Yangon Myanmar is a very cool city. Whilst it has a modern face with trendy bars and fancy restaurants, it has also retained its colonial charm with some of the best preserved buildings from the days of the British Empire. The tea house culture has held strong and let’s of course not forget the standout highlight, the stunning Shwedagon Pagoda.
Yangon used to be the official capital city of Myanmar until 2006 when the government officially proclaimed the newly built city of Nay Pyi Daw as the new capital. Yangon nonetheless remains the cultural and commercial heart of the country as Nay Pyi Daw struggles to attract a similar atmosphere.
These are our 5 favourite not-to-miss highlights in Yangon, which we think every traveller should have at the top of their Myanmar bucket list.
Connecting with Buddha at the Shwedagon Pagoda
The Shwedagon Pagoda is a marvel to behold. It is the main iconic site in Yangon you can’t miss. The main gold-plated dome is so impressive, it will take your breath away. It is topped by a stupa containing over 7,000 diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires.
At 99m (325ft) tall, the Shwedagon Pagoda is Myanmar’s largest temple, and as such, it dominates the Yangon city skyline. It also considered the most sacred temple of the country because it is believed to contain relics of the 4 previous Buddhas.
We visited in the evening around sunset and loved the ambience. It attracts a large number of visitors, both tourists and locals who come to worship. But despite the large numbers, there is a strong feeling of peace and tranquility here, which we did not feel in other temples we visited in our travels across Southeast Asia.