Yangon and Surrounds Travel Guide

Full to the brim with refreshing gardens and beautiful tropical trees, Yangon (also known as Rangoon) has been dubbed the ‘Garden City of the East’. The city appears to be embracing the modern age in a calm manner, and has not yet become an overwhelming metropolis like other Asian cities. An important commercial hub, it is still by far the least polluted city in the region.

One of Yangon’s newer landmarks is the 20 year old Karaweik Hall. Built to represent the mythical Karaweik bird, this fabulous gilded structure sits on the banks of the Kandawgyi Lake. For a more traditional take on architecture, visit the venerable Shwedagon Pagoda. A prominent landmark in the city, this magnificent golden structure inspired such minds as Somerset Maugham and Rudyard Kipling.

Another popular attraction is the Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda with its vast reclining Buddha. Look for the intricate glass mosaic on the sole of his feet. If you still yearn to see more pagodas, the Botahtaung Pagoda, Sule Pagoda and Kabar Aye Pagoda are all well worth a visit.

English style houses can still be seen in the downtown areas, their gabled roofs and verandas an ever present reminder of colonial days. Buildings to look out for include the red and yellow Supreme Court, the Yangon City Hall and the celebrated Strand Hotel. Take a stroll down Bogyoke Aung San street for some architectural treats including the Mee Ya Htar Building, the Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral and the Bogyoke Aung San Market.

The Bogyoke Aung San Market is a wonderful place for shopping. Lacquerware, silverware, carvings, jewelry and fabrics can all be found here at reasonably high quality and low prices. Other popular attractions include the Bogyoke Aung San Museum, the Natural History Museum and the National Museum.

You can reach Hlaw Ga Wildlife Park easily by car from downtown Yangon. Home to an array of animals and birds, it is a popular place for walking, picnicking and bird watching. If you tire of walking, hop aboard an elephant, or while away the time in a boat. Outside Yangon is the Taukkyan War Cemetery, a spotlessly clean cemetery commemorating the Allied soldiers who died in WWII.