jade.
Address: 66 Kaba Aya Pagoda Road, Yangon, Burma
5. Myanmar Traditional Manufacturing Company
In your Burma tours, you can see umbrellas everywhere in Burma. People are using colorful ones to protect themselves from rains and sunlight. Moreover, they hold religious and cultural significance that the ornamented final on pagodas is called Hti (which means “umbrella in Burmese language) and history the umbrella was part of royal regalia. It still denotes high honor in Burmese monastic life. If you want to bring back beautifully decorated, traditional handmade Pathein parasols from your Yangon tour as original souvenirs for your beloved, friends and even yourself, the shop will be an ideal place to purchase them.
Address: 276, Strand Road, Pabedan Tsp, Yangon, Burma
The addresses mentioned above may help you have good decisions on shopping in Yangon. We will provide you with more Yangon tourist information in other articles so that you would get wonderful travel experiences in the city.