Top Attractions in Yangon

The largest city and the economic heartbeat of Myanmar, this former capital is abuzz with wealth and history. A melting pot of various influences as a former British colony, it has the highest number of colonial buildings in Southeast Asia and a cosmopolitan population. Housing numerous architectural treasures, Yangon is a city that paints gold lavishly on its beloved buildings, be it royal palaces or sacred pilgrimage sites. Here, we introduce some of the top things to do in this fascinating city.

Visit the Shwedagon Pagoda
Easily the icon of Myanmar, this 2500-year-old pagoda is highly regarded by locals as the most holy Buddhist pagoda. Dazzling and adorned with gold plating, its stupa is generously coated with over four thousand diamonds, the largest of which is a 72-carat diamond. This glorious, sacred building contains hundreds of temples and statues that reflect its rich heritage; there is no better place for travelers to get a glimpse of the Buddhist culture in Myanmar. It reportedly contains precious remains of the past four Buddhas within its vicinity and is one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in Myanmar. Religious practices aside, travelers can simply appreciate the beauty of its architectural splendor.

Bargain at the Bogyoke Aung San Market
Previously known as Scotts’ market, this sprawling bazaar can easily take up a good half day of activity. More than eighty years old, this major market is known for its cobbled streets and charming colonial buildings. Travelers will be spoilt for choice for finding souvenirs here over its 2000 shops, which sell an exhaustive collection of Burmese handicrafts and antiques. From lacquer ware to rattan goods and tapestries, there are all kinds of products to be found. This is also a good place for finding famous Burmese jade and other gemstones and a great place to interact with the locals.

Watch a cultural show at the Karaweik Hall
For a unique night out, the Karaweik Hall provides both culture and glamour. This floating gold-plated restaurant cum royal barge is one of the landmarks of Yangon, fashioned after the shape of a mythical creature, Pali karaka. Located in the Kandawgyi Royal Lake, it is situated in the Kandawgyi Nature Park. Highly acclaimed, traditional dance performances are held here every evening for entertainment, and guests can enjoy the show while dining at the barge. Besides that, travelers can also enjoy the beautiful Karaweik Hall and its various showrooms highlighting traditional Burmese arts.

Visit the National Museum
Housing an extensive collection of Burmese art and history, this five-story museum features 14 galleries that depict Mynmar’s rich history and culture in detail. Some treasures include the Thihathana Throne, also called the Lion Throne, which was the impressive property of the last king of Myanmar; stunning ceremonial gowns and all sorts of bedazzled utensils and adornments. The royal collection in this museum is dazzling and a reflection of the wealth and prestige that the country had. Travelers who want to see more of Myanmar’s most important, glittering natural resource – gems – can proceed to the Myanmar Gems Museum, which displays many exquisite jewels and precious stones.

Be dazzled by the Kyaikto Pagoda
Also known as Golden Rock, this monument is another testimonial to Myanmar’s love of pilgrimage and admiration of gold. A famous pilgrimage site, it is famous for its seemingly gravity-defying position – it is located on top of a huge granite boulder that is perched precariously on the edge of a cliff. Legend has it that the rock itself is balanced on a strand of Buddha’s hair. The boulder today is covered with golden leaves pasted on by devoted followers. At night, the complex turns into a beautifully illuminated golden mass, with 90 000 candles lit at the site. Travelers can go down to the newly built terrace to get a complete view of the boulder and the pagoda.

Laze around at the Ngwe Saung
Known for its unspoiled pristine white sands, this 15 km beach is a great place to simply enjoy the sun and soak in the atmosphere. It is a newer beach resort than its counterpart, Changchun Beach, and its entertainment amenities are not fully developed. Nevertheless, travelers who want to do a little bit of exploring can stretch their legs by going to the local village or seeing the nearby elephant training camp.

By admin