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Home > Articles > 5 minute guide: Yangon

5 minute guide: Yangon

Yangon, MyanmarImage: Getty

Discover the delights of Myanmar in this five-minute guide to its capital city


About: Myanmar has cast aside a politically difficult past and flung open its doors to tourists. Grabbing headlines and topping lists of emerging destinations, its capital Yangon is the energetic gateway city to this captivating part of the world. The vibrant street life and gleaming pagodas welcome you to the bustling city, which is Myanmar’s largest. Established hotel brands have recently set up in the ancient city, meaning that it’s no longer simply a destination on the backpackers’ route through Southeast Asia.

Shwedagon Paya: Piercing the skyline in Yangon, the Shwedagon Paya pagoda complex is the country’s most sacred, and most impressive site. More than 2,500 years old, this historic landmark sits atop Singuttura Hill and towers 326ft over the city.

Bogyoke Aung San Market: Yangon’s most popular market sells local handicrafts, gemstones and fabrics in a colorful bazaar. Named after General Aung San, the father of Burma’s independence, it’s a bustling tourist hub, with a great selection of street food.

Sule Pagoda: Planted in the middle of a roundabout in the commercial district of Yangon, this gilded pagoda — more than 2,500 years old — is smaller than its neighbor in the city, the Shwedagon Paya, but equally impressive. Notable for its design, the main stupa is an octagon, differing from the conical versions you’ll see elsewhere in the region.

Kyauk Taw Gyi: Head out of the center of Yangon and you will find Kyauk Taw Gyi to the north by the airport. It’s home to the enormous white Buddha that was carved from a single piece of marble in Mandalay before being shipped down the Irrawaddy River to Yangon.

Kandawgyi Lake: Yangon sports several serene lakes, but this one in the northeast of the city is one of the most picturesque. Created under British colonial rule, this artificial lake is located in Bogyoke Park and is the perfect location for strolling and watching the sunset as Shwedagon Paya catches the day’s last rays and reflects them over the water.

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