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Updated by Joanna James on Jan 30, 2020
Headline for Yangon must-see attractions – surround yourself in unmistakable old-world charm
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Yangon must-see attractions – surround yourself in unmistakable old-world charm

When touring Myanmar's largest city, one will be presented with a unique opportunity to call by world-renowned shrines, busy marketplaces and waterways that exude a rich heritage.

1

Shwedagon Pagoda

Arguably the most eye-catching and talked about the tourist attraction in all of Myanmar, the Shwedagon Pagoda retains a special place in Yangon's history. Easily made out amidst various other structures that dazzle the city's skyline, the Pagoda which is over 2,500 years old paves the way for history buffs and intrepid travellers to embark on a journey of great discovery. Considered the oldest of its kind in the world, the Shwedagon Pagoda also referred to as the Golden Pagoda houses a number of relics of the Buddha which include 8 strands of hair of Gautama Buddha and a part of the robe of Kassapa. Upon entry to the complex, one will be greeted by the magnificent sight of the golden spire that rises over neighbouring stupas and shrines that comprise the pagoda. For first time visitors who might be staying at a nearby Yangon hotel such as the Pan Pacific Yangon, it is important that you follow local customs and refrain from touching monks, be appropriately clad and show respect whenever warranted.

2

Bogyoke Aung San Market

Named after Bogyoke Aung San whose name has been etched in gold in Myanmar's history for being the father of the nation, this marketplace is both for the old-fashioned and the daring at heart who yearns to get acquainted with how the locals get about their business. While cobblestone lanes and colonial-age design elements beautify the market's interior, one can pick and choose from a vast array of goods that are readily available for extremely nominal prices. Built in the year 1926, Bogyoke Aung San Market features in excess of 2000 shops where clothes, gemstones, coins, stamps and a delightful range of souvenirs are sold at what is well known as Yangon's main marketplace.

3

Taukkyan War Cemetery

A somber mood is sure to be your constant guide when you arrive and walk through the Taukkyan War Cemetery which is the largest war cemetery in the country. Containing the remains of 6,000 Commonwealth soldiers who fought in the allied forces during the 2nd World War, the cemetery further affords the visitor a chance to pay tribute to those who laid down their lives in the hope of a better tomorrow. Within the confines of the cemetery is a memorial on which the names of 27,000 soldiers are inscribed and a feature of any visit here are the well-manicured lawns and foliage that complement the mood of the place.

4

Kyaiktiyo Pagoda

Truly a sight for sore eyes is the pagoda which is located on the slopes of Mount Kyaiktiyo. Resembling an oddly-shaped gold coloured rock, Kyaiktiyo Pagoda is in actuality a rock upon which a spire is found and according to popular belief; is kept in place by a strand of the Buddha's hair. Travellers arriving here will be fortunate to not only pay homage at the site but also feast their eyes on magnificent vistas of rolling mountains that would appear to sink slowly into the horizon.

5

Kandawgyi Lake & Karaweik

The man-made Kandawgyi Lake functioned in its fullest capacity during the rule of the British in Myanmar (former Burma) channeling the waters of Inya Lake for the purpose of supplying clean water to Yangon. As the lake overlooks the Shwedagon Pagoda, it is not uncommon to witness various angles of the lake appearing in local movies and commercials, largely owing to its mesmeric beauty. Part of the spectacle and not to be forgotten is a replica of the old Royal barge which is called Karaweik. Thus, it is an outstanding means of delighting in a quiet meal with loved ones or enjoying the intricacies of a cultural performance on the Karaweik out on these silent waters of the Kandawgyi.

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