24 hours can go by quickly, but it is still enough to do a lot of things in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon with 7 million people according to Wikipedia. Even though it is not the capital anymore, it’s a major commercial centre. There are a lot of unique tourist activities to do in Yangon such as admiring the colonial architecture, learning about the rich history behind pagodas, and eating delicious food. Here’s what you should do in Yangon within 24 hours.
We start our day at 7 a.m. Yangon is an early bird with all the street food vendors already starting their day by selling delicious breakfast food like E Kya Kway and Roti/Paratha. Definitely try out local breakfast food and tea from the street vendors or a tea stall. A clean, affordable, and popular spot to grab breakfast in Yangon is Lucky 7 Tea Shop. If you are in the downtown Yangon, there is Lucky 7 Tea Shop in Alone Township and Botataung Township. There is also one on the way to the airport if you are living around there. With the arrival of apps that offer ride-hailing like Grab in Yangon, all you have to do is book a taxi and get a driver to come to you. Keep in mind that there are things like surge pricing so if you are good at bargaining, you could get a cheaper taxi ride by yourself on the streets without Grab.
The next thing to do in Yangon is to go and see the beauty of the Shwedagon Pagoda. It is a 326-foot-tall gold plated pagoda that is in view from almost anywhere in Yangon. The fact that it contains strands of Buddha’s hair and other holy relics makes it a very sacred Buddhist pagoda. Burmese citizens do not have to pay the entrance fee, but foreigners have to pay an entrance fee of 10,000 kyats. A customary thing to do is to go around the pagoda in a clockwise direction. The pagoda also has a lot of souvenir stores on the staircases of each of the four exits. Going to the iconic Shwedagon Pagoda is definitely something you must do in Yangon or else it would be like going to France and not seeing the Eiffel Tower.
It should be lunchtime by the time you finish with Shwedagon Pagoda. As for lunch, there are good Burmese restaurants around the area. The Feel Restaurant just has a walkable distance of a kilometer away from Shwedagon Pagoda and serves a whole range of local Burmese food. It’s got everything from curries to desserts. The prices are fair and don’t worry for those that are vegetarian because the restaurant is vegetarian friendly and has some delicious vegetarian dishes. There are some other burmese restaurants along the way but they don’t have as much recognition as Feel Restaurant.
After lunch, grab a taxi for around 2,000 kyats from Shwedagon Pagoda to downtown Yangon. You could also get a bus ride from Shwedagon Pagoda to Sule area and buses are way cheaper than taxis. Look out for Bus No. 12: 50th turn, Bus. No 28: Dagon University, Bus No. 29: Dagon University, Bus No. 36: Htauk Kyant, and Bus No. 61: West Side Technology University. You can get to Sule from Shwe Gon Daing Road, Bahan (3) Road, or Kabar Aye Pagoda Road. When you ride the YBS Buses, make sure you have change like 100 kyats, 200 kyats, and etc. For more bus information, check out the article on myanmore.com called “The Ultimate Guide to Yangon Bus Ride”. If you are in the central downtown area, the two things you should definitely do are visiting the Bogyoke Aung San Market and the Sule Pagoda.
Bogyoke Market is a huge tourist attract known for having cobblestone streets and colonial architecture. The market is suited for tourists as it is full of burmese handicraft and souvenir stores, clothing stores, and art shows. From Bogyoke market, you can either take a taxi again or walk through central Yangon to Sule Pagoda. There is no better way to experience what the locals do in Yangon than putting yourself among them and discovering the city on foot. You will see children in the streets playing, adults in the tea shops having a great time, and a lot of stray dogs with some struggling to survive that will leave you feeling sad.
If you keep walking down deeper into downtown Yangon, you will come across this roundabout and that is where Sule Pagoda is. It is located in the center of downtown Yangon. The Sule Pagoda itself doesn’t have much to see but it is worth exploring the area around it since it is such an important part of the city’s political and economic life. Around Sule Pagoda are a lot of government buildings and offices and it has been a popular rallying area for protesters. Near Sule Pagoda is the 999 Shan Noodle Shop that serves great Shan cuisine. If you just go a bit further away, there are a lot of tech and IT stores on the 36th Street and Pansodan Street for those interested.
However, you might want a break from the busy and chaotic downtown area. What you can do to avoid the busy city streets is to walk around the Kandawgyi Park for the evening. It is such a relaxing experience especially when you get to see the sunset view of the Shwedagon Pagoda. You can also have dinner at one of the lakeside restaurants. Just pray so that it’s not raining when you go. The wooden boardwalk at Kandawgyi Park may seem unsafe, but it’s there for those of you adventurous people. The Kandawgyi Park is also adjacent to the Yangon Zoological Gardens, which may be a good destination for families. The entrance fee is 3000 kyats for a foreigner adult and 2000 kyats for kids. To reach this destination, the same buses mentioned above can be used to get to Kandawgyi Park from Sule downtown area because Kandawgyi Park and Shwedagon are not so far from each other. If buses turn out to be a hassle with having to find the bus and so on, the taxi option is always available.
esh1wAfter you have spent a chill evening at Kandawgyi Park, you should get back to the buzzing city life again by walking and eating around in the Chinatown of Yangon. Chinatown is west of the Sule Pagoda in the Latha Township. There are a lot of mouth-watering food like the grilled skewers, Chinese porridge, and many more. The small roadside stalls sell everything from the usual snacks like meat skewers to crickets. It’s where both tourists and locals come to drink and hang out, making it very busy and crowded nightlife destination. It’s getting late and as you take a taxi back to wherever you are staying at, a productive and fun day of travelling around in Yangon has come to an end.
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