One of the best places to visit in Asia is Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city. Nature lovers will appreciate the city’s stunning lakes, shady parks and verdant tropical trees. These are the reasons why it is dubbed ‘The Garden City of the East’.
However, Yangon has more to offer than impressive scenery. This city is a melting pot—a diversity of cultures and communities in terms of people, settlement and religions. Because it serves as the country's main entrance and seaport, it is also the country’s centre of business.
Yangon was founded in 1755 by King Alaungpaya; he established Yangon on the location of a small town named Dagon when he dominated the lower part of Myanmar. He was the one who gave the name Yangon, meaning ‘End of Strife’. In 1885, the name was anglicised as Rangoon when the British annexed the country.
Yangon is a city that balances tradition, culture and modernity, making it a must-see for anyone who wants to see a different side of Asia.
Aung San Suu Kyi's House
Until her release from house arrest in November 2010, anyone who wished to see Aung San Suu Kyi's house did so from the the other side of the Inya Lake, from a distance of 300 metres. All you could see then was the back of this crumbling colonial style mansion, shaded by a large tree. The front of the house on University Avenue was barricaded and guarded by security police.
The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and leader of the National League of Democracy was put under house arrest here off and on for 15 years since 1989. Subject to international pressure, the Burmese ruling military junta agreed to release Aung San Suu Kyi in 2010.
Considered one of the three major worship sites in Yangon (the other two being Shwedagon and Sule Pagoda), Botahtaung features quirky charms and peculiarities.
Located on the bank of the Yangon River, Botahtaung is a typical gilded dome that tapers gradually to the top and is capped by a symbolic fan-shape spire. Unlike many pagodas (known as zedi in Myanmar), Botahtaung is hollow inside allowing visitors to walk through to admire what is considered the highlight of any pilgrimage – a glass case containing a sacred hair relic of the Buddha.
Legend has it that several of Buddha’s remains, brought over from India 2,500 years ago and deposited here on the river bank, were guarded by a thousand soldiers, thus lending the name ‘Botahtaung’ which means ‘one thousand generals.’ During World War II, the original structure was bombed but was rebuilt in 1956 to its present-day height of 48 metres.
The road in front of the shrine beckons visitors in with its colourful array of shops selling fruits, flowers and other offerings items. Enter the main entrance on the right and marvel at the gleaming hall covered in gold (leaf). From here, turn left and follow the narrow circular walkway laced with dazzling glass mosaic. Halfway through the labyrinth is the centrepiece glass case with the Buddha hair.
Outside the Pagoda to the west, a small building houses a splendid specimen of a Mandalay-style Buddha image seated on a bejewelled throne. Nan-oo, as it is known here, was taken by the British in the 1885 and exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Only in 1951 was it returned to the people of Myanmar.
There is a large pond with fish and turtles feeding on popcorns, which is on sale conveniently nearby. A covered bridge leads visitors to a shrine of a few resident Nats (guardian spirits) who cast their protective sight over the temple grounds. The Nats, who form an important part of most religious monuments in Myanmar, can allegedly grant wishes and fulfil dreams. Nats are said to be fond of young coconuts and bananas. Offerings in the form of money are widely practiced.
There is a monastery across the road from the main Pagoda providing a glimpse into the temple life. A short stroll from here is the jetty where visitors can observe life along the Yangon waterway.
Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda
Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, just a short distance northeast of Shwedagon, houses a striking reclining Buddha image that measures an impressive 65 metres long and 16 metres high. Sometimes referred to by foreign visitors as the 'Sweet-Eyed Buddha, the statue's porcelain face is punctuated by expressive large eyes (made from special imported Japanese glass), vermillion lips and bright blue eyeshadow.
Even the nails are painted red. Resting on his right, the Buddha's staggered feet (indicating the living state just before his death, as opposing to parallel feet, denoting his passing away) are decorated with 108 sacred Buddhist symbols.
Chauk Htat Gyi was built at the turn of the 20th century but, after years of neglect, was brought to the present site in 1966 by a devout Buddhist named U Hop Thar.
The renovations were made possible by donations from the local community, and some foreign tourists, whose names and contributed amounts are inscribed on the beams of the roof. The maintenance cost is therefore reflected in the higher-than-usual-admission fee, which also goes towards the education of 300 or so monks in the nearby Ashay Tawya monastery.
Surrounding the statue are small shrines devoted to Buddhas of each day of the week. According to eastern astrology, there are eight days to a week, Wednesday counting as two. The custom is that visitors first pay homage to the main Buddha, with offering of flowers and candles, and then worship at the shrine of the Buddha of their birthdate.
Just across the street stands an equally impressive Ngar Htat Gyi Pagoda containing a large seated Buddha with an elaborate armour-like golden robe. While here, also have a look at the clever artwork of the Buddha in three-dimensional form followed by a long line of disciples, which starts as a few sculptures and slowly changes and blends into the painting behind.
Kyaiktiyo: Golden Rock Pagoda near Yangon
Another wonder of Buddhist monuments, Kyaiktiyo or the Golden Rock Pagoda, which precariously hangs over a cliff edge 1,100 metres above sea level, defying all laws of gravity, is not to be missed by any visitor to Myanmar.
Located 180km south of Yangon in the town of same name, Kyaiktiyo is regarded as one of sacred sites that any devout Myanmar must visit once in their lifetime. The rock itself is 5.5 metres high and is topped by a small pagoda or zedi. It is covered in gold leaf and, like any other Buddhist monument in Myanmar, contains a hair relic of Buddha Gautama.
Any geologist will explain the Kyaiktiyo phenomenon as a volcanic accident, but to the local people this is a work of the force that is larger than life, a miracle of Buddha himself that keeps the rock up. Legend relates the story of a yogi who, after having been given a hair strand of the Buddha, was looking for a stupa to contain it. As he lived in the wild, this proved almost impossible. The task was taken over by Indra, the supreme Hindu god, who found a suitable rock under the ocean and deposited it on Paung Laung hill.
Kyaiktiyo Pagoda is located in a town of the same name, 180km east of Yangon. A 4-5 hour car journey will take you to the Kinpun base camp where visitors ride in a small open top truck along the windy road a further eight kilometres (it takes about 30 minutes). From here, either hike up another two kilometres (about 45 minutes), or ride a sedan chair, which should cost about US$ 25 one way.
As this is quite a long journey, this is probably not a day-trip outing. Spend a night in one of the agreeable hotels up in the hills so you can soak up the atmosphere while watching worshippers come and go. The view at the top is spectacular, especially at sunrise or sunset.
Karaweik Hall at Kandawgyi Lake in Yangon
Dubbed ‘The Garden City of the East,’ Yangon is suitably surrounded by lush tropical gardens and leafy trees, the product of the northeasterly monsoon rains that continuously fall here six months of the year. If you love parks and need a break from the city, take a stroll among the luxurious tropical woods that surround the Royal Lake of Kandawgyi.
Covering an area of 150 acres, Kandawgyi Lake’s placid surface is any photographer’s dream comes true: at dawn it is shrouded in morning mist and at sunset it is described by one guidebook as looking like ‘liquid gold with depths of red fire.’ From a certain vantage point of the Lake the reflection of the nearby Shwedagon Pagoda can be seen clearly.
Kandawgyi Lake hosts annual regatta of traditional boat races in November. Participating oarsmen come from all over the country. Even the leg-rowing Intha from Inle Lake take part in this exciting and entertaining competition.
There are lakeside restaurants serving local food at reasonably prices, but the highpoint of any visit would be Karaweik Hall, the bird-shaped floating restaurant on the eastern side of the lake. This is where you can take in the whole vista of the lake and the Shwedagon Pagoda beyond. Established in the 1980s, Karaweik Hall comprises three floors that include private dining rooms, spaces for traditional performances, shops selling Myanmar art and crafts, and amusement section for children.
In this huge concrete replica of a royal barge, they serve an international buffet in large ornate halls along with a cultural show. The cultural show presents traditional Kachin, Shan, and other dances. They cater to gala occasions such as weddings, receptions, and social and business events.
Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue in Yangon
Myanmar’s only Jewish house of worship, Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue, downtown Yangon, stands as a testament to the once thriving and influential Jewish community who lived here during the first half of the 20th Century.
Located right on the busy lane off the 26th Street in central Yangon, this small synagogue is surrounded by traders from other faiths. As is the case in downtown Yangon, Burmese, Hindus and Muslims co-exist happily and peacefully.
Mushmeah Yeshua was constructed in the 1890s to serve the 2,500 Jews, who migrated here from the Middle East and formed part of the vibrant business scene in Rangoon, as it was known then. With the Japanese invasion during World War II, the Jews were forced to escape from Burma and settle in other countries. Some attempted to return after the war, but found it hard to re-establish what was once a prosperous livelihood. Today, only 20 Jews still live in Yangon.
The synagogue has kept its quaint blue-colour colonial-style façade. The interior is quite spacious thanks to the high ceiling and graceful columns. Decor is kept quite simple with the Star of David being the main design.
The adjacent cemetery housing more than 600 gravestones is a little run-down and overgrown. As one tourist blog puts it, “there’s a sense of sadness about the place.” But the keeper of synagogue Moses Samuels is determined to put some sort of life back into this small congregation.
He holds the minyan service every Friday and posts a sign on the front of the synagogue that reads: “A tree may be alone in the field; a man alone in the world, but a Jew is never alone on his holy days.” Moses Samuels is known to make every effort to welcome and give guided tours to visitors of all faiths outside opening hours.
It is said that no visit to Myanmar is complete without a trip to Shwedagon Pagoda. Considered one of the wonders of the religious world, the magnificent Shwedagon rises majestically over Singuttara Hill to the north of central Yangon, casting its golden gleam over the low-lying capital.
This 2,500-years old structure, which contains the relics of four Buddhas, is the guardian temple of Yangon and the most sacred site for the people of Myanmar.
Shwedagon Pagoda or Paya as it is known locally is a 100-metre high bell-shape structure that sits atop an octagonal base. Its complex structure is plated in gold, and the upper dome is studded with more than 5,000 diamonds and precious gems.
At the tip of the stupa, a single 76-carat diamond graces this magnificent structure.
From the large open terrace that surrounds the Pagoda, you can see the whole of Yangon. The terrace is a treasure trove of hundreds of colourful shrines, pavilions, small stupas, Buddha images, and other objects of devotion. Pilgrims walk clockwise, as is tradition, around the main Pagoda, before stopping in one of the pavilions to prayer, meditate or simply contemplate.
here are four entrances leading up to the shrine, which are used by the locals. Foreign visitors are required to enter from the north gate. Along with the entrance fee there is also a camera charge. From here you take off your shoes and take the lift up to the terrace. Some people might present themselves to you as tour guides and they are usually certified by the Shwedagon Board of Trustees (ask to see their license) and speak good English.
Shwedagon is dazzling by day but becomes truly magical by night when the whole place is lit up. Expect no fewer people as streams of devotees still arrive at this hour to worship. The shrine is especially full on Buddhist religious days, which take place almost every month. The terrace tends to get very hot underfoot so avoid visiting during the hottest time of the days. Always dress modestly when visit religious sites in Asia; trousers or knee-length shorts or skirts with elbow-length sleeves are acceptable norm
Sule Pagoda is an important Yangon landmark. Smack right in the centre of a busy commercial district, on the thoroughfare between two major roads, Sule Pagoda has historical and cultural significance. The temple is believed to have been built during the time of the Buddha Guatama and is therefore more than 2,500 years old. It contains a single hair relic of the Buddha.
Sule, a derivative of the Myanmar word Su-way, means ‘meeting’. Indeed, it seems that all roads, and therefore life in Yangon, meet here. The British used Sule Pagoda as the centre of their grid town planning when redesigning Yangon in the 1880s. And any local will tell you that royalty and astrologers convened here over 2,000 years ago to determine the present-day site of Shwedagon Pagoda. Sule Pagoda has a modern-day relevance too when, during the political demonstrations of 1988 and 2007, it served as a meeting point for many political activists.
Sule Pagoda is a typical dome-shaped structure or stupa, found in the neighbouring countries of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. The main Pagoda, a curious octagonal bell shape, is surrounded by minor stupas, bronze bells, and shrines containing Buddha images. There are eight Buddha images representing each day of the week (Wednesday represents two days).
Walking along the circular path, you can inspect the shrines up close and stop to pay homage to your birthday Buddha (the day of the week on which you were born). Offerings of flowers, fruits and gold leaves can all be bought from the shops on the ground level. There are four stair entrances leading up to Sule Pagoda. As it is situated on a busy intersection, crossing the road to it can be tricky so exercise care.
Sule Pagoda’s unique location, surrounded as it is by a few tourist attractions, means that it is a good starting point of a walk around the city centre. A short stroll away, admire the typical colonial-style buildings at the City Hall, the High Court and the Independence Monument.
Allied War Memorial Cemetery
The Allied War Memorial Cemetery in Taukkyan commemorates over 30,000 British Commonwealth soldiers who died in Burma during World War II. There are 6,374 beautifully well-kept graves in all (along with 52 graves of WWI soldiers). A further 27,000 names of fallen soldiers with no known graves are engraved on the Rangoon Memorial, an imposing and sombre memorial pillar.
The post-war political unrest in Burma meant that the Allied War Memorial Cemetery could not be opened until 1951. Every attempt was made by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to bring in the remains of those who died in different parts of the country, and the graves are grouped into different battles, namely Meiktila, Akyab (Sittwe), Mandalay, and Sahmaw.
Yangon Zoo beside Kandawgyi Lake is a good place to escape from the heat and hustle and bustle of the city, especially for families with young children. The zoo was established in 1901 and was called Victoria Memorial Park and Zoological Gardens in honour of Queen Victoria. At that time, the highlight of the opening was the auspicious white elephant belonging to King Thibaw, the last king of Burma.
Renamed Yangon Zoological Gardens and Parks in 1951, the spacious 70-acre establishment now boasts over 1,100 animals, representing 200 species that include rare and endangered breeds such as Bengal tigers, Asian elephants, clouded leopards, hornbills and marsh crocodiles, among others. The rich varieties of animals include 60 species of mammals, 70 species of birds and 20 species of reptiles.
Apart from the fauna, Yangon Zoo also houses a rich variety of Southeast Asian flora including trees, shrubs, bamboo, palms and seasonal flowers.
Major hotels have health clubs, exercise facilities, and swimming pools. Independent health clubs have tennis courts, saunas, Jacuzzis, and a gym. The majority of the Myanmar population are practicing Buddhists, and for this reason there are many meditation centres here. This is a unique experience for those who want to have an enriching spiritual experience.
For kids of all ages, there are several amusement parks with lots of games to play and fun rides. Animal lovers will be glad to know there is a wildlife park, and elephant camps. With five major 18-hole international golf courses, Yangon is a decent golf destination, and playing here is very affordable. Lastly, after all that activity, you can relax and rejuvenate at one of the many spas and beauty salons.
Spa & Massage in Yangon
As in other Asian countries, spas and massage are popular here, and those who like deep relaxation will enjoy the spas and beauty salons of Yangon.
In the tourism industry, spa and beauty are big business, and there are many luxury spas in Yangon.
A Little Day Spa & Beauty Corner
Reflexology, Swedish Massage, Aromatherapy, ‘Anaite’ Massage, Sea Salt Scrub, Herbal Scrub, etc.
Location: 475/C 8th Quarter, Pyay Road, Kamayut Townships
Oil Massage, Traditional Massage, Foot Massage, Body Scrub, Facial Treatment, etc.
Location: Espace Avenir, 523 Pyay Road, Kamayut Township
Oil Massage, Traditional Massage, Foot Massage, Body Scrub, Facial Treatment, etc.
Location: Espace Avenir, 523 Pyay Road, Kamayut Township
Inya Day Spa
Offering a variety of spa and massage therapy treatments, and signature treatments include the ‘Jet Lag Revitalizer’. Body massage, foot massage, body treatment, body scrub, and body mask.
Location: 16/2 Inya Rd, Kamayut Township
La Source Beauty Spa
One of the best spas in the city, it is in a Dutch-style colonial building. Staffed by professionals from different countries, they offer hair treatment, as well as face and body treatments. Body massage, body scrub.
Location: 80/A Inya Rd., Kamayut Township
Crystal Stone Massage, Swedish Massage, Neck, Shoulder & Back Massage, Facial Treatments, Exfoliation, etc.
Location: Rm-207, 2nd Floor, Summit Park View Hotel, 350 Ahlone Rd, Dagon Township
Level-6 Foot Massage
Location: 6th Floor, Central Hotel, 335-337 Bogyoke Aung San Road, Pabedan Township
Located at the second floor of Chatrium Hotel Yangon, Lilawadee Spa offers traditional Massage, Oil Massage, Scrubbing + Oil Massage, Foot Massage.
Location: 2nd Floor, Chatrium Hotel, 40 Nat Mauk Lane, Tamwe Township
Located at the second floor of Sedona Hotel, Siam Spa offers traditional massage, herbal oil massage, aromatherapy, foot massage, body treatment, facial treatment, etc.
Location: 2nd Floor, Sedona Hotel, 1 Kaba Aye Pagoda Rd., Yankin Township
Spa My Way
Spa and massage services to pamper skin and body, facials, cellulite reduction, foot massage, manicure & pedicure and hair services.
Diamond Condo, Building (A), Room-G.02, Pyay Road, Kamayut Township
Style Beauty Spa
Foot Massage, Body Massage, Body Treatment, Body Scrub, Facial Treatment, etc.
Location: 2nd Floor, The Grand Mee Ya Hta (Executive Residence), 372 Bogyoke Aung San Road, Pabedan Township
Enjoying nightlife in Myanmar can be a bit of a challenge. Compared to western standards, and even compared to other Southeast Asian countries, nightlife in Yangon is rather subdued. Nonetheless, Yangon does have pubs, clubs, discos and other nightlife destinations. While there are some independent night-time establishments, most clubs and pubs in Yangon are located in five-star hotels. At some nightspots you can expect more than local beer and good music.
There are entertainment plazas that include karaoke, fashion shows, and some venues have traditional dance performances. Some nightlife venues in Yangon tend to close comparatively early (between 01:00 or 03:00), but in recent years, closing times are getting later. Entrance fees to clubs can range from USD $3 to $6, but for clubs in hotels, entrance is free for hotel guests.
Local drinking establishments are called ‘beer stations’. They offer cheaper drinks, but they are not usually frequented by tourists so you may get some attention when going to a local beer station, but people are friendly. Drinking is not culturally accepted for women in Burma, and beer stations are places for local men to drink, talk, and chew betel nut. They close early, around 21:00 or 23:00.
ABC Country Pub
It is possible to enjoy live country-western music in Yangon. Tourists who have a taste for such genre can simply go to ABC Country Bar to listen to live performances of favourite country and western songs by the bar's resident band. This establishment also serves food and features TV screens in the bar.
• Location: 404 Mahabandoola Road, Yangon.
Asia Plaza Disco
Asia Plaza Disco is another well-known night-life destination. While it is a discotheque, this favoured night spot has more to offer than just dancing. Aside from organizing traditional dance shows, the people behind Asia Plaza also treat patrons to fashion shows, wherein beautiful models showcase one-of-a-kind collections. People can expect to see haute couture from 22:00 – 01:00
Location: 277 Bogyoke Aung San Road, Kyauktada Township, Yangon.
This particular night-life destination draws crowds in with more than just music. While BME 2 is a venue for a superb house music and amazing live performances by rock bands, its kitschy ambiance is enough to gain this nightspot a loyal following. In fact, BME 2 is a frequent hangout of the expatriate community in Yangon.
Location: Beside Summit Parkview Hotel at 350 Ahlone Road.
This government-owned establishment, which has been renovated into a disco, is considered as one of the main entertainment destinations in the city centre. Because the place is popular with both locals and tourists, one can often find it packed with people.
One of the hippest night-life destinations in Yangon is Mr. Guitar. Both locals and tourists frequent this iconic bar, which offers patrons impressive renditions of different genres of music, such as country, classical and rock & roll. Established by a well-known local musician, this Yangon nightspot features a great in-house band and also holds karaoke sessions.
Paddy O'Malley's Irish Pub and Sports Bar
The five-star Sedona Hotel Yangon enables both locals and tourists to experience a taste of Ireland in the city of Yangon. The Sedona Hotel is home to Paddy O'Malley's Irish Pub and Sports Bar, a great nightspot for drinking or just hanging OUT with friends. Paddy O'Malley's is one of the city's best night-life destinations.
Location: Sedona Hotel, 1 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road, Yankin Township, Yangon.
Silver Oak Cafe and Restaurant
Probably one of the most interesting places to go to at night when in Yangon is the Silver Oak Cafe and Restaurant. This particular establishment features a beauty parlour, ice cream shop, pub and rock club.
Location: NO. (83/91), Bo Aung Kyaw St.,(Lower Block) Kyauktada Tsp, Yangon.
The Music Club
Another destination frequently visited at night in Yangon is The Music Club. In this place, one can dance or just enjoy drinks while listening to great music. The Music Club includes a disco and bar, and has DJs to keep the music flowing until the early hours. It can be found in the ParkRoyal Yangon Hotel.
Location: 33 Alan Pya Phaya Road, Dagon Township, Yangon.
Those looking for a great time at night should definitely visit Underground in Sofitel Plaza Yangon. Underground is one of the premier dancing destinations in the city where you can enjoy both fun music and great drinks in this popular nightspot.
Location: 33 Alan Pya Phaya Road, Dagon Township, Yangon
Zero Zone Roof Top Beer Garden
For those who want to experience how the Burmese unwind after the sun goes down, this is the place to go. The entrance is on Shwe Dagon Pagoda Road, and an attendant takes you up in an old elevator to the roof. They have live dance performances, model shows, and a live band. The music is mostly Burmese pop and disco. Food includes a barbecue buffet, seafood, Chinese food, and more. Fairly good view of the city from here.
Location: Top Floor, 2 Thain Gyi Zay, C Block, Shwe Dagon Pagoda Road, Pabedan Township
While Yangon may not be a world-class shopping destination, it does have many shopping opportunities for visitors. The most interesting products for sale here include textiles, clothes, silverware, lacquerware, jewelry, and handicrafts. Myanmar is well-known for its precious gem production such as rubies, sapphires and jade, and there are many gem & jewelry shops in Yangon.
The budget minded will find the best bargains at local markets. Bargaining is expected at these markets, and also when buying from street vendors. But be aware that starting prices will be higher for tourists. Brand-name products are at slightly lower prices here than in developed countries, and can be found in larger and newer shopping centres. However, for everyday items, newer shopping centres are more expensive. Below we have listed some of the more popular places for shopping.
Bogyoke Aung San Market
Formerly known as Scott Market, named after Municipal Commissioner C. Scott, it was later renamed to honour General Aung San. This is the most famous and popular local market in Yangon. The large colonial building was built in 1926, and houses some 1,641 shops selling everything you might want, including handicrafts, lacquerware, wood and ivory carvings, tapestries, silverware, brassware, silk and cotton fabrics, clothing, hardware, food, and so on.
Location: Bogyoke Aung San Road, between Shwe Dagon Pagoda Rd. & Shwe Bontha St., Latha Township
A popular shopping destination for local residents, the plaza is something more like an old shopping mall than a traditional market. On the ground floor there are many wholesale outlets, selling packaged food, beverages, and even pets. Shops on the upper floors sell locally made products, fashions and household appliances.
Location: Banyar Dala Street, Mingalar Taung Nyunt Township
Blazon Shopping Centre
Opened in 2000, this three-floor shopping centre features upscale brand-name stores including Adidas, Esprit, Guess, Shiseido and Wacoal. This was the first shopping centre in Yangon to offer such brand names.
Location: 72 U Wisara Road (north of People’s Park), Kamaryut Township
This destination is the best place for those who prefer a comfortable shopping experience. Situated beside the Bogyoke Aung San Market, this air-conditioned mall is home to a number of retail outlets, making it a good place to buy fashion items for both men and women. Here, one can find Uncle Sam, KSL and Heart Rock Cafe.
Location: 380 Bogyoke Aung San Street, Pabedan Township, Yangon.
Junction 8 Shopping Centre
Named after its location in Yangon, Junction 8’s first level houses City Mart Supermarket, a bakery and beauty salon. On both levels, there are many shops and boutiques that retail clothes, bags, shoes, cosmetics, suitcases and fabrics.
Location: 8 Mile Junction, Mayangone Township, Yangon.
Ocean Super Centre
For a one-stop shopping experience, this destination is the best place to visit in Yangon. The Ocean Super Centre provides the widest range of products for shoppers. Items to be purchased here include laptops and computers; electrical appliances, furniture, household utensils, fashion wear and accessories, toys and sporting equipment. The cafés and restaurants in the centre's food court offer different kinds of Asian and Western dishes.
Location: Corner of Pyay Road and Thiri Road, Thiri Condominium, Mayangone Township, Yangon.
Sein Gay Har Super Centre
Sein Gay has shops selling clothes, electronic goods, cosmetics, shoes, stationary, and mobile phones. There is also a supermarket, a food court, a Burger Star, an ice cream shop, a Donut King, fried chicken shops, and an excellent liquor section. Somewhat the same as Taw Win Center, but a bit older, and prices are cheaper.
Location: 44 Pyay Rd., Dagon Township (opposite Taw Win Center)
Taw Win Centre
One of the newest and largest additions to the shopping scene in Yangon, it comprises five floors of brand-name shops, clothes, electronics, jewelry, furniture, restaurants, a super market, game centre, 3D Cineplex, promotion & events centre, and much more. It is said to have the largest book store in Yangon.
Location: 45 Pyay Rd., Dagon Township (south of the National Museum)
J's Irrawaddy Dream
For those who are looking for locally made and dyed silk fabrics, this is a great place to go. They also have a good selection of clothes, lacquerware, handicrafts, Buddhist statues, jewelry, betel boxes, books, and more. J’s sells mostly new products, but has some old items as well.
Location: 92 Strand Road, 2nd floor Strand Hotel
Nandawun Myanmar Gems & Handicrafts Centre
Location: 55 Baho Rd, Corner of Ahlone Rd, Ahlone Township
Because an outfit would not be complete without accessories, a visit to Royal Rose is necessary. Found on the east of Inya Lake, this store is known as the ultimate destination when it comes to handbags and sandals. One of its best sellers are beautifully crafted women's slippers. Foreign residents are loyal patrons of this establishment.
Location: Inya Yeik Thar Street
Treasure Land Gems & Jewelry Souvenirs
Here you will find a good selection handicrafts, souvenirs, gems and precious stones (jade, sapphires, and rubies), jewelry, tapestry, traditional puppets, etc. Established in 1996, this shop is a reliable source of high quality gemstones and fine jewelry. Nice place, but tourist oriented.
Location: 11 Ma Kyee Kyee Street, Sanchaung Township
Yangon Art Galleries
Artist's House Art Gallery
Tis is Soe Moe's art gallery.
Location: 657-B Mya Kan Thar 1st St, Kamayut Township
Artist Life Art Gallery
This is U Lun Gywe gallery, he is one of the most famous impressionist artists in Myanmar.
Location: 409~411 Taung Ngu St., Shwe Paukkan Ward 17, North Okkalapa Township
Ayeyarwon Art Gallery
Location: 899/ 904 Ayer Wun Main Rd, Ward 58, Dagon Seik Khan Township
Myanmar Traditional Art & Artisan Association
Location: 187- 192 Bogyoke Aung San St., Bogyoke Aung San Market, East Wing, Pabedan Township
New Zero Art Space
Location: 54 Bo Yar Nyunt St, (behind Bogyoke Aung San Market), Dagon Township
River Gallery exhibits the works of some 30 contemporary Myanmar artists. Open since 2005, this gallery has been giving talented local artists exposure in exhibitions in Toronto, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, Shanghai, and other venues around the world.
Location: 92 Strand Road, Strand Hotel Annex
In an Asian capital city like Yangon, one would normally expect to find the usual Asian fare with its exotic flavours, rich aromas, spices, and bright colours. Of course this is true of Yangon, but in recent years, the city has seen an increase in restaurants featuring many other types of international cuisine.
Along with traditional Burmese, Chinese, and Indian restaurants, there are now Italian, Japanese, Thai, Korean and western food outlets. Dining in Yangon is now beginning to reflect a more cosmopolitan character. You’ll also find fast food restaurants serving burgers and pizza, as well as cafes and coffee bars. There are hundreds of restaurants in Yangon, and we have listed a representative sample of restaurants serving different types of cuisine.
50th Street Bar and Grill
Good restaurants are not only about food; they also provide their patrons the best place for hanging out. The 50th Street Bar and Grill is considered one of the best places in town. The colonial façade helps the superb atmosphere of this spacious pub with live music on weekends. They serve pizza and a wide selection of western cuisine.
Location: No.9/13, 50th Street, Botataung Township, Yangon.
Ashoka Indian Restaurant
Those looking for great Indian food should make Ashoka Indian Restaurant their first stop when in Yangon. This two-storey colonial-style restaurant serves mouth watering traditional curries with Indian bread. Tandoori chicken is a popular dish on the menu. All dishes are authentic Indian cuisine, and are prepared by chefs from New Delhi.
Location: 28B Pho Sein Road, Bahan Township, Yangon (near Nikko Royal Lake Hotel)
This is the type of place where the locals go to eat. The flavorful curries include pork, fish, beef, chicken, goat, duck, and prawn. With the meal you get rice, soup, vegetables, peanuts, palm sugar candy, dessert, and tea. Plus you get free curry refills! Not much English spoken, but try it for a real Burmese food experience.
Location: 17-A 1st Street, West Shwegondine, Bahan Township (just south of Thai Kitchen)
This restaurant with an interesting décor is perhaps the best place to enjoy traditional Italian food at fairly reasonable prices. It features Italian favourites such as spaghetti, lasagna, pizza, pasta, and they also have grilled fish, chicken, pork, Australian lamb chops, and more.
Location: No.104, University Avenue Road, Kamaryut Township
Golden Duck (Kan Taw Min)
A very popular restaurant, as the name implies, they feature roast and steamed duck, but also offer many favorite Chinese dishes such as sweet & sour fish, and pork w/mango pickle. They also have a selection of Thai food.
Location: Inside Kan Taw Mingalar Park, U Wisara Road
Green Elephant Restaurant
For superb Burmese cuisine, visit the Green Elephant Restaurant in Yangon. There are three branches in Myanmar. This is the ultimate destination for tasting the best and healthiest Burmese dishes. They also offer Thai and Chinese food.
Location: 33 Thirimingalar Lane (Attia/Augustine Road), Kamayut Township
Inya 1 Restaurant and Bar
This restaurant sets itself apart from other Indonesian restaurants by giving a modern twist to traditional Indonesian dishes. Items on the menu all fall under the category of fusion food, wherein the spices and flavours of Indonesia are presented with a fresh spin. They also have European, Burmese, and vegetarian dishes.
Location: No. 1, Inya Road, Kamayut Township
Jin Bao Seafood Restaurant
A welcome addition to the Chinese dining scene, they Jin Bao has live seafood to select from, and main dishes like double cooked spicy pork, and crab with sweet corn. Soup, hot plates, salads, and vegetarian food are also on the menu.
Location: 61-B Min Ye Kyaw Swar Rd., Ahlone Township
Le Planteur Restaurant and Bar
One of the most recommended restaurants in Yangon, this French restaurant is known in Myanmar as one of the finest places to dine. Even the most discriminating of food critics will find something on the menu to please their palette. Dishes offered include salmon, lobster, foie gras, and prime rib of beef. They also have an impressive selection of cheese and wine.
Location: 22 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road, Bahan Township
L' Opera Restaurant and Bar
This is one of the best Italian restaurants in Yangon. They serve authentic Italian dishes such as homemade pasta, wood-fired oven pizzas and fresh salads in a
Location: 62D U Tun Nyein Street, Mayangon Township
Monsoon Restaurant and Bar
This long-time Yangon landmark is popular with tourists, expats, business people, and NGOs. The ambiance of this restaurant combined with the remarkable cuisine keeps customers coming back. The great taste of Asia at one elegant restaurant is where you will find Burmese, Vietnamese, Thai, Lao, and Cambodian cuisine. Featuring soups, sandwiches, burgers, and more.
Location: 85-87, Theinbyu Road, Botataung Township
This venue with large dining areas, bills itself as being unplugged and restaurant. Along with your food, you can listen to live bands playing rock, pop, and contemporary Myanmar music. The very extensive menu offers Chinese, seafood, salads, western (burgers, steak, fish & chips, etc.) and vegetarian dishes. Popular local venue and a dining experience.
Location: Ahlone Rd., opposite Summit Parkview Hotel
An elegant restaurant serving delectable Burmese and Thai dishes. The cuisine is prepared by chefs who make only the highest quality, traditional dishes from Myanmar and Thailand. There are two separate kitchens, one for each cuisine.
Location: 105/107 Kha Yae Bin Road, south of Ahlone Road
Sky Bistro features a weekly set menu of western, Asian, and Burmese traditional cuisine. Pickled tea leaf salad, hot & sour Szechwan soup, sweet prawn curry, chicken masala, and fish cake curry w/ tamarind sauce, are a few of the upscale international dishes you will find here.
Location: 20th Fl., Sakura Tower, 339 Bogyoke Aung San Rd., Kyauktada Township
Shan Kan Restaurant
The Shan Kan Chinese Restaurant is the most established name in Yangon when it comes to Cantonese cuisine. One of the most raved-about dishes from its menu is the deep-fried soft shell crab, which is the certified favourite of most of the restaurant's patrons. Those who wish to try Chinese food in Myanmar should definitely drop by Shan Kan.
Location: Kandaw Mingalar Park, U Wisara Road, Yangon.
Very popular with locals, expats and tourists. This restaurant serves Chinese hawker food in a beer garden atmosphere. For pork ribs, dumplings, fried prawns, stuffed eggplant, and deep-fried chicken and a whole lot more, this is the place to head to.
Location: 330 Ahlone Rd, International Hotel Compound, Dagon Township
There are a lot of street food options to choose from in Yangon. For the budget minded and the adventurous, the downtown area has a wide variety of street food to tempt you. It is quite cheap, and most of it is quite good. You can take your order back to your hotel, or you can sit at the chairs and tables on the sidewalk. Here you will find some of the best-tasting beef, pork, chicken, and fish curries in the city.
With a little trying and tasting, you can get to know what is good, and what you like. However, outside of the downtown area, it is pretty much limited to small stands selling drinks, snacks, and Burmese food. But the food is just as good. A meal will cost around 800 to 1,500 kyat.
The Corriander Leaf
This Indian restaurant will satisfy those want the taste of authentic sub continental traditional cuisine and has all your vegetarian and non-vegetarian favourites, including traditional great tasting curries in a fine-dining atmosphere.
Location: #12 Yangon International Hotel Compound, Ahlone Rd., Ahlone Township