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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Joanna James Joanna James
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Yangon's Colonial Age Buildings – Marvels of a Bygone Era

The downtown region of Yangon is famed as having the largest collection of colonial buildings in the Southeast Asia region. The list is endless and structures quite fascinating to explore.


Yangon City Hall

Thought to be one of the best examples of Myanmar architecture this structure found in downtown Yangon was completed in 1936. Construction of the building, now a part of the National Heritage List was started in 1926.


The Custom House

This marvellous vintage building sits on Strand Road which is where most of the heritage structures are located. A classic example of British heritage architecture the Custom House is one of the best preserved of Yangon's colonial buildings. The brick red façade of the building is hard to miss when on a tour of Strand Roads iconic attractions.


The High Court Building

This is a building that was constructed just before World War I broke out. You will love the attention to detail of the High Court Building which since its construction in 1914, served as the Parliament of Justice. It was later transformed to serve as the High Court Building in 1962.


The Inland Water Transport Building

Inland Water Transport Building or IWT as it is better known is situated in the downtown district of Yangon. The place is headquarters for managing cargo ships and passenger cruise liners that ply the many rivers of Myanmar. Also if you crave the colonial style grandeur of the best luxury hotel Yangon has to offer, look for one beside a lake. Kandawagyi Lakefront home to Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake Yangon is favoured for its colonial charms and views of pagodas and royal palaces.


Myanmar Port Authority Building

This is one of Myanmar's more unique vintage buildings. Built in 1920 the façade underwent a total renovation that restored it to its former glory. A must visit for all enthusiast culture buffs this is one of the best gems to stumble upon on you heritage scout of Yangon.


Secretariat Building – Ministers Building

This construction occupies and the entire building. It was once the Secretariat Building to later function as the Ministers Building. The place is surrounded by four roads; on the north by Anawrahata Road, Maha Bandoola on the South, Theinbyu Road on the East and Kyaw Street to the western edge of the building. Built in the 1800's this was the seat of British Burma; the building is now over a 120 years old and bears a significant note in history as the place General Aung San and 6 of his Cabinet Ministers were killed in 1947. It is now totally abandoned and is part of the Yangon Heritage List.


There are Plenty More to Explore

Once you whet your appetite for these colonial splendours there are many more to explore; for instance, the former Myanmar Railway Headquarters is a beauty while other renovated colonial structures that silently occupy the street corners are waiting to be admired. Filigree facades and marvellous attention to detail make these structures a treat to explore.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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