Myanmar Travelogue: 10 Great Food and Places Of Interest In Yangon, Myanmar

I spent 3 full days in Yangon during my Golden Jubilee long weekend from 8-11 Aug. I had so much fun and was amazed how much great food and fun things I have done in this short little adventure in Yangon, Myanmar!

If you wanna have a short getaway to escape from the buzzing city life, embrace the simplicity of Burmese's life and visit one of the most breathe-taking buddhist infrastructure, here's the Travel Guide!

1) Visit Shwedagon Pagoda 

I was never a fan of historical infrastructure until Shwedago Pagoda managed to keep me in awe. Visiting the 2,500 years old beauty was one of the best experience I ever had in my life till date.

The 110 meters Shwedagon Pagoda is dazzled with 4,531 different diamonds, with the largest one being a whopping 72 carat diamond! Other than the central pagoda, the site consist of other hundred rich-coloured stupas, statues and temples that would kept you exclaiming the beauty for at least 2 hours.

Entry is free to the local devotees who meditates and worship at the pagoda. A visit to the pagoda will make you understand the devotion Burmese has to their religion.

Getting there: Take a taxi from downtown Yangon at around 2,000 - 2,500 KyatsOpening hours: 4 am to 10 pm daily (but closed on certain holidays, check website for details)
Entrance Fee: 8,000 Kyats ($8.11)
Attire: No sleeveless top, no bottoms above knee, no socks (slippers are the best). You would need to leave your shoes at the entrance. Alternatively, keep your slippers in a bag, and bring it along with you.

2) Visit Chaukhtatgyi Paya (Reclining Buddha)

The astonishing Reclining Buddha at Chaukhtatgyi Paya is 65 meter long, with the Buddha's face hovers at 16 meter above ground. The Buddha is crowned with a massive numbers of diamonds and precious stones.
Walking all the way to the end, the Buddha's feet is covered with 108 intricately designed Lakshanas representing the noble characteristics of Buddha. It's a great place for you to spend your afternoon at the large empty space in front of Buddha having lunch (the local do that other than praying), meditating, or simply just be by yourself, reflecting life.
Getting there: Take a taxi from downtown Yangon at around 2,000 - 2,500 Kyats
Opening hours: 24 hours, recommend to visit in the day
Entrance Fee: Free
Attire: No sleeveless top, no bottoms above knee, no socks (slippers are the best). You would need to leave your shoes at the entrance. Alternatively, keep your slippers in a bag, and bring it along with you.

3) Visit Kandawgyi Park

I visited Kandawgyi Park at night when the weather was cooling, and the park was quiet. You may choose to book a seat at the Karaweik Palace to enjoy a sumptuous International Buffet Dinner and cultural show for $32 (Adult, $16 for Child), or a quick drink and simple dinner and one of the few smaller restaurant, or just indulge in a quiet walk in the park.

Getting there: Take a taxi from downtown Yangon at around 1,000 - 2,000 Kyats
Opening hours: 4am to 10pm daily
Entrance Fee: 2,000 Kyats

4) Visit Yangon's Bars

a) There are many popular bars in Yangon that are worth visiting. But Vista Bar is one which I would strongly recommend to view the dazzling Shwedagon Pagoda at night. The bar serves food, snacks, alcohol and Shisha for a great night chill-out with your friends and loved ones. With the relaxing atmosphere and view, you'll be reminding yourself what a great decision it is to visit Yangon.

Getting there: Take a taxi to 168 West Shwegonedaing Road, Yangon, 11201
Opening hours: 6pm - 1am daily
Price: Cocktails from 4,000 Kyats and ShiSha from 15,000 Kyats

b) If you are visiting Yangon for Business, you probably should check out LV Pub operated by a Singaporean who has lived in Myanmar for over 20 years. LV Pub was the place which left me great memories when I celebrated SG50 with fellow Singaporeans on 9 Aug. It is usually visited by foreigners (Business Owners), and events organized by Singapore Association of Myanmar will sometimes held there, thus, it's a great hangout place for social networking too. Who knows, you might be the next business owner in Yangon!

Getting there: Take a taxi to Kamaryut Township, Yangon, Myanmar 
Food: Serves Singaporean food such as Nasi Lemak, Lor Mee, Mee Siam etc. and alcohol

5) Ride the Yangon Circular Railroad

With 300 kyats, you may ride the circular loop route in Yangon Railroad built in the 1954 by the British. The route consists of 39 stations, and takes about 3 hours to complete.
I met my railroad heroine, Si Hui when I was feeling lost at the station as all information are in Burmese! Si Hui came to my rescue and showed me which platform to purchase the ticket (Platform 7), and where to explore. Taking the train is a great way to observe how Burmese interact with each other in their daily lives around the outskirts of downtown Yangon.
If you have a few hours to spare, catch the train, alight at a random station and explore a true blue Burmese lifestyle! We alighted at Kamayut, and walked to a local wet market. (see 4) for details)
Getting there: Take a taxi to Yangon Central Railroad Station from downtown Yangon at around 3,000 Kyats
Opening hours3.45 am to 10.15 pm daily
Fee: 300 Kyats (Sometimes they charges foreigners up to 1,000 Kyats)

6) Visit The Local Fresh Market

a) When you are in Yangon, you can expect fresh food and fruit markets every few streets, day and night. Nonetheless, I think that Thiri Mingalar Market was one of the exciting places to visit when you are in Yangon.

Thiri Mingalar Market is a busy market even when I visited it around 1pm in the afternoon. The market is filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers and dried goods. When you are there, get ready to get your feet dirty, and your pants filthy by the water (mud+soil water+spit+rotten vegetables+soiled cardboards) that splashes on you when anyone walk by.

We had fun getting ourselves dirty, and trying out fresh coconut juice and durian the local way!

Getting there: Take a taxi from downtown Yangon at around 2,000 Kyats or alight at Kamayut Railroad Station and walk.

b) If you are staying in downtown, visit the local fresh market at 26th street where you can see livestock such as chickens, meat and fishes with their innards lying beside them, and vendors selling vegetables in the middle of the street with delivery lorries driving over them (Yea, hygiene is not the priority here!). The Thein Gyi Market beside it houses a large wholesale section specialises in textiles, household products, toys, stationery and clothing.

Location: Shwedagon Paya Rd, 26th Street, central Yangon

7) Fulfil Souvenirs Checklist At Bogyoke Aung San Market

The Bogyoke Aung San market was built in 1926 during the British Colonial period, which explains the westernised architecture. The market is now a great site to fulfil every tourist's souvenir checklist.

Things are not cheap, but it's definitely a great place for you to grab a colourful painting with Burmese lifestyle painted on it, traditional fabrics, handicrafts, wood cravings of Buddha and Burmese significant animals, jewelries and gems.

Getting there: Take a taxi from downtown Yangon to Bo Gyoke Rdat  at around 1,500 Kyats or walk 30mins from central Yangon
Opening hours9am to 5pm, closed on Monday

8) Enjoy Yangon Food
Here comes my favourite activity, eat!!

a) You will never get hungry in Yangon! Being a fussy eater even in Singapore, Burmese food never fail to surprise me and made me craving for more (when I'm already super full!). On the first night, I visited 19th street (BBQ Street) which is an attraction for tourists and locals alike to enjoy BBQ skewers with 700kyats beers. I really love the busy street and noisy atmosphere!

Getting there: Walk to 19th Street in central Yangon (Chinatown)
Opening hoursFrom 5pm

b) If you wanna have taste of local food without the bad hygiene issues, you should check out Junction Square (shopping mall) where restaurant food are still affordable ie. 2 bowls of noodles, 2 drinks and 1 plate of dimsum at 5,800kyats!

Junction Square: Between Pyay Road and Kyun Daw Street, walkable from Central Yangon, Chinatown
Shwepalin and YKKO: Junction Square 4th Floor
Opening hours: 10am to 10pm

c) Yangon dessert is amazingly cheap and good! I visited Shwe Pu Zun (Golden Prawn Logo), which is a famous mid-range priced dessert place near Junction Square. I shared a Domino fruit softee (2,100kyats) and a too-sour fresh Yogurt (1,600kyats) which has real strawberries, papaya, dragon fruits etc. and it's so yummy! You get to escape from the heat in an air-conditioned cafe which is really life-saving for people who are sweating from all the walking!

Getting there: Walkable distance between central Yangon and Junction Square, No.79, 9th street, Lanmadaw
Opening hours8am to 8pm

d) If you are traveling in a group and wanna enjoy an affordable Burmese feast with clean and air-conditioned restaurant, visit Feel Myanmar! I'm sure you will swing by this name at least once in travel sites recommending this restaurant which is filled with locals (which undoubtedly proves its authenticity!). Feel Myanmar offers a variety of traditional Burmese food, especially rich in their curries and glutinous rice selections. I enjoyed my dinner with 2 grown men and 2 other ladies, and the bill came up to around 30,000kyats (incl. 2 more bowls of noodles apart from the dishes in the photo below, and many bottles of Myanmar beer)! Affordable much! 

Getting there: Take a taxi at around 1,500kyats from central Yangon to 124, Pyi Htaung Su Yeikthar St. (btwn Padonmar & Myoma Kyaung St.), Yangon, YGN 11191, Myanmar
Opening hours6am to 8.30pm daily

9) Walking Around Yangon Street

When you travel, you would wanna embrace everything that is different from your home country. Being a born and bred true blue Singaporean, I'm always being pampered with safe and clean roads, hygienic dining environment and of course English-speaking fellow men!

So when I travel, I like to walk around their streets, looking at their architecture- Yangon has a lot of beautiful and colourful religious temples and colonial buildings; observing their business-scape- there are people with a diversity of trades on the street: food vendors, sewers, repairmen, set-the-bird-free men, betel leaves vendor etc.; having fun avoiding birds' shit and more!

Try not to pack your itinerary with places of interests one after another. Take a stroll along the street, and amaze yourself with the surprises that Yangon has prepared for you!

Colourful Hindu Temple Admist The Busy Street Of Chinatown

Sewers Repairing Old Bags On A Platform Along The "Repair" Street

Tons Of Pigeons Lined Up On Street Cables

10) Try Out Traditional Burmese Foot Spa

Somehow one of our favourite activity when travelling in Southeast Asia seems to be massage! Especially after a long day's walk at the temples, street, market etc. having a relaxing massage seems to be a must-have!

On my second day in Yangon, I got to try out a 1.5hours Head, Back and Leg massage for 16,000 Kyats at Sapel Foot Spa. It is conveniently located at Street 16 of Chinatown, a great place for you to enjoy massage before feasting on your BBQ dinner at Street 19 or at Junction Square which are in walkable distance.
It is also rated as the #1 Spa and Wellness place in Tripadvisor

Only Managed To Capture The Empty Spa After All Customers Gone Near 12am!

Getting there: Walkable from central Yangon, No.78 16th street (Middle Block) Mahalbandola Road, Lanmadaw Township
Opening hours12pm to 12am daily

I hope this entry sums up the wonderful itinerary that you can enjoy alone or with a few good friends who aren't afraid of humidity and would love to explore a friendly developing city! Next entry will be sharing more about Things To Do/Know Before Traveling to Myanmar, Yangon! So stay tuned!