Yangon, one of 4 tourist highlights of Myanmar (besides Mandalay, Bagan and Inle Lake), is the largest and most cosmopolitan city in the Golden Pagoda Country. Most international travelers spend several days on their Myanmar tour exploring the busy and dynamic city. Here we suggest what to do in Yangon Myanmar.
1. Shwedagon Pagoda – visit and buy souvenirs
Shwedagon Pagoda may be the best answer to the question: what to do in Yangon. Being the most important pagoda in Myanmar, the pagoda is a must to any traveler who tours Yangon. Shwedagon Pagoda stands out by the 99-meter-high main stupa, which can be seen from every corner of the city. Locals believe that it was built 2,600 years ago and thus one of the most ancient pagodas in Myanmar while archaeological reports say that it’s about 1,000 – 1,500 years old. No matter how old the pagoda is, it’s an extremely beautiful structure, covered in gold leaves sparkling in the sunlight.
Apart from being the sacred Buddhist site and magnificent sight, the pagoda is a 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.
How to get there: Take taxi from downtown Yangon for 2,000 Kyats
Open hours: 4 am – 10 pm daily (but closed on certain holidays, check website for details)
Price: 8,000 Kyats ($8.11)
2. Chinatown Yangon – eat and walk
If you desire to have a rich cuisine experience of a Myanmar travel, do not hesitate to add Chinatown Yangon to your list of what to do in Yangon Myanmar. Chinatown is one of the busiest and most eventful places in the city, especially in the evening when food vendors appear on sides of the streets, and provide you with everything from ready-made foods to fresh produce. You will be able to find typical Chinese food like grilled pork skewers and rice congee at 20th street. In addition, you can stroll at the night market in the Chinatown while enjoying all the delicious traditional Myanmar dishes such as Shan bun, Shan noodles, coconut cake with quail eggs, etc.
How to get there: It takes about 10-15 minutes walking from the Sule Pagoda
Open hours: It’s best for you to go to Chinatown Yangon in the evening.
Prices: A feast of barbecued meat, prawns, and fish for 2 people costs about $20.
3. Bogyoke Aung San Market – buy souvenirs
Shopping may be one of the most interesting things among what to do in Yangon Myanmar. Known by its former name of Scott Market, Bogyoke Aung San market is the biggest traditional in the city of Yangon and a wonderful destination for shopping. In need, you will be able to find almost all products there such as artwork, handicrafts, souvenirs and Burmese dresses. More particularly, the market is a famous address in selling jewelry and gemstones. If you want to give your friends and relatives unique or valuable gifts brought back from your Yangon tour, you can purchase them with reasonable price at the Bogyoke Aung San market. However, don’t forget to bargain! The first price you will get is always too high. The market is open between 10 am and 5 pm from Tuesday to Sunday.
4. Kandawgyi Park – relax, walk and have a drink
Kandawgyi Park is not so famous compared to Shwedagon Pagoda, Chinatown or Bogyoke Aung San Market; however, it totally deserves to be included in your list of what to do in Yangon Myanmar. Indeed, its tranquility and freshness are completely opposed to the busy and hectic downtown Yangon.
The park is one of the lush green lake parks in the city. Making a visit to the park, you will be able to choose either of the option. On the east side of the park are a number of restaurants, including the Karaweik Palace, where you can eat and have a drink. It costs you 300 Kyats ($.30) to enter this area.
The other section is the lake boardwalk, an ideal elevated platform where you can enjoy wonderful views of the lakes, the Karawiek Palace, and the Shwedagon Pagoda in the background while doing exercise or walking. If you come here on a nice day when it’s not raining, you will be able to contemplate a stunning sunset view of Shwedagon Pagoda.
How to get there: take taxi from downtown Yangon for 1,000 – 2,000 Kyats
Open hours: 4 am – 10 pm daily
Price: 300 Kyats ($.30) for restaurant area, 2,000 Kyats ($2.02) for boardwalk
5. National Museum of Myanmar – discover history
If you have a special concern about the history of Myanmar and enjoy the museum type of environment, we strongly recommend a visit to the National Museum of Myanmar. The museum displays an interesting collection of everything related to Burmese culture and history. You will able to find here a wealth of religious relics, artifacts, artworks, a myriad of golden objects from the royal courts, and cultural explanations and ethnicities.
How to get there: take taxi from downtown Yangon for 2,000 Kyats ($2.02)
Open hours: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm Tuesday – Sunday, closed on Monday and national holidays
Price: 5,000 Kyats ($5.05)
Above are what to do in Yangon Myanmar that we recommend for your Burma tours. No matter what you do and where you are, the city of Yangon always welcomes you by its warm and hospitability. Do not miss Yangon on your Myanmar tour!