The previous article on what you should do in Yangon in 24 hours only covers the tip of the iceberg. What if you had another 24 hours or 48 hours in total? That’s fine because there are still a lot of things you could do in Yangon. Going to famous destinations just for the sake of marking them off your checklist isn’t that meaningful. Whereas the first article mainly included more about well-known tourist destinations, this time, the focus is on experiencing the culture in Yangon. Here are more worthwhile things to do in Yangon within another 24 hours, which will complete our 48-hour-long trip in Yangon
In the morning, visit Kalaywa Monastery and see the daily life of monks
Kalaywa Monastery on Sagaing Street in Yangon has a lot of young orphans and teachers from all different national races. The top 3 dominant ethnic races at the school are Palaung, Paoe, and Shan as of 2006. There are even foreign people like Vietnamese and Indian. According to the Kalaywa Monastery website, their objective as an organization is to have these children become well-versed in Buddhist scriptures and also modern academic studies.
You should go to Kalaywa Monastery on a weekday because the monastery is closed on weekends. The preferred arrival time to the monastery is 10 ~ 11 AM so that you will arrive just in time when the monks and nuns have lunch. This gives you a great opportunity for you to take photographs as they line up for lunch. The monastery also may not let you go any time later than that because the children might have their studies in the classrooms. A common thing that many foreigners have said is that the children at the monastery are very friendly and all they want to is speak to the foreigners in English and practice. However, some monks and nuns can be a little shy. Nevertheless, you don’t really get to see the monks and their humble way of life anywhere else in the world.
- After your monastery visit, ride the Yangon Circular Railway
This old fashioned train ride on the Yangon Circular Railway is definitely a new experience many may not have had before. The ride is bumpy, slow, and lacks air-conditioning and comfortable seating. But the thing that makes it so interesting and worth it is that you travel with the locals and you see the daily lives of burmese people. Yangon Circular Railway has 15 departures a day going both clockwise and counterclockwise through 38 stations. On this three-hour train ride, you will see a lot of daily commuters going to work, vendors selling peanuts and traditional burmese snacks, wet markets on the sidelines, and the transition from rural village areas to newly built high buildings in the city. If you want a breather, you can do get off at a station and enjoy some food at a tea shop as the ticket allows you to get on and off. The train starts operating at 6 in the morning and the last departure is at 10 at night. Keep in mind that for the full-circle train ride, the last departure is at 5:10. Another positive other than experiencing the daily lives of the locals is that Yangon Circular Railway only costs 100 to 200 kyats… What a deal!
After a full-circle trip on the train all around Yangon, get off at Phaya Lan station and go to the Bogyoke Market to try on Burmese Longyi
During your trip in Yangon, have you ever wanted to wear this sheet of cylindrical cloth called longyi that you see everywhere? While you are at Bogyoke Market, you may want to buy one. Longyis worn by males are called paso and the ones worn by females are called htamein. The longyis can be made to suit any types of climate. There are cotton longyis for hot tropical weathers, while there are wool longyis for the cooler weather. Silk longyis can both keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. In Bogyoke Market, you can also get a traditional longyi and blouse made for your size. There are friendly staff that will gladly measure you up, but be careful when ordering something like this to be made because it can take a long time.
Go shopping at Myanmar Plaza or Junction City
Spend your night at the new built shopping malls like Myanmar Plaza and Junction City. Take a taxi there for convenience because every taxi driver in Yangon knows about these malls. It’s a change of pace from all the local attractions and touristy things we have suggested so far. The shopping malls are where all the younger generations of Burmese people mainly hang out. There are definitely way more kids than adults at the arcades and other leisure activities like Laser Tag and Breakout at Myanmar Plaza. Junction City and Myanmar Plaza are fantastic shopping malls with a lot of retail outlets and fashion stores. Both of these extremely modern shopping malls also have a food court that has all types of food. Junction City’s JCGV cinema is one of the leading cinema operators and movie theater chains in Myanmar, showing all the latest foreign and local movies. On the other hand, Myanmar Plaza has a popular bar and dining place called Harry’s on the ground floor and a lot more bars and nightclubs on the fourth floor. Going to one of these shopping malls is a great way to see how the Burmese people, mainly the teens, spend their free time with friends and family.
Hopefully, after these activities, you came closer to understanding the Buddhist culture better at the monastery and truly experienced the daily lives of the locals while traveling on the Yangon Circular Railway and spending the evening at the shopping malls.
If you want some help in making the the most of your time in Myanmar, you might consider booking one of more tours with Yangon Food Tours. We are happy to see you on one of our tours here.