Yangon, the capital of Myanmar, is one of the main gateways to Myanmar. Evergreen and cool with lush tropical trees, shady parks and beautiful lakes, Yangon has earned the name of "the Garden City of the East". Relatively simple city without skyscrapers neon-lit clamor, crowded squalor and the pace of modern life, Yangon is attractive in its own special way. Yangon was founded by King 'Alaungpaya' on the site of a small settlement called Dagon after the conquer of lower Myanmar in 1755 AD. The name Yangon means "End of Strive", which was Anglicized to "Rangoon" after the British annexed Myanmar in 1885 AD. At present, Yangon covers about 500 sq.km and has a population of about five million.
Most visitors say "One will never complete it's visit in Myanmar without going to Great Shwedagon Pagoda. The historic Shwedagon Pagoda, which towers almost 100 meters above the green city-scrape of Yangon, never falls to enchant visitors. The shimmering main stupa soars high above the capital and is visible for miles away.
Shwe-dagon Pagoda, one of the wonders of the world, is believed to have been built more than 2500 years ago. The Pagoda was renovated many times over the centauries by successive Myanmar Kings.
There are many pagodas in Myanmar but few were come closer to it in scale or beauty. It is not just one main stupa but complex of many stupas. All around the stupa is cluster of smaller stupas, temples, shrines, prayer halls, pavilions, religious images and statues. Lengthy staircases lined with stalls selling religious articles, Silverwares, Bras-wares, Souvenirs, Lacquer-wares, handicrafts, flowers and ceremonial umbrellas.
The best time to visit Shwe-dagon pagoda is at sunset when its gilded stupa is bathed in the fading rays of the sun and takes on a magical glow. A visit to Myanmar is incomplete without a visit to Shwedagon Pagoda.
Entrance Fee - US$ 5(pay in kyats at current exchange rate)
Video Camera Fee - US$ 3 (pay in kyats at current exchange rate)
Sule PagodaThis strange Architectural monument is situated right in the center of Yangon, just beside the Myanmar Travels and Tours office, Maha Bandoola Park and Independence Monument, Town Hall and Supreme Court. Sule Pagoda is said to have been built over 2,000 years old and enshrined a hair of Buddha. It has own original "Mon" name "Kyaik-Athok" translates as "the pagoda where a Sacred Hair Relic is enshrined". The golden pagoda is unusual for its octagonal shape continues right up to the bell and inverted bowl. It stands 50 meters (152 feet) high and is surrounded by small shops and all the familiar non- religious services such as of astrologists, palmists, and so on.
This pagoda is located at the right centre of Yangon which can be served as the evident land mark of the City. Therefore one will never get lost to his path whenever one try to come back to that pagoda.
The name "Kaba Aye" in Myanmar means "World Peace" to which this pagoda is dedicated. Built in 1952 by former prime minister U-Nu, this pagoda is significant because of the Sixth World Buddhist Synod which was held in 1954 at the artificial concrete grotto "Mahapasana" which located in its precinct. The Buddhist Art Museum, and newly built Wizaya Mingalar Dhamathabin Hall are also located in the same precinct too. The International Buddhist Learning Centre is also situated there for all Buddhist-scholars around the world . It is also a good place to learn the different mudras and gesture of Buddha Images.
This colossal (70 meters long) reclining Buddha, located on Shwe-gon-dine Road, is one of the largest Buddha images in Myanmar. The original image was built in 1907 built by the Wealthy merchant named Sir-Phoe Tha. But it has been suffered damages due to climate over the years. In 1957, it was demolished and rebuilt to this structure, and completed in 1966. It is a good place to learn the 108 significant symbols of Buddha's footprints. This gigantic Buddha Image is located in the big compound of Monasteries, and there are over 600 Buddhist monks who are studying Buddhist literature.
A wonder land of spire pagodas and sculptured figures located in North Okkalapa, a satellite town about 20 minutes' drive from the city center. Mai-Lamu Pagoda is famous for the giant images depicting Buddha's earlier lives.
The Pagoda was built for the commemoration of the First Successful congregation of the Sangha of All Orders held in 1980. This elegant Maha- vijaya Pagoda is a unique blend of traditional patterns and the modern styles. The sanctuary contains the finely wrought Buddha image and the reliquary donated by the King and Queen of Nepal.
"Bo" means "Military Leader" and "Tahtaung" means one thousand" the " Botahtaung" Pagoda was named after the thousand military leaders who escorted the relics of the " Buddha" brought from India over 2,000 years ago. It is hollow inside and one can walk through it and a sort of mirrored maze inside the pagoda with glass show-cases containing many of the ancient relics and artifacts which were sealed inside the earlier pagoda. Above this interesting interior, the golden pagoda spire rises to 40 meters (132feet).
The national museum is located on Pyay road near the Diplomatic quarter of Foreign Embassies. The present location is the third move of the museum since its creation in 1952. Rich collections of various interesting objects are exposed in four floors of a big building.
At the ground floor, the first room is consecrated to the epigraphy and to the calligraphy. It exposes the "Pyu" writing on the gold leaves and on plaques of terracotta; the sacred writing in "pali" and the Burmese writing of different times on the manuscripts and "Parabeiks" to the religious or royal topic.
In the second room is exposed the famous lion brought back to Burma by lord Mount-Batten at the time of the independence. It makes part to 9 kinds of throne in the different apartments of the Palace and intended only for the sovereigns for the different occations. The king and the chief queen sat on the lion throne when they presided an audience or a protocol. The pedestal made of sculpted teak is decorated of lion statuary to which the throne owes its name.
In the following room, is exposed a miniature of the palace before its destruction, the photos of its pavilions, the furnitures and the dresses of the court of Mandalay.
At the first floor, the first room is dedicated to the prehistoric culture of Myanmar (the one of anyathia, the one of padalin cave) and to the cultural discoveries of different "Pyus" principality (Hanlin, Beikthanoe, Sriksetra). The diffusion of the Buddhism of "Pyu" period testified by the unearthed religious objects is interesting.
The second room illustrates the Burmese art development through the different kingdom (Bagan, Pinya, Ava, Taungoo, Nyaungyan, and Konbaung) .
In the third room, the treasures of the kings of Mandalay are exposed. The royal attributes and the daily objects of use of the palace worth to study.
The second floor contains two rooms that consist the objects of popular arts and handicraft, the musical instruments and the performing art (the dances, the strings puppets etc...).
The third floor is dedicated to the widely-known Burmese painters' paintings.
The last floor is interesting. It exposes the models of all ethnic minorities with their completed colorful traditional costumes and the distinguish utilitarian objects of every ethnic group.
It opens from 10am to 3 pm except Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays
Entrance Fee -US $ 5
"Kandawgyi" royal lake is situated in the east of Shwedagon Pagoda. It was created by the British and a good spot for relax with well shady trees and plants. The Glisten Shwedagon pagoda reflects in the restful waters of the lake. There is full of interesting places around the lake.
On the eastern part of Royal Lake is the Karaweik floating restaurant made of concrete fully decorated with pilaster work. It is the replica of Royal Barge with two mythical birds at fore-front which has been used by King Alongsithu of Bagan dynasty(12 Century AD).
Situated on Lu-O-Yon Street, the Natural History Museum has a notable collection of Myanmar natural resources including flora and fauna, forest products, minerals and rocks.
Entrance Fee -US$ 4 (pay in kyats at current exchange rate)
A scenic park with a lovely view of Kandawgyi Lake is located on Natmauk road and closed to the pagodas of Shwedagon Pagoda and Mahavijaya Pagoda. This Park is a popular recreation center where city-dwellers relax and enjoy their leisure in peaceful tranquility. The playground and picnic areas are favorite spots for children and teenagers. It is also a place to learn the different species of traditional medicinal plants as well as a nursery for decorative plants and flower. One can also buy the fresh fruits, vegetables, antecedes and fertilizer for small plantations.
People's Square and People's Park
People's Square and People's Park occupy over 130 acres of land between Shwedagon Pagoda and Pyithu Hluttaw (Parliament). There is a museum housing life-size models of nationalities in their colorful dress and flora and fauna. The restaurant serves Myanmar, Chinese and European cuisines.
Opening Hour - 07:00 to 19:00 hours
Entrance Fee - US $ 3 (pay in kyats at current exchange rate)
Camera Fee - US $ 3 (pay in kyats at current exchange rate)
Video Camera Fee - US $ 6 (pay in kyats at current exchange rate)
Located near Kandawgyi Palace Hotel, the Zoo noted for its collection of wild animals, flora and fauna, which have been collected over the years since it was opened in 1906. On weekend and public holidays, snake dance and elephant circus are performed for visitors. It is open daily from 08:00 hours.
Entrance Fee Ks. 10 ( Adults ) - Nationalities
* Ks. 5 ( Children) - Nationalities.
* US$ 5 (pay in kyats at current exchange rate) - Foreigners
* US$ 2 (pay in kyats at current exchange rate) - Resident Foreigners
Camera Fee Ks. 25
Video( Family) Ks. 300
The Hlawger Wildlife Park is about 45 minute's drive from Yangon. The Park, which covers 1650 acres of land and lake, is home to over 70 kinds of herbivorous animals and 90 species of birds. Flock of migratory birds frequently visits the park. It is an ideal place for picnickers, naturalists, botanists and bird-watchers.
There are some main Meditation Centers in Yangon- the Mahasi Meditation Center at 16, Thathana Yeiktha Road, Bahan Township (phone: 95-1-550392), the International Meditation center at 31-A, Inya Myaing Road, Bahan Township (phone: 95-1-5331549), Chanmyay Yeiktha Meditation Center at 55/A. Kaba Aye Pagoda Road, Mayangon Township (phone: 95-1-661479), Panditarama Meditation Center at 80/A ,Thanlwin Road, Bahan Township (phone: 95-1-5331448) and Society for Propagation of Vipassana Mogoke Sayadaw's Way at 82, Natmauk Road. Bahan Townships (Phone: 95-1-550184) have facilities for full- time meditation. Aspiring Yogis from abroad should write to the said main centers for detailed information. There are many Meditation Centers not only in Yangon Area but also all over the Country.
Located at Htaukkyant, about 32 km from Yangon on the road to Bago (Pegu), is a memorial cemetery of Allied Forces Soldiers who scarified their life in the Myanmar during the World War ll. The Cemetery's beautifully kept under the missionary of international veteran organization ground has 27, 000 stone-graves of Commonwealth and allied Forces Soldiers.
Myanmar arts and crafts, mostly pure hand-made, are best souvenirs and prices are very reasonable. Lacquer-wares, silk and cotton fabrics, bags (especially Shan shoulder bags), Burmese cigars and Burmese cheroots, pure silks, various national costumes, and T-shirts with Myanmar alphabet writings are some of the favorite items. For jewelry, there are Myanmar rubies (the world famous pigeon blood color), sapphires, jades, silver-wares and pearls available at the authorized Myanmar gems shops which will provide the official approval document for the custom of the Yangon International airport.