1. Shwedagon Pagoda (ရွှေတိဂုံစေတီတော်) – Probably the most important religious monument and most sacred site in Yangon and throughout Myanmar is the Shwedagon Pagoda (ရွှေတိဂုံစေတီတော်). The golden stupa of the pagoda is covered in gold, and it’s so bright that I you have squint when you look at it. At the top of the pagoda, in the small umbrella looking top, are thousands of gems and diamonds – though it’s pretty challenging to see all the way up there. The Shwedagon Pagoda is a place you must visit when you’re in Yangon.
2. Local Market – One of my favorite things to do in any city I visit about the world is to visit a local fresh market – that’s where life takes place and where the action goes down. There are no shortage of fresh local markets in Yangon, and one of the best in downtown is on 26th street, across the main road from the Shri Kali Temple. The market occupies a block of downtown, and there’s an indoor section, but I really like the street side part of the market.
3. Bogyoke Aung San Market – One of the centrally located markets in downtown Yangon, located at the northern side of town, is Bogyoke Aung San Market, also known by its former name of Scott Market. If you’re looking for souvenirs, gems and jewelry, and fabric, this is a great place for you to visit when you’re in Yangon.
4. Sule Pagoda (ဆူးေလဘုရား) – Another one of the most important religious, political, and overall just city landmarks in Yangon is the Sule Pagoda – basically all roads eventually lead to the Sule Pagoda and it’s a huge transportation hub. You can pay to enter the pagoda for $3, but in my opinion there’s not that much to see inside, but it’s rather the things around the are that are more impressive.
5. Chinatown, Yangon – One of my favorite things to do in Yangon is eat, and if you love food and markets, Chinatown is a place you can’t miss. In the evening, the city of Yangon in the Chinatown area comes alive sprawling with food and people. 19th street in Yangon is a very famous as the barbecue street in the city, and there are a few restaurants where you can get a table, choose some kebabs and have them barbecue them up for you. If you love eating and drinking, dinner at 19th street is one of the fun things to do in Yangon.
6. Kandawgyi Park – There are two parts to Kandawgyi Park, the boardwalk, and the restaurants area – each has an entrance fee. It makes a great relief from the city and place to relax in the natural beauty.
7. Chaukhtatgyi Paya (Chak Htat Gyi Buddha) – This giant reclining Buddha is housed in a huge shed, and it’s among the main Buddhist religious sites in Yangon. Originally in the same location, there was a seating Buddha, but when it fell over, it was replaced by a reclining.
8. National Museum of Myanmar – If you’d like to know more about the history and culture of Myanmar (Burma), one of the attractions in Yangon that you should check out is the National Museum. It was a little outdated, but the exhibitions were educational and interesting.
9. Yangon Circular Railroad – Not really one of the traditional things to do in Yangon, Myanmar, but taking the local circular train route is a great opportunity to see some of the outskirts of the city.
10. Walk Around Yangon – Probably the best way to experience the city is to just get out on your feet and explore Yangon by food – you never know what’s going to happen or what you’re going to see or come across, but it will be full of action.
11. Myanmar Food and Street Food – There’s nothing better than traveling to eat and experiences a country through its food. Yangon is filled with both street food stalls and restaurant where you can get a sample of the local cuisine. Another part of the Myanmar culture I love is the constant tea drinking – nearly everywhere you look, you’ll find a place to sit on the side of the road and drink a cup of hot tea and socialize.
Yangon is a great city, and what I love so much about it is that it’s always full of action, people are extremely friendly, there are many different types of food and street food to try, and it’s just such a vibrant, always entertaining city. Hope you can visit Yangon!
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Mark Wiens is the eater at: http://migrationology.com/blog & http://www.eatingthaifood.com/blog/
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