Yangon (Rangoon) is the former capital of Myanmar. The city is lined by the Yangon River in the West and the Bago River in the South. The colonial city otherwise known as South East Asia's Garden City is dizzying combination of old and new: its impressive age old colonial mansions sit side-by-side bustling restaurant and bars, lush tropical gardens and tranquil lakes, modern business buildings, historical and cultural heritage of centaury old golden shimmering pagoda are reasons for lingering.
A series of bustling walkways and narrow side streets with food vendors, colourful open markets and well-preserved British colonial buildings are a subject of great interest, with the downtown walking tour always in demand. The one sight that you cannot miss for every visit to Myanmar is the Shwedagon Pagoda the most famous and awe-inspiring Buddhist monument in Yangon.
Shwedagon Pagoda: The highlight of any trip to Yangon, and indeed to Myanmar itself is a visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda, located in midtown Yangon between the People’s Park and Kandawgyi Lake. The 2500 years old Shwedagon Pagoda is at its best during early morning or evening, when you are able to enjoy this gilded sight in different colours
Sule Pagoda: Situated in the very centre of downtown Yangon, the tall zedi of Sule Pagoda makes an excellent landmark; in fact, it’s used as a milestone from which all addresses to the north are measured. It is over 2000 years old, but like many other ancient Burmese shrines, it has been rebuilt and repaired many times over the centuries. It is said that the central stupa enshrines a hair of the Buddha; its Mon name, Kyaik Athok, translates as ‘the stupa where a Scared Hair Relic is enshrined’. Most likely as with the zedi at Shwedagon, it was originally built by Mon in the middle of this century.
Bogyoke Market (Scott Market): The sprawling 70-year-old Market has the largest selection of Burmese handicrafts you will find under one roof. Even a stroll along all the different stands without the intention of buying is a pleasant change in every itinerary.
China Town It is located west of the city centre still within the downtown area. Here you can enjoy the bustling street markets, where you can buy nearly everything and visit Kheng Hock Keong, the largest Chinese Temple in Yangon, which is over 100 years old. Best time to visit 6 to 9 am.
Botataung Pagoda: Bo means ‘leader’ and tataung is ‘1000’ - the Botataung Pagoda was named after the 1000 military lead who escorted relics of the Buddha brought from India over 2000 years ago. This ancient monument was completely destroyed during World War II.
Chaukhtatgyi Reclining Buddha: This Reclining Buddha is almost as large as the enormous figure in Bago. It is housed in a large metal-roofed pavilion on Shwegondine Road only a short distance east beyond the Shewdagon Pagoda. If you can’t get to Bago to see the Shwethalyaung, then don’t miss this colossal image.
Kaba Aye Pagoda: The ‘world peace’ pagoda is fairly new; it was built in 1952 for the 1945-56 Sixth Buddhist Synod. The 34 meters high stupa also measures 34 meters around its base. It stands about 11 km north of downtown close to Inya Lake.