Yangon has a lush, park-like and tranquil atmosphere as soon as one leaves the relatively small downtown area. The gently hilly city was once a small fishing village but renowned as the site of the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most revered place of worship for Myanmar Buddhists. The sprawling city was first fortified by King Alaungphaya, who marked his conquest of Lower Myanmar by changing its name from Dagon to Yangon, which means 'End of Strife'. Chronicles state that more than two thousand years ago, it was the kingdom of Okkalapa and in some suburbs of the city, relics of the early centuries have been found.
Yangon, the commercial city, is the main gateway to Myanmar. Yangon was founded by King Alaungpaya in 1775 on the site of a small settlement called Dagon. The name Yangon means " End of Strife" which was Anglicized to Rangoon after the British annexed Myanmar in 1885. The present day Yangon covers about 350 sq.km with a population of over 5.5 million.
Yangon International Airport has direct airlinks with Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Chiang Mai, Kolkata, Gaya, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, Doha, Frankfurt, Kunming, Nanning, Taipei, Ho Chi Minh, Ha Noi, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Guangzhou. Regularly (7) Domestic Air Lines connect Yangon to Mandalay, Bagan, Heho, Kyaing Tong (Keng Tung), Tachileik, Thandwe, Kawthaung and to other tourist destinations. There are regular rail services and coaches from Yangon to major cities in the States and Regions.
By Air (International)
Myanmar Airways International (MAI), Air Bagan, Thai Airways International, Bangkok Airways, Thai Air Silk, Silk Air, Jet Star Asia, Malaysia Airline, Air China, China Estern Airline, China Southern Airline, China Airline, Air India, Vietnam Airline, Korean Airline, Qatar Airways, All Nippon Airways,Eva Air, Condor Air, Dragon Air, Asiana Air
By Air (Domestic)
Myanmar Airways, Air Mandalay, Air Bagan, Air KBZ, Asian Wings, Yangon Airways, Golden Myanmar Airways
Highway Express Terminals
Aungminglar Station, Dagon Ayeyar Station, Bandoola Station
Myanmar International Terminals Thilawa (MITT), Nan Thida Jetty and Bo Aung Kyaw Jetty
The Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the wonders of the world, is the prominent landmark visible from miles around. The Pagoda has a height of 326 feet. The Shwedagon Pagoda where the four Buddhas' relics were enshrined, is believed to have been built more than 2600 years ago, that is, during the Buddha's lifetime. The Shwedagon Pagoda is the holiest place of worship to Buddhists all over the world and the whole complex is practically a work of art. Most of the buildings around the Pagoda are decorated with the best specimens of Myanmar painting and sculpture. A visit to Yangon is incomplete without a visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda.
Kaba Aye Pagoda
The Kaba Aye Pagoda meaning World Peace Pagoda was built in 1952. This Pagoda was significiant for the Sixth World Buddhist Synod which was held in Maha Pasana Guha (Cave) within the same compound during 1954. The Buddhist Art Museum is also located in the same compound and it has a wide collection of religious paraphernalia and Buddhist texts.
The Sule Pagoda is situated in the centre of the city, across from the City Hall. It stands 46 m high and it is also one of the excellent landmarks of Yangon.
It is located on the Botahtaung Pagoda Road, situated beside the Yangon River. It was named after 1,000 military leaders who escorted relics of the Buddha from India to Myanmar over 2,000 years ago. It contains hair relics of the Buddha.
Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda
The Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, 65.72 meter long reclining Buddha, is one of the largest images in Myanmar. The original image was built in1907. The Pagoda was demolished in 1957 and it was built to this structure in 1966.
The National Museum is located on Pyi Road, and it has five floors of exhibits. The 8 m –high Lion Throne of King Thibaw Min, the last Myanmar King, the Royal Regalia of 19th century, the artifacts of various ancient periods, manuscripts, traditional dresses of various ethnic groups, traditional musical instruments, paintings, etc are displayed in the museum.
Myanma Gems Museum and Gems Mart
Myanma Gems Museum is located on Kaba Aye Pagoda Road, close to the Kaba Aye Pagoda. It displays very famous precious stones of Myanmar such as rubies, jades, sapphires and pearls. It also houses the Gems Mart and sells raw gemstones, polished and various kinds of jewellery.
Other interesting museum in Yangon are Bogyoke Aung San Museum, Drug Elimination Museum.
Bago, formely known as Hanthawaddy of Mon Kingdom in 15th century, is located about 80 km from Yangon. Among the many places of cultural heritage include the Shwemawdaw Pagoda, the huge Reclining Buddha of Shwetharlyaung, the four Giant Buddha images of Kyaikpun Pagoda and the excavation site and restoration work of Kanbawzathadi, the place of famous King Bayinnaung.
Allied War Memorial Cemetery
Allied War Memorial Cemetery is located at Htaukkyant, 32 km from Yangon, on the way to Bago. It is a memorial cemetery of Allied soldiers who died in the Myanmar Campaign during World War II.
The Cemetery is peaceful and its beautifully kept grounds has 27,000 stone-graves of Common wealth and Allied soldiers.
Thanlyin (Syriam) lies 45 minutes drive from Yangon across the 1822 meter long bridge spanning the Bago River. It was once an important trading port of the Portuguese in the early 17th century. KyaikKhauk Pagoda in Thanlyin and Yele Pagoda in Kyauktan are some of the places of interest.
Twante is situated 24 km from Yangon and a boat trip along the Twante Canal takes about two hours. It is also accessible by car. It is noted for its pottery and cotton-weaving industries. Visitors get a chance to see the rural life along the famous canal of Twante, a short cut across the Ayeyawaddy Delta.
Bogyoke Aung San Market (Scott Market) is located at the corner of Shwedagon Pagoda Road and Bogyoke Aung San Road with an area of 29717 square metre. Being the largest in Yangon, Bogyoke Aung San Market is one of the best places for souvenir shopping. Myanmar handicrafts, jewellery, lacquerware, and modern items are readily available. There is even a restaurant section where one may enjoy lunch or a relaxing tea break.
The others are Yuzana Plaza, Mingala Zey, Capital Hypermarker, Sein Gay Har, Junction 8, Junction Center (Maw Tin), Junction Square, Taw Win Center, Dagon Center I and II, La Pyae Wun Plaza, China Town (Night Market), Yankin Center & the one stop shopping City Marts.
Kandawgyi Gardens is located in the center of Yangon, a walking distance from the Shwedagon Pagoda. Now, Kandawgyi Gardens is upgraded comprising the education zone, relaxation zone and recreation zone. There are nine agricultural technology educative booths, the agricultural museum and shops in the education zone. New restaurants, Timber Walkway, Rock Garden, Mount Popa Tower, elephant plaza, fresh water aquarium, landscaping, trees and seasonal flowers, water fountain, waterfalls are additional pleasure of the Park.
Yangon Zoological Gardens
Yangon Zoological Gardens, a recreation center, is located in the heart of Yangon. It is also the center for Zoological and Botanical research. The zoo is noted for its collection of wild animals, flora and fauna which have been collected over the years since it was opened in 1096. A perfect place for studying various wildlife species and birds.
People's Square and People's Park
People's Square and People's Park is situated on an area of over 130 acres of land between U Wizara Road and Pyay Road. There is a Museum housing life-size models of nationalities in their colourful dresses.
Hlawga Wildlife Park
Hlawga Wildlife Park is about 45 minute drive from Yangon and it covers 7 square km of land. The park is an ideal place for bird watching, elephant rides and picnicking and it is home to over 70 kinds if herbivorous animals, and 90 species of birds.