Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon (formerly known as Rangoon) is one of the best places to visit in Asia. It is famous for its British colonial architecture, golden Buddhist pagodas and sparkling lakes. Whether you are a nature lover, a religious person, a history enthusiast or an architecture fanatic, Yangon has something for everyone! The city perfectly balances tradition with modernity, portraying a different side of Asia that is worth exploring.
Best time to visit Yangon:
The best time to explore Yangon is from November to February. Take a look at the various seasons round the year to help you plan your trip better.
Spoken languages in Yangon:
Pro tip: Ming-gah-lah-bahr is a common way to say ‘Hello’ in Burmese.
Visa and immigration requirements for Yangon: If you are an Indian passport holder travelling to Myanmar by air, then you need to apply online for Myanmar e-Visa. The e-Visa is valid for 90 days from the application date and allows one-time entry into the country.
How to reach Yangon:
This place is quite popular among the elite locals, travellers and expats. It serves authentic Burmese cuisine, curries, biryanis and locally inspired cocktails. The usual teahouse snacks such as samosas, tea-leaf salads, bao, parantha are also available.
As the name suggests, it is the ideal place to explore quality Burmese cuisine. Choose from an array of freshly-made dishes on display at this restaurant. All meals are served with salad, soup and dessert.
This is one of the most renowned barbeque restaurants and was in news when American celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain dined here. The barbeques are available in the evenings only. You can select the skewers on display ranging from seafood, meat and vegetarian options.
A favourite eating place among the locals, this place serves delicious rice noodles and extremely peppery broth. The restaurant also serves a variety of seafood dishes which are reasonably priced.
Any trip is incomplete without shopping and taking back souvenirs for your loved ones! The locals take pride in storytelling through sand paintings and the most interesting products to buy in Yangon include textiles, clothes, silverware, lacquerware, jewellery, sand painting and handicrafts.Myanmar is well-known for its precious gems such as rubies, sapphires and jade. Here is a list of top shopping streets in Yangon.
Bogyoke Aung San Market: Formerly called Scott Market, you can easily spend half a day wandering and checking out different things to buy at this popular, local market in Yangon. Sheltered in a large colonial building, it houses almost 1641 shops selling lacquerware, handicrafts, wood & ivory carvings, silverware, silk & cotton fabrics, clothing, tapestry and brassware.
Yuzana Plaza: This old-school shopping mall has plenty of wholesale outlets. The shops on the ground floor sell beverages, packaged food and even pets. You will find shops selling locally made items and household appliances on the second floor.
A Chinatown side street: If you like tailor-made shirts, then this is the place for you. Here, you can buy a traditional Burmese collar (Mandarin collar) at a reasonable price. The street also has an array of street vendors selling paintings, colonial coins and other souvenirs.
ABC Country Pub: If you wish to enjoy some live, western country music with your friends, head to the ABC Country Pub. You will surely have a gala time along with some delicious food.
Asia Plaza Disco: It’s a well-known late night disco in Yangon. This place also hosts traditional dance shows and fashion shows.
BME 2: This place attracts crowd for its unusual ambience. It is also popular for their impressive live rock band performances and fantastic house music.
Mr. Guitar: Mr. Guitar is quite popular with the locals and tourists as it plays unique versions of songs from different genres including rock, country and classical. It also hosts karaoke sessions and has a great in-house band.
Zero Zone Roof Top Beer Garden: To experience how locals relax in the evening, you must visit this place. It hosts live dance and music performances. The music here is primarily Burmese disco and pop. The cuisine comprises seafood, chinese and a barbeque buffet, etc.
Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake This five-star property located at the center of the city boasts its lavish facilities such as, beach-style swimming pool, gymnasium, rejuvenating massage and therapies amongst others. Various tourist spots are located at a close distance from this hotel.
Lotte Hotel Yangon Located close to several famous attractions, this hotel offers decorated rooms equipped with LED televisions and minibar. The hotel also features three restaurants, two coffee shops, a poolside bar and two lounges.
Rose Garden Hotel This hotel features 123 air-conditioned rooms with minibars and other amenities. With a business centre, conference and meeting rooms, it is also an ideal option for business travellers.
Grand Palace Hotel If you are looking for a budget accommodation in Yangon, then this is the best pick. You will feel like home with all the necessary amenities in place.
Here are some of the other places to explore in Yangon on your trip.
Aung San Suu Kyi's House: Aung San Suu Kyi is a famous Myanmar leader who was under house arrest for 15 years, since 1989. Because of her charisma and contribution towards the nation, her house is a popular attraction in Yangon. People often visit to get a glimpse of this Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
Kyaiktiyo Pagoda: A wonder in itself, Kyaiktiyo or the Golden Rock Pagoda is another must visit site in Yangon. You will be surprised to know that the pagoda hangs over a cliff edge 1100 metres above the sea level, defying gravity.
Allied War Memorial Cemetery: Located about 25 km from the north of Yangon, in the village of Taukkyan, this memorial cemetery was built in the memory of Allied soldiers from the British Commonwealth who were killed in Burma during the Second World War. It has over 6400 graves of soldiers who died during the first and the Second World War in Burma. Also, visit the Rangoon Memorial which has pillars with names of more than 27,000 Commonwealth soldiers who died in the Burma Campaign during the Second World War.
Yangon Zoo: Away from bustle of the city, lies the Yangon zoo. Built in the honour of Queen Victoria in 1901, the main highlight of the zoo is the white elephant belonging to the last king of Burma, King Thibaw. This 70-acre huge space boasts 1100 birds and animals of 200 different rare species including clouded leopards, Bengal tigers, marsh crocodiles and hornbills. Apart from animals, this zoological park is also home to a wide range of Southeast Asian flora. It is a fun sight, especially for kids.
Taking a ferry ride is common in Yangon, however, your trip will be incomplete until you experience the unique ride to Dallah village, situated across a river in the city. The ride gets interesting as the ferry is more of a floating market than just a mode of transportation. Enjoy freshly-sliced watermelons and pick up some souvenirs from the vendors on your ride. The ferry has two decks – the upper deck has free seats, while the lower deck has seats available at a fare. From incredible architecture, golden pagodas to diverse culture, Yangon truly has a lot to offer.