What are the places to visit Yangon
Yangon: the secret capital of Myanmar! Tips and sights!
The first walk through the streets of Yangon is certainly a bit of a culture shock for many: It's bustling and loud, stuffy and warm, but it's also incredibly exciting. We'll show you which sights await you in Yangon and give you our best tips for the city.
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Almost everyone who travels to Myanmar starts in Yangon, as this is where the country's largest international airport is located. Yangon was the capital of Myanmar until 2005 and of course it is still the economic and cultural center of the country and with 5 million inhabitants the largest city in Myanmar.
But at some point the generals were no longer at ease and so they simply built a new capital out of the ground in the middle of the wilderness: Naypyidaw. There it could simply be governed much more undisturbed. Yangon is just the capital of hearts.
In the colonial times, the city was called Rangoon or, in German spelling, Rangoon, and these names are still often found today.
Read all of our articles on Myanmar
Sightseeing in Yangon: highlights
Many travelers only plan one day for Yangon. In principle, that's enough to visit the most famous Yangon sights and get a first impression of the city. In any case, you can visit the following four Yangon highlights in one day.
Of course there is a lot more to discover. So if you have a little more time, it is definitely worth planning two or three days for Yangon.
From afar you can see the huge golden pagoda that rises on a small hill above the city. The Shwedagon Pagoda is the highlight in Yangon and one of the most famous sights in all of Myanmar.
Above all, the Shwedagon Pagoda is one of the most important sanctuaries in the country, which is visited by thousands of locals every day. The pagoda actually has a very special aura and a visit there is definitely one of the best experiences of any Myanmar trip.
We recommend going to Shwedagon Pagoda in the early evening. The light for taking photos is best around sunset and the daily hustle and bustle around the golden stupa also reaches its peak around this time. We were in the pagoda for almost three hours as there is just so much to discover.
Entry costs 8,000 kyat (approx. 5.50 euros). From downtown Yangon, a taxi to Shwedagon Pagoda costs around 2,000-3,000 kyat.
As in all Buddhist shrines, shoes and socks must be removed at the entrance. Shorts and off-the-shoulder tops are also taboo.
The Sule Pagoda is the central point in downtown Yangon. It stands on a roundabout and is something like the everyday pagoda for the locals. This is where you go for a quick prayer or to pick up a few karma points for the day.
Compared to many other pagodas in Myanmar, the Sule Pagoda is not that pompous. But it's still worth a visit.
All around the Sule Pagoda, fortune tellers offer their services and read your future to you by hand. We didn't try it though.
If you are true about one of the fortune tellers, we are curious how it was and would be happy to hear from you.
Bogyoke Aung San Market
Bogyoke Aung San Market is the largest market in Yangon. The sometimes narrow streets of the market are a shopping paradise for locals. There is mainly clothing, fabrics and jewelry here.
At many stands, the fabrics are then converted directly into made-to-measure clothes using antique sewing machines. Of course there are also a few souvenirs and some exciting antique shops there.
The streets of Yangon
In addition to the three most popular Yangon sights, it's worth exploring the streets of downtown Yangon on foot. You definitely can't get lost here, because all the streets are dead straight and parallel to each other.
In many corners you will find small street markets where vegetables, fish, meat, but also antiques, textiles and technology are sold.
In the area around the Sule Pagoda there are always splendid colonial buildings that have either been newly renovated or shine in a new splendor or have been falling into disrepair for decades. Unfortunately, it is often cheaper to demolish the old buildings and build new ones than to renovate them, so that many of the magnificent structures are gradually disappearing.
While walking through the streets, be sure to try some freshly squeezed sugar cane juice, which is sold at many stalls. It's very sweet, but really tasty and a good energizer in the heat.
Sightseeing in Yangon: insider tips
If you stay in Yangon for more than a day, you can delve a little deeper into the city and see some less visited sights.
You can see other pagodas and Buddha figures and the Bogyoke Aung San Museum. We would like to take a closer look at some selected Yangon sights.
Kandawgkyi Lake is located very close to the Shwedagon Pagoda and is an oasis of calm in the otherwise hectic Yangon.
Young couples in particular meet in the spacious park to cuddle undisturbed and enjoy a little togetherness. They are very cute.
So if you want to take a deep breath and relax, then Kandawgyi Lake is the right place for you.
A ride on the Circle Line
Not only in Berlin there is a ring train, there is also a train in Yangon that goes around the city. But that's the only thing they have in common, because the Circle Line in Yangon is a very special experience.
The full trip takes about 3 hours and costs only 300 kyat. During a ride on the ring train you will see sides of Yangon that you would otherwise not get to see as a tourist. You see how the very simple and poor life of the people in the suburbs really is.
Trains depart regularly from Yangon Central Station at the north end of the city center.
Experience a soccer game in Yangon
A very special experience that will definitely make you exotic among the locals is a visit to a soccer game. During the season, the Myanmar National League plays regularly in Yangon.
There are two stadiums in Yangon: The Bogyoke Aung San Stadium directly across from the train station and the Thuwanna YTC Stadium just outside, which mainly hosts international matches of the Asian Champions League and international matches.
Information on fixtures can be found online on the Myanmar National League website.
Excursions from Yangon
From Yangon you can go on day trips to Bago and the Golden Rock. You leave in the morning and are back in Yangon in the evening.
A day trip from Yangon is a good option if you don't want to change hotels that often or are short on time. We stayed at the Golden Rock as well as in Bago.
Excursion from Yangon to Bago
Bago is located about 90 kilometers northwest of Yangon and is absolutely worth a visit!
There are tons of great pagodas and Buddha images in the city. One sight is really more beautiful than the other.
We took the train from Yangon to Bago, which is definitely a real experience. The train ride costs only 1,000 kyat per person in the upper class (definitely recommended!) And takes a good two hours.
Several trains go in the morning and we bought our ticket about an hour before departure. Allow a little more time to buy tickets, because the tickets are all handwritten and that takes time.
In the main season it can make sense to buy the tickets the day before.
On site, it is advisable to take a tuk tuk or moped driver to visit the various sights. We paid 15,000 kyat for a half day tour.
For the four main attractions you pay a total of 10,000 kyat admission, all others are free.
Faster and more comfortable, but certainly not that exciting, is the journey to Bago with a private driver. Just ask at the hotel, they can certainly organize it. Otherwise there are travel agencies all over Yangon that offer such tours.
Also read our travel report about Bago
Excursion from Yangon to the Golden Rock
The Golden Rock is one of the most important sanctuaries in Myanmar and is now one of the top attractions in the country.On a day tour from Yangon you drive to the base camp in Kinpun.
There it goes on the loading area of a truck up the mountain to the Golden Rock. Then it goes downhill again and back to Yangon.
You can also book these tours on site in any travel agency and in most hotels.
Also read our article on the Golden Rock
Our hotel tips in Yangon
Accommodation in Yangon is generally a bit more expensive and smaller than in the rest of the country. Nevertheless, there are now numerous hotels in Yangon in all price ranges.
We stayed in two different hotels in Yangon on our trip: first we stayed at Wai Wai Place for a few days and later one night in a hotel near the airport, as we had to catch a flight in the morning.
Our 1st accommodation: Wai Wai Place
The small hotel is run by the super friendly Yin Yin and is located in a very nice area near the Shwedagon Pagoda. The rooms are simple but very clean and there are plenty of places to eat and shop nearby.
To Wai Wai Place
Hotel near the airport: Holly Hotel
If you are looking for accommodation near Yangon Airport before your return flight or onward flight, we recommend the Holly Hotel.
It is very close to the bus station and not far from the airport.
The hotel is very modern, has really good internet and there was actually Nutella for breakfast. After our tour to the south, we stayed another night in Yangon before continuing to Mrauk U in the north.
To the Holly Hotel
More hotel tips in Yangon
There are of course many other recommended accommodations in Yangon. From simple hostels to really luxurious hotels, everything is included. By the way, the most famous hotel in Yangon has recently been renovated: The Strand.
The old colonial building is actually a sight in itself. If you don't want to pay the 400-500 euros per night, at least stop by for a coffee or a cup of tea.
Here you can find our selection of recommended accommodations in Yangon:
Transportation in Yangon
The best way to get around Yangon is on foot and, if that's too far, a taxi from A to B. An estimated every second car in Yangon is a taxi, so you won't have any problems finding one.
There is no taximeter, the price is always agreed in advance. Overall, taxi rides are very cheap.
For a simple city trip, e.g. B. from the Sule Pagoda to the Shwedagon Pagoda you pay 2,000 to 3,000 kyat. Expect around 7,000 kyat to get to the airport and Aung Mingalar bus station.
Unfortunately, the traffic in Yangon is not without it, so you should definitely plan enough time.
In addition to taxis, there are also public buses. However, it is difficult for travelers to find out where the buses are going. The destination is always called out loud, but it becomes difficult to understand.
By the way, in Yangon there are no scooters on the streets. Apparently a general felt threatened by some moped drivers a few years ago and ordered that from now on no more scooters are allowed in Yangon.
How to get to the city from Yangon Airport
Yangon International Airport is located north of the city. There are several options for getting from the airport to the city.
Taxi from the airport to Yangon
The most convenient way to get there is to simply take a taxi at the airport.
There is a taxi counter in the arrival terminal that will assign you to a taxi driver and agree a fixed price directly. A ride to downtown Yangon costs around 7,000 kyat.
Depending on the traffic, which unfortunately is getting worse and worse in Yangon, the journey takes about 60 minutes.
Yangon airport bus
Since mid-2018 there has also been a bus connection from the airport to the city. The trip in the air-conditioned buses costs only 500 kyat and takes a little longer than a taxi.
The buses stop at a total of 18 stations, including some large hotels, as well as the Sule Pagoda in the center of the city and the Shwedagon Pagoda.
The buses run daily between 4:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. and run very frequently. You can get tickets directly on the bus.
Our video from Yangon
Finally, you can also watch our little video. In it we will take you to the streets of Yangon in 4:30 minutes and show you what we saw there.
What are your Yangon tips?
We like Yangon very much. The city is certainly not an oasis of wellbeing, but it is incredibly exciting. Have you ever been to Yangon? How did you like it? Do you have another tip for us? We look forward to your comment.
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