What to do in Yangon, Myanmar

Yangon, Myanmar’s ex-capital, is an intense, interesting and surprising city. From 2500-year-old Pagodas, amazing gardens and parks in the middle of the city, to train rides through the town’s outskirts and delicious street food. There’s always something to do in Yangon, even if it means just getting lost in its streets. Below you’ll find some suggestions on what to do in Yangon, to help you plan your trip.

1. Visit the Shwedagon Pagoda

The Shwedagon Pagoda is one of Yangon’s main attractions, dating back to 2500 years. So, as you can imagine, it had to be part of a list of what to do in Yangon. It’s an imposing sight in the middle of Yangon and even more impressive at night when it’s all lit up. There’s an MMK 10,000 entrance fee (around $8). Make sure you go appropriately dressed (shoulders and legs covered up).

2. Take a stroll around the Kandawgyi Lake

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit this lake, one of the 2 largest lakes in Yangon, located only 1,5km away from the Downtown area and 750m from Shwedagon Pagoda. It was built by the British as a water reservoir. You can walk along the southern and western sides of the lake on a boardwalk, or relax on its shores while laying on the grass, just like the locals do.

3. Visit Inya Lake, Yangon’s largest Lake

Inya Lake is Yangon’s largest lake. It’s particularly famous for being the place where activist Aung San Suu Kyi was kept in house arrest for so many years. It’s also one of Yangon’s most exclusive areas.

4. Visit Sule Pagoda, the oldest pagoda in the world

Sule Pagoda is located in Yangon’s downtown. Some people say it is the oldest Pagoda in the world and that inside you’re able to find one of Buddha’s hair. This was also the main center point of the 1988 and 2007’s uprisings. Entrance fee: $3.

5. Take the Circular Railroad Ride

This is the perfect activity if you enjoy immersing yourself in the authentic and genuine side of the cities and countries you visit. For only 300 kyats (around $0,25) you can get on a train at Yangon’s central railroad station and visit the city’s outskirts for 3 hours. 100% recommended!

6. Explore Chinatown

Take a stroll through Chinatown at night and enjoy some of the delicious skewers of the 19th Street restaurants. Besides the amazing food (a little more expensive on 19th Street, but it’s worth it) you’ll find a lively atmosphere where locals and tourists mingle in a very natural way.

Chinatown in Yangon, Myanmar

7. Relax at the Maha Badulla Park

Maha Badulla Park is located next to Yangon’s City Hall and Courtroom. In the centre of the park, you’ll find the Independence Monument: a structure that replaced the previous Queen Victoria Statue. It was erected as a symbol of Myanmar’s Independence from the British Empire.

The park’s lawn is always occupied by locals who go there to relax, hang around with friends or on dates, enjoying the shadow from the trees. It’s a good place to rest for a while before continuing your visit through the city!

Independence Monument in Yangon, Myanmar

8. Explore the local architecture at the High Court and City Hall

The City Hall building, located next to Sule Pagoda, is considered to be an example of typical Burmese architecture. It was also the center point of many political protests throughout the years. Some metres away, in front of Maha Badulla Park, the magnificent High Court building is a perfect example of typical British architecture. It was built in 1911, during the time of the British Empire. The 2 buildings are listed in Yangon’s City Heritage List.

High Court in Yangon, Myanmar
High Court in Yangon

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Maria João Proença

Born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal, but in love with the world. I love sharing my travel stories, photos and videos and inspire those who are just as fascinated with exploring the world as I am.

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