Yangon, the former capital of Myanmar, is a city full of contrasts and history. From the stunning golden Shwedagon Pagoda to the vibrant street food scene, there is something for everyone in Yangon. Take a stroll through the colonial-era architecture in the city centre or visit one of the many local markets to truly immerse yourself in the culture.
What To Do
Yangon, also known as Rangoon, is a city with a rich cultural heritage that provides abundant tourist attractions. One of the most famous and must-see sites is the Shwedagon Pagoda, a massive gold-plated temple that is one of the world's oldest and most revered Buddhist shrines. Visitors can admire the stunning architecture, learn about the history and significance of the pagoda, and catch panoramic views of Yangon from the top.
Another popular attraction is the Bogyoke Aung San Market, also known as Scott Market, a bustling bazaar that offers a wide variety of traditional Myanmar handicrafts, jewellery, and textiles.
For a taste of colonial-era architecture, visitors can explore the city centre and visit landmarks such as the City Hall, the High Court, and the Yangon Central Railway Station.
For those interested in local history, the National Museum of Myanmar is an excellent place to learn about the country's rich cultural heritage, including its ancient kingdoms, traditional arts, and modern political history. Visitors can also take a scenic boat trip along the Yangon River to visit the famous Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda, a 65-meter-long reclining Buddha statue.
What To Eat
When visiting Yangon, Myanmar, there are several local foods that are worth trying. Some popular dishes include:
- Mohinga: a traditional Burmese rice noodle soup made with fish broth, and spices, and served with fish cakes and boiled eggs.
- Lahpet: a traditional Burmese dish made with pickled tea leaves, served with a variety of ingredients such as peanuts, sesame, garlic, and dried shrimp.
- Khao suey: a popular Burmese curry made with coconut milk, and spices, and served with a variety of meats, noodles, and vegetables.
- Balachaung: a spicy Burmese condiment made from dried shrimp and served with a variety of dishes, including noodles and rice.
- Samosas: a popular snack food in Yangon made with a deep-fried pastry filled with a variety of ingredients such as spiced potatoes, meat, and vegetables.
These are just a few of the many delicious food options available in Yangon. Be sure to try some of the local street food and explore the local markets for a taste of traditional Burmese cuisine.
Yangon, Myanmar offers a variety of transportation options for visitors to get around the city and explore its many attractions. Here are some of the most popular ways to travel around Yangon:
Taxi: Taxis are widely available in Yangon and offer a convenient way to get around the city. Prices start at around 1,000 MMK (0.60 USD) for a short ride within the city centre and can be negotiated with the driver. Most taxis are metered, but it's a good idea to agree on a fare before starting your journey. Taxis are air-conditioned and comfortable, but traffic can be heavy in Yangon, so be prepared for a slow journey.
Bus: Buses are a cheap and efficient way to travel around Yangon. Prices range from 200 to 500 MMK (0.12 to 0.30 USD) depending on the distance. However, buses can be crowded and not as comfortable as taxis, so they are best for short trips.
Motorbike Taxi (Okada): Okadas are motorcycle taxis that offer a faster and more flexible way to get around the city. Prices are negotiable, but a short ride within the city centre typically costs around 1,000 MMK (0.60 USD). Okadas are not as safe as taxis, and helmets are not always provided, so they are not recommended for tourists.
Train: Trains are a cheap and scenic way to travel around Yangon and the surrounding areas. Prices range from 200 to 1,000 MMK (0.12 to 0.60 USD) depending on the distance. Trains are not as fast as buses or taxis, but they offer a unique experience and a chance to see more of the city and its surroundings.
Walking: Walking is the best way to explore Yangon's city centre, where many of the main attractions are located. It's a great way to see the city's sights, sample the local cuisine, and interact with the locals.
When To Go
Yangon, Myanmar has a tropical monsoon climate with three distinct seasons - hot and dry, rainy, and cool. The best time to visit Yangon for tourism is from November to February, during the cool season. This period is characterised by pleasant weather, with average temperatures ranging from 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F) and low humidity. The skies are generally clear and visibility is good, making it a great time for sightseeing and exploring the city's many attractions.
However, it is important to note that the cool season is also the peak tourist season in Yangon, so visitors should expect higher prices for accommodation and transportation and more crowds at popular tourist sites.
The hot and dry season runs from March to May, with temperatures reaching up to 35°C (95°F). This period is not ideal for sightseeing as the heat can be oppressive and the air quality is poor due to smoke and dust from burning fields.
The rainy season runs from June to October, with frequent showers and heavy downpours. Although the rain can be refreshing, it can also make travel and outdoor activities challenging. Flooding and road closures can also occur during the rainy season.
We have more detailed information on the weather in Yangon page.
When travelling to Yangon, Myanmar, it is important to be aware of some basic safety tips.
Firstly, it is recommended to avoid walking alone at night and to stay in well-lit and populated areas. Secondly, be cautious of pickpocketing and theft in crowded places and be mindful of your personal belongings.
It is also advisable to avoid political demonstrations and to stay informed of the local security situation through the media and local authorities. Additionally, exercise caution when using ATMs and be mindful of scams, such as overcharging. Lastly, it is recommended to have travel insurance and to familiarise yourself with the local emergency services contact details.
Visitors to Yangon, Myanmar have several options for travelling to the city, including by air, land, and sea. Here's a brief overview of the different options and their pros and cons:
Air: Flying is the most convenient and fastest way to get to Yangon. There are several airlines that offer direct flights to Yangon's international airport, including Thai Airways, Vietnam Airlines, and Malaysia Airlines. From the airport, visitors can take a taxi or a shuttle bus to their destination in the city.
Land: Visitors from neighbouring countries can also travel to Yangon by land, crossing the border at Tachileik or Myawaddy. This option is typically slower than flying, but it can be a more cost-effective and adventurous way to see the region.
Sea: Yangon is also accessible by sea, with several ports along the Irrawaddy River. Visitors can take a river cruise or a ferry from other cities along the river. This option is a more leisurely way to see the region and is best for those with more time to explore.