We found ourselves in Yangon (formerly Rangoon) the largest city in Myanmar (formerly Burma) for a little over 36 hours. It was a flying visit and we exhausted ourselves with trying to play the tourists and see as much as possible in this time.
The people in Yangon were lovely, everyone was friendly and helpful, I can’t wait to go back and immerse myself in their culture and try their local cuisine. If you want to find out more about Myanmar click here, to read A bit about Myanmar (Burma).
I would recommend you take water, use sunscreen and have shoes that slip on and off easily (you will be removing them everywhere you go). Also make sure you cover your shoulders, stomach and knees, this goes for Men and Women. Take a mixture of USD and Kyat (local currency) as some places will take one or the other. The below prices are an estimation only, as some places it was a little hard to work out the exact conversion.
Shwedagon Paya – $8 – 4am to 10pm
This place was amazing, the amount of gold at some of these temples will take your breath away. This is one of the most sacred sites, and I think the largest temple we saw. I would recommend visiting early morning or late afternoon, we went in the middle of the day, and the ground was very hot, they do have mats to walk on, which makes it easier on the feet, but it’s still quite warm.
Allow yourself plenty of time to wander around, and take in everything. I knew the area was large but I hadn’t realised just how big it was. Take a moment or sit for a while and enjoy the essence of the place.
Nga Htat Gyi Paya – $2 – 6am to 8pm
This 46ft tall seated Buddha is very spectacular. Surrounded by a carved wood backdrop this Buddha sits serenely with the afternoon sun washing upon it’s face. I had seen a few reports this was closed, and I was a little disappointed, but I was assured by our local guide he could take us there, and it was definitely worth the visit.
Chaukhtatgyi Paya – (donation) – 6am to 8pm
This is amazing, looking from the outside at the shed I thought I would be disappointed with the condition of this Buddha, but it was beautiful. 213ft long, reclining Buddha, make sure you walk the whole way around and check out the feet which were inlayed with beautiful gold carvings.
Botataung Paya – $5 – 6am to 9.30pm
This gold temple is close to the water, and has a very relaxing feel to it. When you walk through the entrance it is almost like a museum with lots of different artefacts, and the walls are all gold, it is very impressive.
Sule Paya – $3 – 5am to 9pm
This was in the centre of the city and served as a roundabout, quite impressive to look upon at night when the sun is setting. This temple isn’t huge, but it is still very impressive, and worth taking the time to have a look.
St. Mary’s Cathedral – Free
This wasn’t on my list of things to see or do, but our guide wanted to show us this cathedral, he kept telling us how it was beautiful, and we would regret it, if we didn’t take a look. And I must say it was pretty impressive, they stained glass was amazing, worth taking a look just for that.
Mingalabar Balloon $38
Whilst we were driving around Yangon we found ourselves looking at one of those viewing balloons that fly up a few hundred metres to allow you to look at the view below. As the scenery was amazing we decided we must do this. It was a little more than we had budgeted for, but it was a unique opportunity one that I will never forget!
Located in Kandawgyi Park, the balloon went about 100m into the air, and although it was a little windy on the day we were there, which scared a few people, so they went back to the ground to drop them off, and then to take us back again, I never felt unsafe. They had lots of staff on the ground watching the weather conditions, and monitoring the balloon. I loved it, the view was amazing, if this is in your budget I would definitely recommend!
Yangon Circle Train – $1 – 6.10am to 5.10pm
This was a very interesting way to see Myanmar, the circular train takes about 3 hours to complete it’s route. The seats aren’t comfortable after 3 hours, and the carriages aren’t air-conditioned, but I loved getting out of the city not sitting in traffic and seeing Myanmar. For more information and photos click here to read my post on the Yangon Circle Train.
Have I missed anything out, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.