The Best Things to Do in Yangon

Yangon - the capital city - always gathers the most special remarks from the history remains, culture, buildings to the country’s cuisines, musical shows, economic achievements. Will a couple of days can be enough for a visitor to find out all the enjoyable things in the capital of Myanmar- Yangon?

Frankly speaking, even citizens in this city haven’t experienced the whole things that make the Yangon name. Yet in this article, we will recommend worth-doing activities in Yangon that makes Yangon in you becomes a pleasant experience.

1. Contemplate the beauty of Shwedagon Pagoda

Built on an elevated hill, Shwedagon pagoda shines to every area of the city of Yangon and absolutely attracts people to follow its sparkling golden light. 

A legend has unfolded that it was built 2600 years ago and be the world oldest Buddha stupa. You may surprise of what it is made from: 8688 sheets of gold, more than 7000 diamonds and precious gem, 74- carat diamond of the crown on top. This stupa is perfect from every angle even from a far distance within the city. You can take hundreds of images and still not get bored.

Inside the pagoda, there are a lot more to visit such as a more than 150 years old Bodhi tree, nearly 1500 bells of different size and weight and the captivating panoramic view from the backyard of the pagoda. As the night falls down, all of the devotees light up the lamps and candles for their daily ritual. 

  • Entrance fee: about 8 USD
  • Opening hours: 4 a.m to 10 p.m

Note: Wear long sleeves shirt as well as long trousers or dresses as strictly said in the rules of the pagoda.  

2. Stroll around Kandawgyi Park

Looking for a peaceful place in the middle of Yangon city, Kandawgyi Park is where satisfy your requirements. The special thing of this Park is an enormous Natural Park in Yangon city.

Fresh air, calm water with boardwalk runs along the southern and western sides of the lake is an ideal for early morning jog or stroll.

On the southern side, you also catch the image of a splendid floating Shin Upagot shrine.

Eastern side is for kid playground, a small zoo, and a fanciful Karaweik Palace- a reinforced concrete reproduction of the royal barge. 

Utopia Tower on the north side offers a wider range of activities with restaurants, bars, karaoke, snorkel, art showcases on the ground floor and on the 5th floor, there is a good deck for view watching.

The garden is also a stunning feature of the park with full of colorful flowers are everywhere in the Park. Don’t forget to check out the orchid garden, it is a garden of only orchid with a large variety color of its own kind.

  • Entrance fee: 300 Kyats (apx 0.30 USD)
  • Opening hours: 4 a.m to 10 p.m 

Note: In the weekends, the park can be pretty crowded with the locals from Yangon city.

3. Taste Yangon street food

Yangon street food can fulfill visitors’ hungry stomach by many delicious dishes at cheap prices. Some street food areas you should go to are the night market on Strand Road, Little India, Maha Bandula Park, 19 street in Chinatown. On these streets, you can find lots of food influenced by Chinese, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese cuisines. In addition, several dishes are local favorites and you should try once when going out on street food. There are some dishes that tourists should absolutely try such as street pancake, Mont Lin Ma Yar, Shan noodle, Samosa salad. 

Street Pancakes, slightly crispy on the sides and fluffy in the middle, with nuts and egg topping.

Mont Lin Ma Yar, a local dish contains quail egg, chickpeas and a dash off the pepper.

Samosa Salad - fiber mix, consists of cut samosas, fried chickpeas, cabbage, potatoes, and tasty broth.

Other than these, you can find many more delicious foods, just buy anything seems good because a dish is only savory when we taste.

4. Go shopping at Bogyoke Aung San market (Scott market)

Bogyoke Aung San market or also called the Scott Market is a home for over 2000 shops and stalls. They sell almost everything from food, daily necessities and fancy handicraft souvenirs, which is why both locals and tourists are always crowded in the market.

Bogyoke Aung San market - the biggest market in the local area

There are some suggestions that might be some unique souvenirs from Yangon city you might take into consideration, for example, marionette puppet, sand painting, fabric for Longyi - traditional dress of Burmese - as well as some artifacts. 

  • Free entrance 
  • Opening hours: 8 a.m to 5:30 p.m 

5. Pay a visit at Chaukhtatgyi Paya

Distinguished from other Pagodas, a gigantic lying Buddha in Chaukhtatgyi Paya is what highlight its fame. Be protected in a giant chamber made from metal, there is a 60-meter long and 30-meter tall reclining Buddha that sure to make you be small.

A 60-meter long and 30-meter tall reclining Buddha

The Buddha is decorated with expressive colors, at the sole of the feet are 108 segments to show the 108 auspicious characteristics of the Buddha. Around the Buddha is many shrines where locals pray belonging to the day of their birth. Besides, it is also a quiet place to meditate and pray, from which people feel refreshment to their spirit and hope for their life. 

  • Free entrance 
  • Opening hours: 6 a.m to 8 p.m

6. Feel the local life at a sidewalk tea shop

Coffee shops or tea shops in Yangon are mostly without air conditioner or designed tables with style chairs, couches like in Starbuck but they still have their own originality. It is the place where the locals enjoy their free time, they talk in their language, wear plain cloth as if they are home, laughing, talking about everything in life through hours with a cup of tea.

People here are famous for their hospitality, sitting alone in the beginning but you won’t drink by yourself. Local people will come to talk and make friend with you, though their English may not really well.

7. Admire the colonial buildings in downtown Yangon

Invaders conquer the land, they took but they also gave. Myanmar was a colonial country under Portugal, China, Mongolia, etc. when the invaders leave, they left buildings, constructions, etc. to the colonial country. Most of the colonial buildings in Yangon are in old condition but they were reserved carefully by the government and ready for sightseeing.

 The Minister’s Office, a classical Victorian structure: red bricks outlay and arches lining the verandahs

The Minister’s Office and the Pegu Club own distinctive features of classical Victorian structure from the 19th century. 

The Accountant General Building on Pansodan Road in Yangon is one of the buildings that survive after a bombarding battle in World War II. Now it is the home of Auditor General of Myanmar.

In addition, more adventures await for tourists who are attracted by the architecture of the Yangon city such as the Governor’s Resident, Police Commissioner’s building, Myanmar Port Authority and the High Court. 

8. Take a Yangon circular train ride

Not everyone has enough time for a few days to optimally discover Yangon, that is why the best thing to do in Yangon might be taking the Yangon circular train ride, which is completely appropriate to end your wonderful journey in the capital city of Myanmar. 

The 3-hour Yangon's circular train ride

In this bumpy ride stops at 39 stations with 29 miles in length, you will have a chance to enjoy lots of local aspects. People hopping on and off including monks, vendors selling boiled peanuts, fruit, traditional fruit in three hours on board, which a perfect chance for travelers to meet, converse and eating snacks with local people, simultaneously enjoy the countryside, villages view of mystical Yangon. The whole ride takes about 3 hours to finish. 

  • Ticket fees: 100-200 Kyat for non-A/C coach, 500-800 Kyat for A/C coach.
  • Running hours: 15 rides/ day, from 6 a.m to 5 p.m 

» Useful link: Myanmar Day Cruises - information on the itinerary and schedule and cheap prices are offered. 

9. Drink beer and enjoy a barbecue at 19th street

Drinks and barbecue are the best things on the 19th street in Chinatown, you will catch the view of the busiest street food in the whole Yangon city. The street is the gathering place of many Chinese cuisine restaurants and Myanmar alike but it is best known for Myanmar Chinese barbecue and beer.

yangon nightlife 2Hundreds of food and drink stalls on the 19th street

Fresh products are laid out like pork, chicken, meatballs, tofu, ribs, squid, prawns, and then mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, asparagus, and plenty of other things for fresher and cleaner dishes. 

The more you go deeper in 19th street, the more pub, club, bar with air-conditioner ones you see. Most of which guests are the younger generation of millennial and they are friendly to make friend with foreigners. As it goes darker, the street gets even crazier, people get more crowded and that is all the fun about.

» Useful link: Hotels in Yangon, our suggestions for your nights in Yangon. 

10. Join in a day trip to Dala

Village rhythm of life is as fancy as it can be, perhaps a day in a rural village might bring a different air to the journey in Dala, Yangon. Located across the river from Yangon, catch a 10-minute ferry ride, you can be in Dala villages. Right at the moment when you go on the ferry, you can experience a mini market sell all of the things when sitting on a free plastic chair alongside the corridors.

In Dala village, you can easy to catch the images of bamboo houses, fish markets, tea shops, many freely raised cattle farm and having yourselves tasty cheap street foods. It will absolutely be the most authentic exploration with rickshaw cycles of the rural life of the town near Yangon. 

You are now ready to pack your bags and head to Yangon - the capital city of Myanmar!

» Read more Myanmar Travel Advice to well-plan for your trip to Myanmar.

» Don’t hesitate to contact us on Myanmar Airfares to book your trip soonest with affordable price for flights, hotels, car rentals, and day cruises. 

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