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Best things to do in Yangon (Rangoon)

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Where in the world: Asia  /  Myanmar  /  Yangon Region  /  Yangon (Rangoon)

Top 15 things to do in Yangon (Rangoon)

1. Shwedagon Pagoda

Journey to Shwedagon Pagoda along with faithful Buddhist practitioners, who visit to honor the relics of previous Buddhas. This golden stupa, or pagoda, ranks among the holiest religious sites in Myanmar. Tradition dictates that it has stood for over 2,600 years, although historians approximate that the Mon people constructed it between the 6th and 10th centuries. In its current state, after countless renovations and reconstructions, diamonds and other precious stones encrust its steeple; see if you can spot the legendary 76-carat diamond at the tip from the ground below.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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2. Chaukhtatgyi Buddha

Stare at a mesmerizing, massive reclining figure of Chaukhtatgyi Buddha, and the gilt robed giant will return a blissful smile to you. Housed in a huge metal shed, the 65 m (213 ft) long and 16 m (52 ft) high statue enjoys immense reverence in Myanmar. Started in 1899, the statue took until 1907 to complete and has since undergone several restorations. Note the scenes from Buddha's life carved into its feet.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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4. Sule Pagoda

At the center of the nation's former capital, Sule Pagoda is an octagonal structure surrounded by bustling streets and buildings from the colonial era. Examine the 44 m (144 ft) tall pagoda's lavish ornamentation and see how a steady flow of devotees come to bring offerings and revere the enshrined strand of the Buddha's hair. Besides touring the sacred compound, you can also visit nearby shops, which offer palmistry and astrology services, along with religious souvenirs and gifts.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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5. Bogyoke Aung San Market, Pabedan

Browse through Burmese handicrafts, foodstuffs, jewelry, paintings, lacquerware, and various hill-tribe textiles at Bogyoke Aung San Market, a major bazaar in downtown Yangon set in a large colorful colonial building. Also known as Scott’s Market among those who remember the British rule, the market serves as the city's most popular tourist destination for shopping. With over 1,600 shops, the loosely organized market offers a wide range of choices for local products, with streets around the covered market also offering a variety of goods. Try pork noodles in garlic oil, washed down with an avocado shake.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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6. Kandawgyi Park

A popular outing spot for locals with plenty of shady trees, Kandawgyi Park provides water and greenery in downtown Yangon. Join the locals with a picnic or a leisure walk among the well-manicured gardens. In the middle of the 110 hectare (272 acre) grounds lies a lake with a circumference of 8 km (5 mi). Stroll across the long wide boardwalk over the water to admire water lilies, a family of black swans, and the iconic gilt royal barge--now a classy floating restaurant. Some street vendors sell refreshments. The park is a popular venue for concerts.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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8. Inya Lake

Created by the British in the 1880s, Inya Lake remains a popular gathering place, especially well suited for romantic sunset walks. You'll find plenty of outdoor activities offered here, including kayaking and boating. If you prefer to relax, opt for a picnic overlooking the lake. Numerous cafes and restaurants cater to visitors in need of some light refreshments or a hearty meal.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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9. Botahtaung Pagoda

Some 2,500 years ago, the Mon people built Botahtaung Pagoda to shelter a sacred strand of hair from the Gautama Buddha within its empty interior. After World War II, the site underwent complete reconstruction, preserving the hollow center for protection of ancient relics and artifacts, plus a golden spire rising up 40 m (123 ft). As you enter the holy site through a maze-like walkway, inspect the pagoda-shaped stone casket, which serves as a treasure vault and a chamber of relics. Inside you can find terracotta plaques, ornaments, jewels, and Buddha images made of stone, brass, gold, and silver. Several locals begging for money may hover at the entrance; you can call the pagoda's staff if things get a little awkward.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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11. Taukkyan War Cemetery

Myanmar's largest cemetery, Taukkyan War Cemetery commemorates fallen Allied soldiers from the British Commonwealth. Opened in 1951, the cemetery contains graves of 6,374 victims who lost their lives in World War II; due to postwar unrest, around 27,000 buried bodies and names remain lost to archives. Isolated by jungle from roadside sites, the thoughtfully designed memorial provides insight into the war on Burmese soil. During your visit, carry extra water and sunglasses, as well as an umbrella or hat for common rain showers.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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12. Food Tours

Suggested duration: 3 hours
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13. Nga Htat Gyi Pagoda

Prepare to be amazed at Nga Htat Gyi Pagoda, where you’ll discover an enormous seated Buddha. Head to this relaxing temple to marvel at the 13.9 (45.5 ft) Buddha, which sits proudly on a huge pedestal with its back to a set of ornately carved wooden panels. The huge Buddha was donated to the temple in 1900, with the original, smaller Buddha (6.2 m (20.5 ft) high) dating back to 1558. Enjoy this peaceful, five-tiered temple and admire the many murals that line the walls as you go.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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15. Yangon Central Railway Station

Yangon Central Railway Station, the biggest railway hub in Myanmar, serves as the starting point of the circular track that connects the city's central and suburban settlements. The building dates back to 1954, built after a previous, Victorian-style structure destroyed in World War II. Admire the current structure's distinct tiered roofs, or board a train here to explore many different neighborhoods and areas of Yangon.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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