Yangon is one of the country’s top tourism destinations, and the city is home to various tourist attractions. There are many reasons to visit Yangon but here are our top 9 destinations the more popular attractions in the city, if you wish a happy exploring whilst you’ here. These include plenty of heritage buildings, museums, religious and historical pagoda, green parks and landmarks that provide an insight into the rich history and culture of Myanmar.
Bogyoke Market: Bogyoke Aung San Market was built and inaugurated in 1926 and named Scott’s Market after Mr. C. Scott, the then Municipal Commissioner. It was, however, renamed in 1978 as Bogyoke Aung San Market in honor of General Aung San and it is on the Yangon City Heritage List. The market is well known for its colonial architecture design and European looking cobblestone streets. This is also the most popular shopping destination in Yangon which displays a huge collection of Myanmar handicraft and souvenir, and many more stuff under one roof. [Admission Fees: Free; Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Close on Monday and Gazette Holidays; Location: Bogyoke Aung San Road, Pabedan Township, Yangon].
Kandawgyi Garden: Kandawgyi Garden Natural Park is located in downtown Yangon, lying close to the Shwe Dagon Pagoda. It has a lush green lake park with a variety of beautiful flowers, the natural scene of the lake water and large shady trees, the souvenir shops, many restaurants, and Zoological Gardens, which consists of a zoo, an aquarium, and an amusement park. In the evening on clear days, you can enjoy beautiful sunset view with a background of Shwedagon Pagoda. One can take a rest in its nicely landscaped leafy grounds and view handsome architectural features such as the King Edward VII 1915 Carnivore House. The zoo covers an area of 58.16 acres with its collection of about 200 species including 60 species of mammals, 70 species of birds and 20 species of reptiles those draws over 1.5 million people visit annually. Special events like snakes dance and elephant circus are performed for visitors on some public holidays and weekend. [Admission Fees: Kyats 1,000 per person].
Mahabandoola Garden: This garden park is situated in the heart of the Yangon downtown area and surrounded by Immanuel Baptist Church in the east, Sule Pagoda Road in the west, and the City Hall, Sule Pagoda and the impressive colonial-era Supreme Court building in the north. When laid out by the British in 1868, the park was called Fytche Sq after Sir Albert Fytche, a chief commissioner at the time. Later it was renamed Victoria Park to commemorate the queen whose statue used to stand where the Independence Monument is today. After independence, the park was renamed as Mahabandoola Garden. The park is usually crowded and packed with families, musicians and a band playing and it is very relaxing to spend your time on the verge of the grass. There is also a public toilet in the southeast corner of the park.
Myanmar Plaza: The Yangon’s first ever international retail mall, consists of a great mall with 5 floors of retail outlets, and a huge food court with different international cuisines. There is spa salon on the 3rd floor whereas mostly mid-range international brands are available on the top floor. A very professional building which can suffice for all your needs while you are in Yangon. Every day has much-crowded public just like the MBK Shopping Mall at Bangkok. There are ATM options at the ground level, and many shops have Credit Card facilities. Lifts are available so that it is suitable for wheelchair customers and all ages. This plaza is a worth visiting place to hang out and shopping for a while if you are looking for a comfortable place in Yangon. [Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM. Open Daily].
National Museum of Myanmar: It is a five-story museum that has an extensive collection of ancient artifacts, ornaments, works of art, inscriptions and historic memorabilia, related to history, culture, and civilization of Myanmar people. There are altogether fourteen halls in the four floors of the Museum. The ground floor comprises three halls those display the Myanmar alphabets and literature of the national races. In the ground floor’s Exhibition Hall, there are Yadonobon period household items and the palanquin used by the chief monk of King Thibaw. On the first floor of the museum exhibit on royal regalia, both historic and prehistoric significances. The second floor of the museum’s halls displays on Myanmar Musical Instruments. On the third floor of the museum displays Paintings and Ancient ornaments. The Fourth floor has halls that display the Buddha images which date back to the Pyu Period and up to the present day. In the hall of the ethnic culture, there are colorful displays of their national dresses as well as various artifacts that are traditionally used by Myanmar ethnic people. [Admission Fees: US$ 5 per person (Foreigner) and 500 kyats per person local. Close on Monday, Tuesday and Holidays]
National Races Village: National Races Village is located near Thanlyin Bridge, beside the Bago River in Thaketa Township, a 20 minutes’ drive by taxi from downtown Yangon. There are traditional homes and famous cultural sites of the major ethnic groups such as Kachin, Kayah, Karen, Chin, Bamar. Mon, Rakhine, and Shan. Exploring the park is a great way to get a small taste of the traits of each indigenous tribe in Myanmar without spending much time to travel throughout the entire country. Visitors can get a better understanding of the different ethnic groups and their unique cultural traditions that made up Myanmar while in one location. Visitors can also get the natural high view from the Nan Myin Watching Tower where you can take amazing photos with the background of the greenish lake, notable Thanlyin Bridge, and greenish mangrove forest from top of the watchtower. [ Open Hour: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM & close on Myanmar holidays].
Shwedagon Pagoda: A visit to this Golden Pagoda, is one of the things you must do when you’re in Yangon. The Shwedagon Pagoda is a very well preserved heritage monument and a sacred religious pilgrimage site for many Buddhist followers in Myanmar. Historians and archaeologists maintain that the pagoda was built by the Mon people between the 6th and 10th centuries AD while many believe that the Pagoda was constructed more than 2,600 years ago, which would make it the oldest Buddhist stupa in the world. Before entering the temple grounds, please remove shoes and carry them with you in a plastic bag or leave them at the entrance. [ Admission fees: US$ 5 per person, Opening Hours: 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM].
Taukkyan War Cemetery: It is a war cemetery for allied soldiers from the British Commonwealth who died in battle in Myanmar during the World War I and II, maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. This is one of the most visited and high rated war sites of all Asia. Htauk Kyaunt War Cemetery is the largest of the 3 cemeteries in Myanmar, built in 1951 for the reception of graves from four battlefield cemeteries at Akyab, Mandalay, Meiktila, and Bamaw in Kachin State. There was an original ‘Chindit’ cemetery containing many of those who died in the battle for Myitkyina in Kachin State. The cemetery contains the grave of 6,374 soldiers, who died in the World War II, the graves of 52 soldiers who died in Burma in the World War I, along with over 27,000 fallen soldiers with no known. There are 867 graves that contain the remains of unidentified soldiers. It is a place of quiet reflection where relatives of the soldiers from all over the world come to pay homage to their loved ones. The sentiment, solemnity and the scale of loss were expressed in English, Hindi, Urdu, Gurmukhi, and Burmese: “They died for all free men”. The grounds are lush green and well-kept grounds with many beautiful dedicated speeches inscribed on the honorable gravestones. Many different inscriptions on the headstones and at the entrance are written, ” Their Name Liveth For Evermore.” The Cemetery is a reminder to current generations about the sacrifice of so many in the order to live peacefully today. [Opening Hours: 9:00 – 17:00].