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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for Things to do in Yangon – A journey into the colonial past of Myanmar
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Things to do in Yangon – A journey into the colonial past of Myanmar

The former capital of Myanmar, Yangon is the gateway to a culturally rich tourist destination. The pagodas and colonial buildings are the main attraction, but the local cuisine deserves praise too.

1

Shwedagon Pagoda

Undoubtedly, this is among the most important religious sites in the country. The iconic symbol of Yangon, Shwedagon Pagoda, has a history that goes back 2,500 years. The pagoda is believed to hold the hair relic of Buddha. The top of the pagoda is embedded with diamonds, which shows the high regard locals have for the pagoda. For a complete Yangon experience, a visit to this religious site is essential. There's a dress code you are supposed to stick to. You should wear white loose-fitting clothes; if not, you might not be allowed entry. The pagoda is open to visitors from 4 am to 10 pm and is located within close distance to PARKROYAL Yangon.

2

The local market

Visiting the local market is the best way to experience the city. The local fresh market is an easy journey from any hotel in Yangon. These local markets have the typical Asian street market vibe. Packed with locals trying to find the best bargain, vendors trying to sell as much of their retail as possible and tourists trying to get a grip of what's going on, these local markets can be an interesting addition to any Yangon itinerary. Visiting a street market is a chance to sample local food. Eating at a street market is more authentic an experience than eating at a restaurant.

3

Sule Pagoda

This is another landmark in Yangon that makes navigating through the city easier. Around the pagoda are various government buildings. A few feet away from the pagoda is the bus stop. Though not as much historically significant as Shwedagon Pagoda, Sule Pagoda is revered by locals. If you wish to enter the pagoda, there's a small fee to pay. The site is open from 6 am to 8 pm.

4

Chinatown

After your visit to Sule Pagoda, you should visit Chinatown. As you would imagine, this is one of the busiest areas in the city. For the truest Yangon experience, you should visit Chinatown in the evening, but if it's your first time, you might not be able to make your way through the market – in the evening, Chinatown is packed with vendors selling food and locals milling about looking for good deals. If you love Chinese cuisine, there's no better place for you to be than Chinatown. There's an innumerable number of dishes to be found here, which are unbelievably low priced.

5

The Reclining Buddha

Also known as Chaukhtatgyi Paya, the Reclining Buddha is a long statue of Buddha. With a length of 65 metres, this statue amazes everyone who visits. About 50 years ago, there was a standing Buddha statue in the place of the Reclining Buddha. But the original statue toppled over which then had to be replaced by the Reclining Buddha. Dress modestly when visiting the temple. You are expected to leave your shoes outside. From the central Yangon, you can take a bus to get here. Tourists can visit the temple at any time they want.

6

National Museum of Myanmar

To get an insight into the country's past, visit the National Museum of Myanmar. The place holds an extensive collection of artwork, relics and artefacts. Among the exhibits is a collection of golden artefacts that belonged to the royal family. Right around the museum is a restaurant that serves delicious local food. The museum is open from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm from Tuesday to Sunday. There's a small entrance fee of $5.

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