Yangon is the former capital city of Myanmar, and it is one of Myanmar’s most busy and exciting cities. But let’s be honest…how many people are actually interested in visiting Yangon? Maybe there are not many world famous things to do in Yangon, however there is no doubt you will fall in love with the city. It is a perfect city to walk around on foot to see what there is to discover, eat, and love. The things I listed here are not everything you can do in the city, but these are a good start to begin exploring the exciting city!
What to Do
If you are in Yangon, you must visit the 2,500 years old Shwedagon Pagoda. Shwedagon pagoda, also known as the Golden Pagoda, is a stupa in the center of Yangon. The only reason I wanted to visit Yangon was to see this beautiful Pagoda, so I was super excited to be there. The Golden Pagoda was truly mesmerizing, and it was probably the most impressive Pagoda I’ve ever seen. The opening hours are between 4AM and 10PM. Since the Pagoda gets crowded during the day and sunset, I suggest you visit at sunrise. The entrance fee is 10,000 Kyats per person. Just be mindful that visitors need to dress appropriately and modestly. Trousers or at least knee length shorts or a skirt is required, and you are also expected to be barefoot when entering Shwedagon Pagoda.
Pansodan Street (Downtown Yangon)
The buildings in Yangon were heavily influenced by British architecture, but there were unique touches of building’s in disrepair with moss and shrubs growing out of every nook and cranny. Colorful and chaotic, Yangon is a feast for the senses. It is undeniable that Yangon’s most iconic sight is Shwedagon Pagoda, what makes it worth visiting is their vibrant life that spills out of people’s homes and onto the streets. The best way to explore downtown Yangon is by foot. You will never get bored of the sights you will encounter, especially the crowds of people 🙂
The market is to find anything from antique, Burmese handicraft, jewelry shops, art galleries, and clothing stores. Also, it is the best place to find your longyis. Longyis is sheet of cloth widely worn in Burma, and it is an appropriate cloth for visiting Pagoda in Myanmar. It is fun to wander around the central alleys and bargain with vendors. The market is open every day between 9 AM and 5PM.
Where to Eat
999 Shan Noodle Shop
If you are looking for some local noodles, 999 Shan Noodle Shop is the place to be! This small restaurant is at a calm road just off a congested street in downtown. My husband ordered sticky Shan noodle, and I ordered basic chicken-base Shan noodle. Although both noodles were delicious, my favorite was their dumpling soup. The soup was refreshing, and each dumpling was juicy and flavorful. The people working there were friendly and attentive as well. If I go back to Yangon again, I will definitely visit again.
130b, 34th Street, Yangon, Myanmar
Rangoon Tea House
Rangoon tea house is on Pansodan Street, and it is close to Sule Pagoda. If you are looking to experience an authentic tea house, the Rangoon Tea House is a must. The interior was classic yet comfortable. We were pleasantly surprised by their extremely spacious and comfortable atmosphere. Even though there were many tables, it seemed like almost all tables were filled with customers. There were many choices for food and drinks, and the menu was in all English. We wanted to try their food, but we decided to order tea and sweets since we were still full from Shan noodles (hehe). The cake was big enough that we shared together. Although the service was a bit slow, there was free WiFi, which was a big plus!
77-79 Pansodan Rd (Lower Middle Block), Yangon, Myanmar
Where to Stay
The Strand Yangon
Since Yangon is a big city, there are too many areas to choose to stay in. We ended up staying in downtown Yangon, and we made the right choice! We stayed at The Strand Yangon. The Strand Yangon is an iconic and historical hotel. It was founded in 1901 and known as one of the most luxurious hotels in Myanmar. There were only 32 suites available, and each suite is lavishly decorated with a colonial interior. The hotel staff were also very attentive and friendly everywhere we went in the hotel. It was such an excellent service with superb facilities.
If you want to check out my full review for the Strand Yangon, click here.
Above all, I hope this list gave you some ideas of where to go in Yangon, but one of the best ways to explore Yangon is to just immerse yourself in a thriving culture. I recommend you just walk around without any specific plans and enjoy learning about their beautiful culture. This city has tons of things to offer, and you will not be disappointed.
The breathtaking Pagodas, delicious Burmese food, and the extremely friendly people are some of the reasons why you should visit Yangon! If you have any questions or more suggestions about Yangon, I would love to hear. I hope you enjoyed this article 🙂