Yangon is the largest city in Myanmar, the main gateway to the Country and a rich amalgam of its Burmese, English, Indian and Chinese past. For a city of around 6 million people the pace is very slow, quite different from other south east Asian cities. In downtown Yangon for example, it is illegal to use your car or motorbike horn. It has a nice feel, it is covered in trees, with an ever friendly people and lots to see and do.
Dominating the Yangon skyline is the Shwedagon Pagoda, the the single most important religious site in all of Myanmar. According to the legend, two brothers brought eight hairs of the Buddha to be enshrined in this sacred location, inaugurating the Shwedagon Pagoda.
Built and rebuilt, gilded and re-gilded over 2500 years, the Shwedagon is the pulsing heart of Buddhism in Myanmar, a meeting place for the people of Yangon, as well as Pilgrims from all over the world.
Just east of Shwedagon lies the Kandawgyi Lake and its surrounding 45 hectare nature park. The lake reflects the sky changing colour with the time of the day, and the golden spire of the Shwedagon Pagoda over the tops of the green woods lining its banks. At dawn, the lake is silver, shrouded in pearly grey mists tinged with the pink of the first sunbeams. At sunset, the water looks like liquid-gold, with depths of red fire.
The Bogyoke Aung San Market occupies an interesting Colonial Building in central Yangon. It has over 2000 shops and the largest selection of Myanmar handicrafts and souvenirs you’ll find under several roofs, from lacquerware and Shan shoulder bags to puppets and magnificent precious stone and gold jewellery.
It has the authentic ambience of an old oriental market and is a fascinating way to discover the rich tradition of artisan craft in Myanmar.