Yangon, Myanmar | Ultimate Travel Guide
Yangon, also known as Rangoon, is the most frequent entry door to Myanmar and as such, the first destination to be explored in this amazing country. Myanmar’s ex-capital is a city that fascinates us from the start, with its life, smells and flavours giving us our first taste of the Burmese culture. This Yangon Travel Guide intends to give you useful tips that you can use to plan your trip to this amazing city.
Yangon is located in the lower part of Myanmar, where the rivers Dagon and Bago meet. It is the second-largest city in Myanmar, stretching over 576 km2 and the home of about 7 million people.
How to get to Yangon
Yangon can be accessed by plane or by land from any other city in Myanmar, including Myawaddy (border town next to Thailand). There are many bus companies doing this route such as JJ Express, Shwe Mandalar or Shwe Nan Taw. You can buy your tickets online through the website www.myanmarbusticket.com or through the companies’ Facebook pages (it’s recommended to buy the tickets at least 3 days ahead).
Where to exchange/withdraw money
Exchanging or withdrawing money is pretty easy in Yangon. There are several ATMs scattered throughout the city that take VISA and Mastercard, as well as several money exchange agencies. If you get to Yangon by plane you can exchange money inside the airport.
Accommodation in Yangon
If you’re looking to stay in a central area in Yangon, I suggest you look for accommodation in the Downtown or Chinatown areas. The Downtown area is very rich in accommodation and food options and you can easily get to any of the main city areas in no time.
Chinatown is also a very central area and, as any Chinatown in the world, is famous for being one of the most lively areas, filled with restaurants and street food stalls selling incredibly delicious food.
What to do and visit in Yangon
From 2500-year-old Pagodas (Shwedagon Pagoda), amazing and huge parks and gardens in the middle of the city (Kandawgyi Lake and Inya Lake), to train rides through the city’s outskirts (Circular Railroad Ride) or delicious street food (don’t miss out on the delicious skewers on Chinatown’s 19th Street), there’s always something to do in Yangon.
For more detailed info on what to do in Yangon, check out the article:
8 Awesome Things To Do in Yangon, Myanmar
Transports in Yangon
In Myanmar, as a foreigner, you’re not allowed to rent motorbikes or cars, so there’s no other way than to use public transports.
Although they don’t use a taximeter and you have to negotiate every trip, riding a taxi is pretty cheap. Depending on the distance, prices can go from 1000 to 4000 MMK per trip (between $0,80 and $3). A taxi ride from the bus terminal to the city centre will probably cost you around 10.000 MMK (around $8) and from the airport around 16.000 MMK (about $13).
The traffic in Yangon can be a bit difficult, so make sure to leave to the airport or the bus terminal a few hours ahead of time (my taxi took 2 hours to drive for 17 km during rush hour).
If you’re really looking to dive into the local lifestyle, then take the public bus. But keep in mind that these are really, really old buses (which have definitely seen better days). They’re practically always packed and that it’s really hard to make people understand where you want to go, due to your poor Burmese language skills and the locals’ English skills. But well, it’s worth the experience! A ticket might cost about 100 MMK for inner-city destinations.
It’s like a rickshaw, but in a trishaw, passengers are transported in a sort of side-car next to the driver. They’re ideal for short rides. The fee is usually never under 1000 MMK.
And that’s it! I hope you find this info and tips on Yangon useful. Trust me, Yangon might not be the most exciting Asian city you’ll ever visit, but it’s definitely worth the time! If you have any questions, feel free to leave your comment below. I’ll be happy to help.