Yangon and surrounding
The most densely populated area with access to international airport and seaport to connect with other countries. It is used to be the capital of commercial and public administration for the whole of Myanmar until the Government decided to move to Naypyidaw till 2005.
Still serving as the commercial capital of the Myanmar, the ever expanding city, Yangon, is struggling to preserve its religious and colonial era buildings. It has the best education, health care and public transportation systems inside Myanmar.
Downtown area of Yangon was rebuild by British around 1855. Most of the colonial building are located inside a small area which is informally called by the locals as Chinatown and Indian town Eastern part of downtown belongs to the Indian town and it has city center, churches, mosques, Hindu temples and colonial time administrative buildings. Western part of downtown is known as Chinatown which is famous for its roadside food stalls.
Located near downtown Yangon, the stupa is about 100m\326ft in height and the most famous land mark in Yangon.
Cover with gold, it can be seen form far, is most famous religious site in Myanmar. Legend said that the original stupa was built since the life time of Buddha (over 2600 years). The stupa was rebuild and enlarged many times a long the history of Myanmar.
Visitors and pilgrims usually come here in the morning and evening.
Nearly 70m\218ft long Buddha image in reclining position, located a few kilometers away from Shwedagon Pagoda, is a well-known religious site in Yangon. Chaukhtatgyi Buddha image was built in 1907 by a local business man. The image is famous for being very proportionate and displaying the physical characteristics of Buddha. The image is housed inside a big pavilion surrounded by many monasteries.
Located at the center of Yangon, near city hall, Sule pagoda is one of the stupa left to stand as a land mark during the reconstruction of Yangon by colonial government. Since that time,about 154ft\49m tall Sule stupa becomes a roundabout with shops around the base;as well as zero kilometer or ground zero landmark in Myanmar.
The stupa was said to be build around third century B.C with hairs of Buddha enshrined inside. It is a place for local office worker to come and pray before and after the office hours.
Bogyoke Aung San Market (Scott market)
Scott market is one of the famous shopping place for Yangonites and tourist. It has about one thousand small shops dedicated to selling clothings -local made and imports, cosmetic, gems and jewelry,handicrafts and souvenirs . It was opened since 1926 and named after the municipal commissioner Gavin Scott. The name was changed to Bogyoke Aung San Market after the independence and the whole complex becomes one of Yangon heritage buildings.
The market is covered and well ventilated with no air-condition. It is located at the uppermost block of the Yangon downtown area, only two block distance from city center,with circular train station at the back.
Kandawgyi Lake (Karaweik barge)
East of the Shwedagon Pagoda lies a big lake ,surrounded by parks,is known as Kandawgyi or Royal lake. It is the second largest lake near downtown Yangon. It was constructed by the British near the end of 19th century to used as a reservoir and a place for recreation.
The main attraction inside the lake is the Karaweik barge which also serve as a restaurant. The design was based on a mythical bird from Buddhist stories.
A small town, located at the opposite of downtown Yangon,divided by the river,is like a different world compare to downtown Yangon.
This different version of Yangon is a place for visitors to take a ride on sidecar aka trishaw.
Visitors can take a ride among narrow streets that pass through residential area dotted with ponds- only source of water for locals for their daily use. The trishaw ride will also take you around local market, mummified remain of a monk who people believe to be an Arahant and a monastic education center.
Thanlyin and Kyauktan
At the Eastern part of Yangon City, divided by Bago River, connected by a few bridges, lies Tanlyin and Kyauktan town. These two towns are famous among the local people for visiting places as a day-return trip from Yangon. That area was used to be a seaport around 17th and 18th century before Yangon becomes main seaport. Although these places can offer very little attraction of historic except a daily activities of the people and a few religious buildings.
Yangonites would visit these two sleepy town to escape the grinds of daily lives inside Yangon.
Kyaikkauk pagoda is located half way between Thanlyin and Kyauktan which is believed to be built around 4th or 3rd century B.C. According to the legend, it’s also housed for hair relic of Buddha and the stupa was built using laterite stones. It had been renovated and enlarges many times along the history. The stupa is located on a hill top that is the highest elevated position around the area. Visitors can see miles of flat land, including Yangon downtown, from around the stupa if the weather permits.
The stupa was rediscovered by a group of local on a small island in the middle of the river at the early 20th century. And they named the stupa after the river-Mawwon or stony river. The stupa was said to be built by Mon King around third century B.C. It is one of the six religious sites built near or middle of large body of water. After getting off the car, visitors have to take a short ferry boat ride to reach the island. Once, they reach the island, they can go and pray at the Buddha image made by combining five pieces together- one of a kind in Myanmar, or pray at the very ancient Buddha image said to be about 1400 years old or the shrines of saints and a spirits who look over sailors.
Htaukkyant War Cemetery
Htaukkyant war cemetery lies on the Yangon-Bago road about 21 miles or 34 kilometers from downtown Yangon. It is the largest of three cemeteries built inside Myanmar. It has over 6300 graves and 27,000 names are inscribed on the pillars. The soldiers buried or recorded inside the cemetery belong to British, Scottish, Irish, American, Indian, Nepal and Myanmar nationals.
The cemetery is maintained by the Common Wealth War Graves Commission and the land plot was donated by the Myanmar government .It was open to the public since 1952. The honored programme of salutation for fallen comrades is held every 11th of November at 11 hour.