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Yangon

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At Asia Senses Travel we’re adventurers at heart. Our journeys are all about discovering new places and cultures while creating unforgettable memories through physical activity and breathtaking scenery.

Visit yangon

The former capital of Myanmar, Yangon is a city reaching for the future yet caught in the past. Although, since 2006, it’s no longer officially the country’s capital city, this city of 4 million is by far the most exciting place in the country to be right now, remaining the de facto economic, religious, cultural and artistic capital of Myanmar. Featuring a multitude of breathtaking buildings and monuments and never far from thick swathes of natural beauty, Yangon is a fabulous city, worthy of a space on any Southeast Asian itinerary.

As Myanmar's commercial and artistic hub, it's Yangon that most reflects the changes that have occurred since the country reopened to the world. It has witnessed a huge influx of foreign visitors in the past years, prompting authorities to modernize the city's infrastructure, telecommunications and hospitality industry. Today, Yangon is poised to lead Myanmar into a new era in its modern history.
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Though no longer the capital, Yangon remains Myanmar’s commercial heart and also the core of its spiritual life, thanks to the glorious Shwedagon Paya, while its colonial-era buildings give the downtown area a historical charm which new capital Naypyidaw and Mandalay for that matter – will never possess.
Arkar Min
Myanmar Travel Specialist

Things to See and Do in Yangon

yangon-Shwedagon-Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda

Spend the afternoon at the spectacular and seemingly endless Shwedagon Pagoda, Burma's most sacred temple and one of the world's great man-made wonders. “A golden mystery...a beautiful winking wonder,” is how Kipling described it. Archeologists believe it was built between the 6th and 10th centuries AD.

The vibrant heart of Buddhist Myanmar, the huge golden stupa of Shwedagon Paya is located less than 3km northwest of the downtown area, and is visible throughout much of the city. Legends claim that a shrine was first built here during the lifetime of the Buddha to house eight of his hairs which were brought back by two merchants, but the current structure was rebuilt most recently in 1775 following an earthquake.
yangon-Botataung-Pagoda

Botataung Pagoda

The large riverside complex of Botataung Paya has a 40m-high golden stupa at its heart and includes a bamboo-shaded picnic area popular with families. This pagoda is said to date back more than two millennia and, according to legend, originally housed a hair of the Buddha. The earlier structure on this site was completely destroyed by Royal Air Force bombers in 1943 during World War II, with the present structure having been rebuilt to original specifications after the country gained independence. Botataung’s spacious riverfront location and lack of crowds give it a more down-to-earth spiritual feeling than Shwedagon or Sule Paya.
yangon-Bogyoke-Aung-Sun Market

Bogyoke Aung Sun Market

Visit the 70-year-old Bogyoke Aung Sun Market, where countless shops and hawkers peddle everything from Burmese silk and rattan to traditional musical instruments and tea. Also known as Scott Market, the market is popular with tourists looking for souvenirs such as paintings, puppets, lacquerware and jewellery. It’s well worth a wander, even if you’re not buying anything, and also a fine place for lunch – look out for noodles in garlic oil, with pork and a watery soup, cold rice-noodle “salad” and avocado shakes.
yangon-Kandawgyi-Lake

Kandawgyi Lake

One of the two prominent lakes in Yangon, Kandawgyi Lake translates to “great royal lake” and was created during British colonial times as a reservoir. The lake is most attractive at sunset, when the glittering Shwedagon Paya is reflected in its calm waters. The boardwalk which runs mainly along the southern and western sides of the lake is a good place for an early-morning jog or stroll.
yangon-Chaukhtatgyi-Paya

Chaukhtatgyi Paya

Housed in a large metal-roofed shed, this beautiful 215 feet-long reclining buddha is hardly publicised at all, even though it's larger than a similar well-known image in Bago. The statue's placid face, with glass eyes, is topped by a crown encrusted with diamonds and other precious stones.
yangon-Yangon-Circle-Line

Yangon Circle Line

Although it can feel like travelling in a washing machine on spin cycle, the Yangon Circle Line is a fun way to circumnavigate the city. It's a chance to interact with passengers and vendors on commuter trains (some have air-conditioned carriages) and see off-the-beaten-track areas of Yangon. The train is least crowded after 10am and before 4pm, and at weekends.
yangon-dalah-lady

Dalah Township

The easiest way to get a taste of small-town and village life in the Ayeyarwady delta is to take a five-minute ferry ride from the Pansodan Street jetty on Strand Road, straight across the river to Dalah township. Rickshaw drivers wait on the other side and offer half-day tours, usually including rural villages and monasteries, for K4000–5000. The contrast with urban Yangon, just a stone’s throw away, is an eye-opener.
yangon-Myanmar -kickboxing

Myanmar Kickboxing

Go to a local gym for a lesson in Myanmar Letwae (Myanmar kickboxing), which differs from its Thai counterpart in that it is done without gloves. Chat with the students for a deeper insight into this ancient sport dating back to the 15th-century Bagan Era. Take a few of the boxers out to lunch at their favorite local restaurant, and speak with them about their lives and their sport.

Best Time to Visit Yangon

Best time to visit Yangon is during November to February, when temperatures are a comfortable 19 to 33°C. Yangon’s winter isn’t a winter as anyone in the northerly parts of the northern hemisphere would know it; the temperature is still a wonderfully warm 19 to 33°C, with December and January averaging 25°C during the day. But that’s cooler compared with the rest of the year in hot and humid Yangon, and it’s much drier, too, and that’s why this is the busiest time to visit.

Another thing to consider if you’re visiting around this time is that the Shwedagon Festival takes place around February or March (its timing is based on the Full Moon). A riot of dancing, drama and tasty food, it celebrates the shimmering gold Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon’s iconic landmark.
Max Temperature(ºC)
Jan
31
Feb
33
Mar
35
Apr
36
May
33
Jun
30
Jul
29
Aug
29
Sep
30
Oct
31
Nov
31
Dec
31
Rainfall (mm)
Jan
3
Feb
4
Mar
19
Apr
24
May
302
Jun
516
Jul
468
Aug
503
Sep
305
Oct
172
Nov
50
Dec
12
Month
Daily Max Temperature
Monthly Rainfall

JAN
31ºC
3mm

FEB
33ºC
4mm

MAR
35ºC
19mm

APR
36ºC
24mm

MAY
33ºC
302mm

JUN
30ºC
516mm

JUL
29ºC
468mm

AUG
29ºC
503mm

SEP
30ºC
305mm

OCT
31ºC
172mm

NOV
31ºC
50mm

DEC
31ºC
12mm

Festivals, Events and Seasonal Reasons to Visit

  • 01

    Shwedagon Pagoda Festival (early March): Pilgrims pray, dance and present gifts to the monks and the pagoda itself to gain favour, while stalls sell food and souvenirs outside.
  • 02

    Burma New Year/Thingyan (17th April): The New Year is celebrated with a water festival, where water is splashed or poured over people as a cleansing ritual and a sign of goodwill. The New Year holiday lasts for several days and is a fun time to travel to the country.
  • 03

    Full Moon Day of Kasone/Buddha Day (between mid-April and early May): Celebrates the birth and enlightenment of Buddha at the foot of a banyan tree.
  • 04

    Full Moon Day of Waso - start of Buddhist Lent (July): During the month of Waso, Buddhist monks are forbidden from making a journey lasting more than one day, instead devoting more time to Buddha's teachings.
  • 05

    Matho Thingan (November): Known as the 'Yellow Robe Weaving Festival', competitions for robe weaving are held and yellow robes are presented to monks by locals, often in large ceremonies.

Suggested Itineraries

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Yangon, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists. Alternatively, if you would like to include a visit to Yangon on a bespoke touring itinerary to Myanmar, do not hesitate to contact us.

Cruises in Yangon

RV Katha Pandaw
Part of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company's high-quality fleet, the charming RV Katha Pandaw has a traditional colonial style. This was a radical new design, based on the old K class used in Burma from the 1880s on. This ship is the third Katha to run on the Irrawaddy. Smaller than some of the other Pandaw boats, with just 16 cabins, it evokes a personal and intimate atmosphere without compromising on comfort.
Sanctuary Ananda Cruise
The all-suite Sanctuary Ananda is sail in 2016 under the control of Sanctuary Retreats Myanmar, which is a travel and tourism enterprise. Named after the beautiful Ananda Temple in Bagan, Ananda also means “extreme happiness” in Burmese language, which is one of the highest states of being. The Sanctuary Ananda vessel is truly a beautiful floating hotel on the poetic Irrawaddy River.
Anawrahta Cruise
The name of this magnificent cruise ship is original from the Burmese nation’s founder, King Anawrahta. The Anawrahta cruise ship is now considered one of the best cruises on Irrawaddy River for Myanmar family holidays with largest cabin space and highest crew to passenger ratio.
RV Andaman Explorer
The Andaman Explorer was built as the MV Atlantic Guard in 1963 in Norway as a Norwegian coast guard vessel. The ship has the length of 61 meters long with her original Rolls Royce engines. It is ornamented and refurnished in Pandaw River Cruises’ style, with a great power to resist strong storm, the Andaman Explorer is totally safe and handy when cruising in the tropical water of South-east Asian countries.<br>