Things to do and places to visit around Yangon
Highlights of Yangon
Yangon, the commercial city, is the main gateway to Myanmar. Yangon was founded by King Alaungpaya in 1775 on the site of a small settlement called Dagon. The present day Yangon covers about 359 sq.km with a population of over 5.8 million.
The Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the wonders of the world, is the prominent landmark visible from miles around. The pagoda has height of 326 feet and where the four Buddhas’s relics were enshrined, is believed to have been built more than 2,600 years ago, that is during the Buddha’s lifetime. Most of the buildings around the Pagoda are decorated with the best specimens of Myanmar painting and sculpture. A visit to Yangon is incomplete without a visit to Shwedagon Pagoda.
The Sule Pagoda is situated in the center of the city, across from the City Hall. The Stupa stands 46m high. It is also one of excellent landmarks of Yangon in the center of downtown area.
The Botahtaung Pagoda is located on the Botahtaung Pagoda Road, situated beside the Yangon River. It was named after 1,00 Military leaders who escorted relics of the Buddha from India to Myanmar over 2,000 years ago. People believe that it contains hair relics of the Buddha.
Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda
The Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, 65.72 meter long reclining Buddha, is one of the largest image in Myanmar. The original image was built in 1907. The Pagoda was demolished in 1957 and it was built to this structure in 1966.
Allied War Memorial (Htauk kyant War Cemetery)
Allied War Memorial Cemetery is located at Htauk kyant, 32km from Yangon downtown, on the way to Bago. It is a memorial cemetery of Allied soldiers who died in the Myanmar Campaign during World War 2. The Cemetery is peaceful and its beautifully kept grounds has 27,000 stone-graves of allied soldiers, cut across the Ayeyarwaddy Delta.
There are many colonial buildings situated in the downtown of Yangon. The highlights are City Hall, High Court, former Ministerial Office and some government buildings.
Kandawgyi Gardens and Kandawgyi Lake
Kandawgyi garden is located in the center of Yangon, a walking distance from the Shwedagon Pagoda. There are nine agricultural educative booths, small museum and shops, new restaurants, Timber Walkway, Rock Garden, Orchid Garden, Mount Popa Tower and Children playground are additional pleasure of the park.
Yangon Zoo, People’s square and People’s park and Hlawga Wildlife Park are also popular park in Yangon.
Bogyoke Aung San Market (Scott Market) is located at the corner of Shwedagon Pagoda road and Bogyoke Aung San Road with an area of 29717 square metre. Being the Largest in Yangon, Bogyoke Aung San Market is one of the best places for souvenirs , handicrafts, jewelry, lacquerware, and modern items are readily available.
MUSEUMS IN YANGON
The National Museum is located on Pyay Road, and it has five floors of exhibits. It has the 8m high lion throne of King Thibaw, the last Myanmar King, the royal regalia of 19th century, the artifacts of various ancient periods, manuscripts, traditional dress of various ethnic groups, traditional musical instruments, paintings, etc are displayed in the museum.
Myanmar Gems Museum and Gems Mart
Myanmar Gems Museum is located on Kaba Aye Pagoda road, very close the the Kaba Aye Pagoda. It displays very famous precious stones of Myanmar such as rubies, jades, sapphires and pearls. It also houses the Gems Mart and sells raw gemstones, polished and various kinds of jewellery.
Others interesting museums in Yangon are Bogyoke Aung San Museum, Drug Elimination Museum.
Thanlyin lies 45 minute drive from Yangon across the 1822 long bridge spanning the Bago river, which was once an important trading port of the Portuguese in the early 17th century. Kyaik Khauk Pagoda in Thanlyin and Yele Kyauktan Pagoda are some of the places of interest. National Races Village is situated on the left of Yangon-Thanlyin Bridge.
Twante is situated 24km from Yangon and a boat trip along the Twante Canal takes about two hours. It is noted for its pottery and cotton weaving local industries. From where, visitors can enjoy the rural life along the famous canal of Twante, a short cut across the Ayeyarwaddy Delta.
Bago is formerly known as Hanthawaddy of Mon Kingdom in 15th century and located about 80km from Yangon. Among the many places of cultural heritage include the shwemawdaw Pagoda, the huge reclining Buddha of Shwe Tha Lyaung, the four giant Buddha images of Kyaikpun Pagoda and the excavation site and restoration work of Kanbawzathadi, the palace of famous King Bayintnaung.