You’ll begin the day along the famous Strand Road with your local guide and driver, who will accompany you to the bustling Yangon Harbour, from which ferries chart a course for Pathein and embark along the Ayeyarwady River.
Next it’s off to Botathaung Pagoda, located near the shores of Yangon River and said to contain relics left by the Buddha himself. We then drive through the colonial-style buildings downtown, before arriving in Chinatown, followed by the Indian quarter.
Your driver will then bring you to the gilded Sule Pagoda. Dating back more than 2,000 years, it makes a useful landmark for navigating downtown Yangon. After a quick photo op at the pagoda, stop for lunch at the Monsoon Restaurant.
In the afternoon, a visit to Bogyoke ‘Scott’ Market (pictured above; closed on Public Holidays and Mondays) will give you the opportunity to see Myanmar’s wide range of handicrafts. From there it’s off to the banks of the Kandawgyi Royal Lake to take photographs over the lake towards Karaweik Hall and Shwedagon.
Finish your day enjoying the sunset at Shwedagon Pagoda. Myamnar’s most famed landmark, its golden stupa is the ‘heart’ of Buddhist Myanmar. Surrounded by dozens of intricately decorated buildings and statues, the pagoda’s central stupa is believed to be 2,500 years old. Here you can walk amongst local people praying and making offerings at Shwedagon before returning to your hotel.
Yangon, much like Myanmar, is still very much up-and-coming, and as such there are fewer hotels than you’ll find in other major hubs. I’ve included a few of my favourites below.
A romantic, colonial-style mansion dating from the 1920s, the Governor’s Residence conjures up a bygone era of elegance and comfort. Set in lush gardens dotted with lotus pools, the hotel is a magical base from which to explore the city.
The Strand Hotel
Housed in a three-story Victorian-style building in the heart of Yangon, the Strand Hotel was first opened in 1901 and has recently been newly refurbished. A part of The Leading Hotels of the World group, the hotel’s colonial charm is apparent in everything from the rattan furniture to the luxurious chandeliers.
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About the Author
As B&R’s Travel Coordinator, Pete Whish specializes in planning all of your pre- and post-trip desires. When not crafting adventures in some of the world’s most fascinating cities, he can be found on the nearest soccer pitch, or supporting his beloved Manchester United.
Market photo Wikimedia