Surrounded on three sides by water, Yangon, which was the capital up until 2005, has a unique charm with its old colonial mansions, tree lined streets, bustling markets and tranquil lakes. Pagodas glisten among trees and houses and at the heart of Yangon is the stunning Shwedagon Pagoda, a gleaming golden stupa visible from all over the town and is always bustling with people who come to worship, picnic, read or simply quietly absorb the surroundings.
- Enjoy sunset at the spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda
- Meander amongst the old colonial mansions and tree-lined boulevards
- Shop for bargains in Scott Market
- Ride on the local circular train
- Take a break at one of Yangon’s many tea shops
The Sule Pagoda, which was originally an Indian structure is another highlight and according to legend, is over 2,500 years old. Closer to the waterfront, downtown Yangon is a warren of historic streets concealing some of the best British colonial-era architecture in the region. To stroll through the town with its faded colonial atmosphere is a joy. You can observe the locals at Mahabandoola Park going about their daily activities before visiting the Kyaukhtatgyi pagoda, known for the reclining Buddha that measures 70 metres in length.
Much of Yangon’s allure stems from its colourful street life: peddlers hawk stones on the sidewalk in the gem market; rickshaw drivers in striped longyis (sarongs) peddle lazily through tree-lined streets whilst others drink endless cups of sweet, milky tea at roadside tea stalls.