This time I’v summed up information on Yangon, the majestic former capital of Myanmar.
Yangon the former capital of Myanmar
Yangon is the former capital of Myanmar which is well situated in the southern part of the country in proximity to the Indian Ocean. The present capital is Naypyidaw which is inland of Myanmar.
Yangon had been the capital city up until 2006. However, as a result of a renewed focus on infrastructure development and overseas investment the government decided to change the capital to Naypyidaw.
Even after the seat government changed to it’s new location, Yangon still remains the economic hub. It is a vibrant, bustling metropolis with a large population traffic and markets.
＊You can feel the buzz of the city and hear car horns at any time of day and in any location lol.
The townscape of Yangon
This is a townscape of downtown which is located 40 minutes away from the Yangon International airport.
It’s so busy with parking on the streets, people,market and cars.
You have to be careful when you across the road. Pedestrians don’t have the right of way when crossing the roads of Yangon so caution is advised.
If you stay around the downtown area you can confirm your whereabouts easily because each street has it’s respective number clearly marked and the numbers follow a sequential order. When you give directions to a taxi driver, you can say like「Downtown, ○○ street」. It’s easy! : )
The downtown streets have the local atmosphere. You can enjoy walking around at night time.
I found a few cafes around the downtown. Compared to Bangkok there are not so many cafes but I think that the number of cafes will increase gradually as economic growth progresses
There are a lot of guesthouses and hotels around the downtown area.
This is the guesthouse I had stayed while I was travelling Yangon “agga guest house”.
The staff of the guesthouse are thoughtful : )
＊）I recommend that you take a mosquito spray because there are a lot of mosquitos around the downtown district.
The famous sightseeing spots in Yangon(Sule Pagoda and Shwedagon Pagoda)
Sule Pagoda and Shwedagon Pagoda are some of the most famous spots in Yangon.
ーーー What is a Pagoda ーーー
A pagoda is a Buddhist temple that has several levels with a decorated roof at each level. When you enter the Pagoda you have to take off your socks and shoes.
↓As the left board indicates, you have to take off your socks and shoes every time when you visit the Pagodas. Sandals are the best footwear to do your sightseeing in Myanmar in.
First, I’d like to introduce Sule Pagoda. This Pagoda is located beside the downtown area.
You can see lots of local people who are praying at the pagoda.
Every tourists has to pay 4000Kyat. You can look around the Pagoda in 30minutes even at a slow pace
Sule Pagoda is the second most famous spot in Yangon. you can also see; the park, the small market and the port where you can witness a beatiful sunset.
Secondly, Shwedagon Pagoda which is the most famous pagoda in Yangon.
As you can see in this image, Shwedagon Pagoda is a very big pagoda which has a genuinely striking presence. You can come to this place in 20〜30 minutes from Sule Pagoda by taxi.
To view this pagoda, you have to use the elevator and every tourists has to pay 10,000Kyat at the entrance.
You can look around the pagoda in 60 minutes even at a slow pace.
You are presented with a map which displays the spots for sightseeing at the entrance. You can refer to this map for your sightseeing : )
How to move around Yangon
Unless you are on a tour, taxi or walking are the only way to look around Yangon. If you travel to yangon, I recommend that you stay around the downtown area or the place between the airport and the downtown because the famous spots for sightseeing are crowded around there.
About the taxies
You can easily catch the taxies because there are a lot of taxi drivers in Yangon.
Taxi fares in Yangon are established through negotiation with the driver. As of yet the cities taxis are not formally regulated but the drivers are courtious and for the most part honest.
My sense is that it’s generally 1000Kyat per 1 KM.
e.g. It cost 2000Kyat from the downtown to Shwedagon Pagoda
Anyway, the taxi fee is very cheap compared with other countries. In the summer season, it would be better to use the taxi rather than walking.
The taxi from the airport
After exiting the arrivals gate at the airport you can see the taxi counter at the left side. Then, you can confirm the taxi fee for your destination. Some drivers milling around the gate may solicit you with “taxi” but they will often quote you a higher rate than that available at the taxi counter.
＊If your destination is downtown you can get there for 7000-8000 Kyat through the taxi counter service.
Myanmar and Visa
At present, 2018 Jan, most foreign tourists are required to get a visa to visit Myanmar prior to arriving the airport. From 2014 onwards nationals of some countries are allowed to get a visa online and this is possible without the assistance of a travel agency or third party intermediary. I’v summed up the information on how to get an e-visa in the notes below.
It costs 50dollar to get an e-visa.
If you are in a rush or you’d like to acquire the visa in the most efficient manner possible.
Have a good trip！：）