You're thinking of travelling to Yangon, Myanmar, but just where exactly is Yangon? Thahara looks at everything you need to know about the countries old capital.
So Where is Yangon?
In terms of the rest of the world, Yangon is a 1 ½ hour flight away from Bangkok, 3 hours from Singapore and a slightly longer 6 ½ hours away from Dubai. All of these cities have direct flights with Yangon and you can travel with reputable airlines such as Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines and Emirates.
Slightly closer to home, Yangon is located a short flight away from 3 of Myanmar’s most popular destinations. It takes around 1 ½ hours to reach each of Bagan (via Nyaung U Airport), Mandalay and Inle Lake (via Heho Airport). That makes it a perfect location for entering and leaving the country from, while also offering tourists a wealth of activities and sights to see if you’re willing to delve that little bit deeper.
Once known as Rangoon, you’ll find Yangon in Lower Myanmar at the convergence of the Yangon and Bago Rivers, making it a popular shipping destination, but also a great place to commence a cruise up along the Irrawaddy River.
What Should I Expect in Yangon?
Once dubbed “The Garden City of the East”, Yangon, you might be surprised to find out, is a nature lovers dream. The city is awash with beautiful lakes, tropical trees and parks that are a joy to laze around in while reading your book (or Lonely Planet guide).
The city, founded in 1755 by King Alaungpaya, is Myanmar’s largest city by quite a distance. As a result it is no surprise is hear that Yangon is a melting pot of cultures, communities and people. Walk the streets of downtown and you will soon see for yourself, with the eclectic mix of restaurants, fashion and religious sights being a highlight for anyone visiting Myanmar.
Where in Yangon Should I Visit?
First on everyone’s list should be the Shwedagon Pagoda. While this monument might not need much introduction to some, the Shwedagon Pagoda dominates the Yangon skyline, casting a golden glow over the bustling city at night. The early risers amongst you will catch the temple at its finest hour. If you can make it at the crack of dawn then sit back and enjoy the spectacle as the sun begins to rise behind the pagoda.
Next on your list should be an exploration of the British colonial buildings that are dotted around downtown. Walk the streets and take in the beautiful architecture and make sure to look up so you don’t miss the best bits. Our favourite street to explore would have to be 47th. One of the quietest streets in downtown Yangon, the buildings along this road are beautiful and well worth seeing.
Lastly, we’ve already mentioned the lush green spaces, but we’ll give them another push. Walk around Kandawgyi Lake, make your way through People’s Park or take a seat in Mahabandula Park, to name but three locations.
So… Where is Yangon?
Yangon is where you’ll find over 5 million people from hundreds, if not thousands, of different backgrounds. It is where the British set up their capital in 1855 and where General Aung San was killed in 1947. It is a city full of life that is going through its biggest transformation in over 100 years. And while yes you’ll have to navigate the increasingly bad traffic, it is absolutely worth it. Book a stay at one of our carefully selected Yangon hotels and share your experiences with Thahara.