Best Places to Visit in
The Golden Land
The Main Gateway to Myanmar
Best Places To Visit In The Golden Land YANGON
Yangon is one of the biggest metropolitan cities and the Myanmar capital. The city is very much crowded with tourists and locals alike. The city is located in the south of Myanmar and is very easy to reach to via Myanmar Airport of Yangon.
It is filled with a lot of colonial buildings and is also known as the Golden Land because of a lot of pagodas in the city which are covered in the golden colors. Although I did not really fell in love with the city, it unfolded its colors as I spent my time. Yangon temperature is also warmer compared to the north destinations I visited in Myanmar.
Since I stayed in Little Monkey Hostel which is in downtown; which is the hustling bustling center of the city, traveling around was quite easy and tedious for me. Easy because I was 5 minutes away from the Yangon bus station and tedious because nobody could speak English to make it smooth. I would leave my hostel with all the notes from the hostel staff and would show those to local people who would try getting me to my place.
Uber and Grab both services are available in Yangon and I always found Uber to be a cheaper option for me. Otherwise, I went around in local buses which would drop me to the nearest point possible of my desired location. Yangon airport to the city is almost an hours drive depending on the traffic situations. Other places you can reach a maximum of 30 minutes.
Shopping at Yangon is not much of a big activity but a place like Bogyoke Market is always on the minds of tourist. The market has some local specialties being sold. If you are looking for the branded shopping, then just opposite the Bogyoke Market, you can find Junction City Mall which also houses a City mart where you can buy your daily required products like water bottles, chips etc.
Best Places to Visit in Yangon
1. Sule Pagoda
- Sule Pagoda is one of the famous pagodas in Yangon and is at the center of the city. It is situated right in front of the Yangon Bus Station.
- I reached there by a walk of 5 to 7 minutes from my Little Monkey Hostel.
- The complex is full of other small pagodas and gives you a very peaceful feeling once you are in there.
- You need to remove your shoes outside and walk a few steps up to reach the main hall. You will find many people selling flowers to be offered at the hall.
- What you have to be aware is something which I was completely unaware of. Once I bought my ticket; the monk there introduced me to a Pandit who forced me to do some rituals which I was not willing to do but still went with the flow to avoid any arguments. Post the rituals this Pandit brought me to one of the pagodas and started showing me his photos and videos of how he became Pandit and how people have been admiring him. I knew all of this was being done for money and on the next moment, he asked me for the donation of 10,000 MMK. When I said I cannot pay so much for donation and offered him 5,000 MMK instead. The person simply walked away without a word.
Timing:- 06:00 AM to 08:00 PM
Visit Duration:- 20 minutes
Ticket Cost:- 4,000 MMK
2. MahaBandula Park
- Located right in front of Sule Pagoda and dominating the center square, this is one of the parks which can be your place to chill and enjoy the surroundings. The square was also known Fytch Square.
- The park was founded and built in the memory of the British Chief Commissioner of Myanmar, Albert Fytch.
- The park also has an obelisk which was built in the commemoration of Myanmar Independence from British in 1948.
- In front of the park on the main square, you can also see Yangon City Hall and Supreme Court.
Timing:- 05:30 AM to 06:00 PM
Visit Duration:- 15 minutes
Ticket Cost:- None
3. Shwedagon Pagoda
- The Shwedagon Pagoda dominates the skyline of Yangon city with its massive golden structure which is 2,500 years old.
- I reached the pagoda by taking the bus 204 from the Yangon Bus Station in front of Sule Pagoda with only a payment of 200 MMK. The bus dropped me almost at the walking distance of 10 minutes from the pagoda.
- Once I reached there I was in awe looking at the Shwedagon Pagoda Architecture. It was more beautiful than I saw in photos.
- After you buy the ticket; you have to remove your shoes and leave your heavy backpacks on the counter and then you go to the upper level by elevator.
- If you want you can hire a guide there; who can take you around pagoda and provide you with all the information since it is a huge complex.
- The main structure of pagoda is surrounded by many smaller pagodas and statues of Buddha. A lot of other temples are included in the complex with some stunning architectures.
- The best time to visit is either early morning or at the time of sunset for some spectacular views.
Timing:- 04:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Visit Duration:- 1 Hour
Ticket Cost:- 10,000 MMK
4. Kandawgyi Lake
- The Kandawgyi Lake is an artificial lake created by channeling the water from Inya Lake is the largest lake in Yangon.
- It is located on the east of the Shwedagon Pagoda and can be reached within 15 minutes from the pagoda.
- The lake is also famous for a landmark Kandawgyi Palace Hotel or also known as Karaweik Palace which was formerly a Rangoon Rowing Club.
- The hotel features beautifully built boats with the face of an animal. When you reach there, you need to pay an entrance fee which lets you go to the entrance of the hotel and surrounding garden area which also includes a lot of cafes and restaurant by the lakeside.
- If you wish to enter the hotel, you have to buy a ticket for a traditional show and a buffet lunch or dinner.
Timing:- 11:00 AM to 03:00 PM and 06:00 PM to 09:00 PM
Ticket Cost:- 300 MMK for Entrance and 33,000 MMK for Dinner if Pre Booked / 35,000 MMK for Walk-in Bookings
5. Tooth Relic Pagoda
- This was one place I was waiting to visit in Yangon. Since looking at the photos itself I was so much in love with it already.
- The pagoda is mainly famous among Thai tourists and as the name says it houses the tooth of the Buddha.
- The pagoda is built with white marble and covered with gold paint with a beautiful interior.
- Once you reach the pagoda; you feel like you are visiting one of the Thai temples because of the design.
- The beautiful pagoda is located far from the city center and is not easily accessible by public transport. I got into bus number 36 from Yangon Bus Station in front of Sule Pagoda.
- After paying 200 MMk I waited for the bus driver to inform once my stop arrives. And voila!!! The driver forgets to inform me about the stops and brings the bus further by almost 3 kilometers. Thanks to my destiny he immediately realized and started telling me in Burmese to get down, poor me helpless with the language couldn't understand a single thing when a local boy who could speak English translated me to get down and go backward. I got down and booked myself an Uber for 2,000 MMK which dropped me in front of the pagoda. Remember that locals know this pagoda as Swe Taw Myat Pagoda.
Timing:- 06:00 AM to 06:00 PM
Visit Duration:- 30 Minutes
Ticket Cost:- 2,000 MMK
6. National Races Village
- Because you cannot go to each and every place in Myanmar you can go to National Races Village in Yangon.
- It includes miniatures of all the major attractions in Myanmar. A huge area can be covered either by the battery car tours offered by the park itself you can hire the bicycle for 500 MMK for an hour. It is available immediately after the entrance.
- I can only suggest visiting this place if you have enough time to spend in Yangon and once you are done with other major attractions.
- The place is not that famous among tourists yet; since when I went over there; it was not at all crowded. But in all, I liked the place.
Timing:- 07:00 AM to 05:30 PM
Ticket Cost:- 3,000 MMK
7. Chauk Htat Gyi Buddha Temple
- I knew I was going to visit many other Buddha temples and pagodas in my rest of the Myanmar tour. So I decided not to go to this particular temple.
- But there are many good reviews about this temple and if you have time, you can plan your visit to this place.
- The 66 meters reclining Buddha statue temple is located at the Bahan township of Yangon
Ticket Cost:- 7,000 MMK
8. National Museum of Myanmar
- If you are the one who likes visiting museums which gives you an insight into the country's culture, history, and art; you can definitely visit the National Museum of Myanmar.
- The museum is of 5 stories. And it includes ancient artifacts, jewelry, artwork.
Timing:- 09:30 AM to 04:30 PM. Closed on Monday
9. The Circular Train
- The famous or infamous circular train of Yangon is one of the popular things to do in Yangon.
- However, some of them like it and some of them did not really suggest you try this. Reasons can vary from person to person as per choices.
- This train takes 3 hours from the starting point to come back to the same point. The whole purpose of riding this train is experiencing local life their way.
- The train passes through some local habitats and also some of the beautiful surroundings. But the warm temperatures and the crowd on the train can make you feel uneasy and would want you to leave the train.
- Even if you get off the train anywhere in between, you can board the next coming train which usually comes after every 30 to 45 minutes. It is like spending half of your day for this ride and the path of the train is not even near to any of the attractions. But if you have an extra day in Yangon; you can definitely try this train ride.
Timing:- 06:10 AM to 05:10 PM
Visit Duration:- 3 Hours
Ticket Cost:- 200 MMK for Non Ac and 800 MMK for Ac Coach
10. Other Day Tours
- There are some places which can be covered in a day tour from Yangon and the most famous of all is the day tour of Bago and Golden Rock Pagoda tour.
- Bago is a small village near Yangon which has maintained its cultural and ancient formation and attracts tourists.
- The Golden Rock Pagoda is definitely worth a visit from Yangon only if you have any proper tour organized. The reason is that you cannot find any transportation which can directly bring you to the location. Even if you think of getting a bus, you have to leave the bus at Kinpun village and then hire another vehicle to reach the destination. Booking an organized private tour can avoid all of these troubles. Since I was alone and my hostel provided tours only for 2 people minimum I could not opt for this.
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