Yangon, the commercial and coastal city of Myanmar as well as the former capital of the country, is definitely one of the most interesting destinations in South East Asia. If you wish to learn about this treasured culture, the religion and people’s way of life, things to do in Yangon will show it all to you. Pagodas are the most popular tourist attractions of Yangon I will talk about but I would also like to let you know not only about things to do in Yangon but also unusual places including Night Life and Shopping at Yangon. To visit these places you do not need to hire the taxi. Just take the Yangon Bus Service and explore around Yangon. Ready to explore the city?
- 1 Famous Places to Visit in Yangon
- 2 Nightlife in Yangon
- 3 Alternative Places in Yangon
- 4 Places to eat in Yangon
- 5 Shopping in Yangon
Famous Places to Visit in Yangon
I would like to propose below a list of the most visited places and must see tourist attractions in Yangon. So take a look at it and please do not miss these awe-inspiring places when you are in Yangon. Let’s see what are the most essential things to do in Yangon.
If you are in Yangon and do not visit this 2500 years old pagoda, then this trip will definitely not be the perfect one. Shwedagon Pagoda is the most famous landmark in Yangon and also the most impressive Buddhist site for local people. Moreover, you can also research the awesome architecture and sculpture of the ancient Myanmar people. On the other hand, you can also enjoy the astonishing sunset from Shwedagon. Please note that there is a restriction regarding short clothe while visiting the pagoda.
Botahtaung Pagoda is the most unusual temple in Myanmar because it does not have a solid core like other temples.The visitors can directly access into the cavity and admire the ancient relic chamber. Moreover, this pagoda is close to the harbor so can take a deep breathe of fresh air while enjoying the sunset. If you are into viewing sunset, this place will be on the head of things to do in Yangon. In order to reach there, you can take YBS 57 which drive around city center area and will cost 100 kyat per person.
Sule Pagoda is the remarkable attraction of Yangon. It is also in the city center and close to the colonial buildings like Yangon City Hall. I would like to suggest you to go there early morning or late in the evening because at this time you will not get stuck in the traffic.On the other hand, you can also visit Maha Bandula Park which is just next to Sule Pagoda. You can also observe the white Independent Monument which is 152ft in height.
Kandawgyi Natural Park
There is an artificial lake in Kandawgyi Natural Park. It was created many years ago by the British as a reservoir but nowadays, people use this place to have fun in leisure time. At the northern side of the park, you can appreciate the best sunset from Utopia Tower. This place is int the directory of famous places to visit in Yangon because you can enjoy the Myanmar Culture Show in Karaweik Palace.
Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda is the most essential tourist site in Yangon. It is prominent because of its immense length of 65 meters. Furthermore, it is near to the Shwedagon Pagoda.
It is a Victorian Style hotel established in 1901. It is one of the greatest hotels and not only in Yangon also in all South East Asia. On the other hand, it was also one of the most affluent hotels in Yangon during the British Empire. The most important point is that this hotel has also been listed part of the Yangon City Heritage Building. These are the reasons why Strand hotel is in the list of famous places to visit in Yangon.
Secretariat Office (Minister’s Office)
This U-Shape building is a Victorian-Style building with red and yellow bricks. It is the place where the General Aung San, six ministers and guard were killed by the terrorists. If you eager to know the commemoration of Myanmar Matyr’s Day, this building should be the first priority of things to do in Yangon.
Bogyoke Aung San Market
This market is glorious because of the cobble stone street and architectural characteristics from colonial era. Moreover, this is the most visited market for tourists because of the Myanmar Handicrafts, Jade and Rubies sold there. If you would like to purchase any presents for your family and friends, this market should in your things to do in Yangon list.
Nightlife in Yangon
Nowadays, alteration in Yangon takes place day by day. A few years ago, there was not many things to enjoy after 10pm. Now, the numbers of bars and clubs increase steadily and open until late. You will surely notice that the Myanmar people are enthusiastic about enjoying parties. After observing things to do in Yangon in the daytime, these following places will make you relax.
It is on the rooftop of one of the Yangon contemporary shopping center. Fuse is well-known and the most visited night club of the status quo. But the dancing floor is not wide enough for that many people. On the other hand, there is another famous Harry Bar, on the first floor of Myanmar Plaza. You can see the detail of the information about the bar in the official website. It is also to say that next to this Nightclub are the luxurious 5 star hotels Sedona and Melia. With the list below, I would like to help you find the best place in Yangon where you can spend the night.
Yangon Yangon Rooftop
It stands nearby the Sule Pagoda and on the rooftop of Sakura Tower. Therefore, it is one of the highest bars in Yangon with the panoramic view of the city, the river and a lovely time at sunset. Moreover, you can enjoy the view of the gilded Shwedagon Pagoda from this bar. You can check the detail information on the official website.
Sule Flyover Bridge
From the Sule Flyover Bridge you can enjoy the breathtaking view of Sule Pagoda. Do not forget to take amazing photos with the nice background.
Night Market on Strand Road
It is the very first night market arranged by the government. There were night markets last year but they were not organized by the issuing authorities. Many consider that there are more than 6000 vendors in this market. The night market leads off from Strand Road, Kyauktada Township to Lanmadaw Township. After enjoying things to do in Yangon all day long, you can fulfill your tummy in this market.You can try varieties of food in this market.
Alternative Places in Yangon
Let’s discover the hidden treasure and unusual places to visit. I notice that some of the people would like to spend their time with not only things to do in Yangon but also in the alternative places. The places that I will mention below are definitely for them.
Kabar Aye Pagoda
U Nu, the prime minister of Myanmar built this pagoda in 1952. The interior of the pagoda is a large and hollow pillar. You can also discover the large manmade Maha Pasana Cave which means great cave of stone, in the compound of the pagoda. Inside the cave, there is a great meeting hall with a high ceiling in order to host examination for monks. If there is no traffic, you just have to take around 20 minutes from Yangon International Airport to arrive here. Furthermore, you only need to walk around 10 minutes from this pagoda to observe the gem museum.
Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda
The Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda is 37 feet tall and the most enormous marble Buddha Image in Myanmar. It is located on the top of Mindama Hill and also very close to Yangon International Airport. To get there it only takes about 10 minutes from the airport to the pagoda. At the entrance of the pagoda, there is a large bowl which contains food. This bowl is over 9 feet tall and people actually use it and donate rice for the monks.
Swe Taw Myat Pagoda
The exterior features of this pagoda are very similar with the Ananda temple in Bagan. People also call this pagoda the Buddha Tooth Relic Pagoda because this pagoda is enshrined with the remains of Buddha’s tooth. This place is a must for alternative things to do in Yangon because unlike from the other pagoda, you can enjoy the Tooth Relic in close proximity. It is also neighboring with Yangon International Airport as it only takes about 10 minutes to get to the pagoda from the airport.
Chin Tsong Palace
This five-floors building is decorated with Chinese Architecture. The owner, Lim Chin Tsong, was the son of a Chinese migrant. He inherited his father’s business and was an important member of the British Empire. The government maintained this building as one of the heritage buildings. Moreover, it is also served as the traditional arts and crafts center. This century old palace is located on the Kabaraye Pagoda Road.
Maha Wizaya Pagoda
This pagoda is just next to the Shwedagon Pagoda. The structure of this stupa is hollow and so that the visitors can enter into the center. Even though it is not famous for tourists, it is well-known among the local people so less crowded and more traditional if it is what you are looking for.
People’s park is closely associated with the Western Entrance of Shwedagon Pagoda. This park is 130 acres wide and situated between Shwedagon Pagoda and the Parliament Building. You can find Myanmar and European restaurants in this park. Furthermore, you can take the awesome images with the background of Shwedagon Pagoda and this characteristics make it to record as alternative things to do in Yangon.
Hla Day cooperates with Myanmar artisans and small business in order to flourish Myanmar Handmade Products. There you will find many handicrafts including clothing, bags, accessories, furniture etc. You can check about their handmade products on the official website.
St. Mary’s Cathedral
St.Mary’s cathedral is a catholic cathedral and you can find it on Bo Aung Kyaw Street. It was built in 1909 and is actually the largest cathedral in Myanmar. This impressive building is in Neo-Gothic design with red brick and bell tower. You will not believe your eyes when you walk in as you will probably feel like you are back home. That is the reason why you should note as alternative things to do in Yangon.
St. Paul’s High School
St Paul’s School as well as St. Mary’s Cathedral located within the same complex were established in 1860. It is actually one of the oldest and heritage high schools in Yangon. This three-levels with red brick and colonial era school occupies nearly 75% of the city square block. The last 25% is taken up by St. Mary’s Cathedral. I find it quite close with the historic secretariat office because this building faced with St. Paul’s High School. On the left-hand side of this school is the Botahtaung 4 High School, former St. Mary’s Convent School. It is also in the Yangon Heritage Building’s list.
Inya lake is an artificial lake that is very similar with Kandawgyi Lake. It is also the most popular recreation site in Yangon. If you would like to create a romantic moment with your soulmate in Yangon, this should be in your preferential of alternative things to do in Yangon.
University of Yangon
The Yangon University is on the southwestern of Inya Lake and one of the most historic and impressive universities in Myanmar. It was established in 1878 on the model of the Oxford University. In retrospect, it was one of the best and prodigious university in Asia and and it would be the reason of listing in alternative things to do in Yangon. Moreover, the landscape gardening will make you to be in the tranquil forest. I would like to recommend you to go and take astonishing photos with awe-inspiring backgrounds.
Places to eat in Yangon
Rangoon Tea House
Adjacent to Hla Day is Rangoon Tea House in which you can relish the local foods. Although prices are a little bit more expensive, the meal is totally nice and definitely worth it. The decoration of the tea house is a mix between classic and modern Myanmar culture.
This little cafe, Pansuriva, is right on Bogalayzay Street around the downtown. The images from bygone era of historical Yangon dress the walls of this cafe up. As long as you enter this place, you may feel that you are looking back on the ancient Yangon. Moreover, you can also taste the enormous and delicious selection of Myanmar traditional curries and salads.
Lucky Seven Tea Shop
There are almost seven branches of lucky seven tea shop in Yangon. The shop on the 49th street is near to downtown but I personally prefer the one on Waizayanthar Road, which is much more spacious. Both of the restaurants will make you feel like if you were in the center of an Oasis because of the vases of greenery plants. You can taste not only Myanmar Traditional dishes but also some kind of Indian and Chinese foods. If you would like to try reasonable foods with swiftness service, this shop should be in your catalogue of things to do in Yangon.
52nd Street Night Market
This market is next to the 49th street lucky seven tea shop. It will start around 3pm every day and you can discover many different varieties of food. The stands in the market are scattered around the Pazundaung Township. In 2018, the issuing authorities announce that they would organize these shops on 52nd street but this market is not as famous as the night market on Strand Road.
Shan Yoe Yar Restaurant
The Shan Yoe Yar is a Shan Style restaurant attractively decorated with a wooden structure. It is a fine dining restaurant so the price is more expensive than other restaurants. The main restaurant is in War Dan Street and the branch is located in Sule Square.
Tint Tint Dessert Shop
Tint Tint Dessert shop is in the Yankin Township, a little far from the downtown area. Nowadays, Myanmar traditional desserts are becoming increasingly rare day by day. However, you can enjoy a huge range of Myanmar traditional desserts at this shop. This is also clean, tidy and foods are also appropriate for healthy. You can take a rest there while enjoying dessert so this shop should include in your things to do in Yangon.
Shopping in Yangon
Even though Yangon is not the paradise for shopping lovers and international shopping standard destination, it still has a lot to offer especially among travelers. The shopping centers that I will mention below are the best in Myanmar for sure.
Junction City is on the corner of Bogyoke Aung San Road and Shwedagon Pagoda Road. 5 Stars Luxury Hotel, Offices, Serviced Residences and retail mall are also part of this enormous shopping mall. This shopping center offer diverse ranges of fashion, technology and lifestyles outlets from all over the world. Moreover, it has one of the largest cinemas and food courts of Myanmar.
Myanmar Plaza is one of the first international retail shopping centers in Myanmar. It also has more than 150 retail outlets including international brands. Furthermore, it has 5 stars hotels, residences and offices like the Junction City, but it does not have any cinema.
Junction Square is much more pioneering than the twos I have mentioned above. The most important point is that the interior decoration is, in my opinion, perfect and much better than all the other shopping malls in Yangon. It is located a bit far from the downtown area, but it is for sure a convenient place to enjoy shopping. Moreover, it also has cinema halls including a 3D theater.
If you need any advice, please feel free to contact us. We are always happy to help you spending the best time here in Yangon.