10 Things To Do & See In Yangon, Myanmar

Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset with Buddhists Praying

Looking for a Yangon itinerary? Whether you’re in the city for one day or a few days, we have a solid list of places to visit in Yangon. From pagoda’s to food, check out our favorite things to do and see in Yangon, Myanmar. 

Places To Visit In Yangon

1) Watch Shwedagon Pagoda Come Alive 

The most iconic pagoda in Myanmar and quite possibly the world, Shwedagon Pagoda is seriously something to see. You’ve failed sightseeing in Yangon correctly if you miss this Pagoda. 

Shwedagon Pagoda Facts

Shwedagon is the most sacred site for the people of Myanmar and one of the most sacred sites for Buddhism. It is said to have been built over 2,500 years ago and is believed to enshrine eight hairs of the Gautama Buddha as well as relics of three former buddhas.

The pagoda stands 325 ft high with 27 metric tons of gold leaf all over the pagoda. Impressed? Well, there’s more. In addition, thousands of diamonds and other gems are on display and scattered about the pagoda.

The compound the pagoda sits within is massive and have small other spots for worship where the devout are able to pray and light candles to the many, many buddha statues on site. So yeah, like we said, if you miss this, you have failed in your visit to Myanmar.

Shwedagon Pagoda Hours & Entrance Fee

Shwedagon is open from 4 am – 10 pm and the best time to go is right before sunset. If you go right before sunset you get the perfect lighting and also get to watch the pagoda light up as night falls.

The cost of entry is $8.00 USD per person.

Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset with Buddhists Praying

2) Eat and Drink in Yangon’s Chinatown

When visiting Yangon, a stop (or several stops) at Yangon’s famous 19th Street in the Chinatown is a must. It’s simple, wander the streets of Chinatown until you find a spot on the street you like. Grab a table, order a beer and some food and enjoy the night.

As the sunsets, Yangon’s Chinatown comes alive. Grills are fired up and people fill the streets. The most famous duo in 19th Street Chinatown is the Myanmar Chinese barbecue and beer.

We spent almost every night in Chinatown feasting on taste bud exploding food and drinking our fill of 50 cent beers – yes, 50 cent beers.

A our favorite Chinatown restaurant is Shwe Mingalar Restaurant. Order some BBQ and enjoy the night.

Yangon Chinatown on 19th Street

3) Take in The Beauty of Sule Pagoda

Sule Pagoda is a stupa located in the heart of downtown Yangon. It’s one of the first iconic sites you see when entering Yangon. We mean, a 144-foot tall golden pagoda is hard to miss.

Sule Pagoda Facts

According to legend, Sule Pagoda was built during the time of Buddha making it at least 2,500 years old and houses a hair from Buddha.

As holy as it is, it has also been an involved in past Burmese political movements and protest. Which is ironic as “sule” in Burmese means “meeting” or “gathering place.”

Sule Pagoda Hours & Entrance Fee

Sule Pagoda is open daily from 4 am – 10 pm and costs about $2USD per person.

Sule Pagoda in Yangon

4) Shop Till You Drop At Bogyoke Aung San Market

Want to get your souvenir shopping on? Some of the best shopping in Yangon can be found at Bogyoke Aung San Market.

Head to Bogyoke Aung San Market and get lost in the shops and alleyways that surround the market. A beautiful colonial building that is filled with food stalls, jewelry shops, hand made crafts and clothing stores, you definitely won’t have a hard time finding something to take home.

Tip: If you’re looking for a few other local markets in Yangon, check out Theingyi Zay Market and Anawrahta Road Night Market

5) Make Time For Burmese Tea

You can’t leave Myanmar without a proper Burmese Tea or Lay Phet Yay as it’s called locally. After you’ve spend the day walking around Yangon, stop in at Golden Tea for a break.

Rest your legs and sip some tea and be one with the locals as you watch the hustle and bustle of the city of Yangon go by.

Burmese Tea at Golden Tea

6) Try On A Longyi

Wanting to blend in with the local scene? No trip to Myanmar is complete without a longyi purchase. What is a longyi you ask? A longyi is a sheet like piece of cloth that is sewn in a circle and worn by men in Myanmar.

You can purchase a longyi from Bogyoke Aung San Market or any of the many shops you’ll pass on Yangon’s busy streets. Ask for a tutorial from the shop owner on how to tie it and boom, you’re a local.

NOTE: You’ll get plenty of laughs and smiles as you walk around Yangon in your new longyi.

7) Eat At 999 Shan Noodle Shop

Seriously some of the best food you’ll have in Myanmar is at 999 Shan Noodle Shop in Yangon.

From delicious Shan Noodle Soup to fermented tea leaf salad, this meal will not disappoint. Perfect for lunch or dinner, or really, whenever you’re hungry, swing by one of there locations and order up something to eat.

If you in Chinatown AND at 999 Shan Noodle Shop, you’ve experienced some of the best food Yangon has to offer.

8) Explore The City of Yangon By Foot 

Take off in a direction and go. Yangon is one of those cities that you can get happily lost in. It’s beautiful but yet dilapidated British colonial architecture will leave you mesmerized.

The smells of tasty Burmese street food that is seemingly around every street corner will leave you wanting a sample. In short, just enjoy a stroll and consume every ounce of cultural goodness Yangon has to offer.

Yangon British Colonial Architecture

9) Book A Yangon Excursion and Tour

  • Hop on The Yangon Circular Train – A great way to see the city of Yangon is by rail. The circular train takes it’s riders around the city of Yangon on a 28-mile (46 km) loop. Witness daily life from your train window as you ride the traditional, bumpy rails of the Yangon Circular Train.
  • Book a Yangon Bike Tour – From back streets to markets, see the best of what Yangon has to offer by bicycle. This 5 hours bike tour of Yangon not only shows you the city but authentic rural life as well.
  • Experience a Traditional Myanmar Cooking Class – In our opinion, the best way to experience a culture is through it’s food. Learn how to cook some of the food that made Burmese cuisine famous from a local chef. Complete with a market tour, you won’t be going hungry here.

For more Yangon excursions, check the latest tours and prices here.

10) Watch A Yangon Sunset

Located south of the city on the Yangon river, you’ll find Botahtaung Jetty. This is the free spot in Yangon to enjoy a beautiful Myanmar sunset. If you’re lucky, a boat captain may even allow you on his ship to snap a few epic sunset picks.

It’ll be a beautiful moment that you won’t regret it.

Sunset in Yangon at Botahtaung Jetty

Where to Stay in Yangon Myanmar

  • For The Budget Conscious: Chan Myae is a family run guesthouse that has private and shared bedrooms. The family is kind, welcoming and will do anything to make your stay enjoyable.
  • For The Luxury Inclined: Classique Inn is a beautiful wooden colonial style inn situated in peaceful neighborhood. From its first class vibe to its first class service, Classique Inn is a great choice for your Yangon accommodation.
  • For Something In Between: A short distance from  Shwedagon Pagoda, you’ll find Shwe War Guest House. The rooms are big and comfortable and the staff welcome you with warm smiles.

For more places to stay in Yangon, you can check out the latest places and prices here.

WANT MORE INFORMATION ON MYANMAR?!

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Happy Travels,

– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)

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