The former name was Dagon and King Alaungpaya, the founder of the
Kongbaung dynasty renamed it as Yangon meaning ' The End of Strife ' in
1755. It is a great seaport and the country's export and import trade
passes through this seaport.
Yangon is the first stop for foreign visitors to Myanmar and also represents the first highlight of Myanmar. Nearly 6 million people live in Yangon and has a good climate as it is only a few miles away from the sea. There are many hotels , motels and inns waiting to accommodate the foreign visitors.
The Great Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the wonders of the world is the most distinguished landmark of Myanmar and you will enjoy over looking the panoramic view of Yangon city area from there. Shopping for lacquerware, gems and jewellery and traditional souvenirs is a great interest for the tourists.
Things to do in Yangon
Popularly known as one of the wonders of the world and Myanmar's outstanding landmark is located on Singuttara Hill in Yangon. It was built over 2500 years ago during Buddha's life time. Buddha gave eight strands of hair from his head to the two merchant brothers, Tapussa and Bhallica from Okkalapa which was an older name of Yangon. The sacred hair relics of Gotama Buddha were enshrined together with the relics of the three preceding Buddhas in the small pagoda. The original height of the pagoda was 66 ft and today the height is 326 ft. The pagoda is covered with gold plates and studded with various kinds of gems from the plinth to the summit. Shwedagon is a repository of the best in Myanmar culture, architecture, sculpture, arts and crafts and all. Being Myanmar's notable landmark and a unique museum, a visit to Yangon is not complete without a visit to the Great Shwedagon Pagoda.
The Landmark of Yangon city located in the right centre of Yangon and a hair relic of Buddha was enshrined. As many other ancient Pagodas, it has been rebuilt and repaired many times. The height of the Pagoda is 46m ( 152 ft ) and the shape is unusual.
The octagonal shape continues right up to the bell. The Pagoda is surrounded by the City Hall with attractive peacock ornamentation above the entrance, Law Courts with red brick, Immanuel Baptist Church and Mahabandoola Park with Independent Monument.
The lake is one mile away from the northeast of the Shwedagon Pagoda and surrounded by tropical islands, beautiful gardens, hotels and restaurants. With its rippling water and beautiful landscape, the lake attract photographers and picnic goers. On the eastern side of the lake lies the Karaweik hotel (Royal Barge) where Myanmar marionette and cultural show entertains the guests every night while having a buffet dinner.
One of the most famous pagoda in Yangon and situated on the bank of the Yangon river. Unlike other pagodas, the Botahtaung was designed with an inner chamber and a sacred hair relic is kept in golden casket decorated with gold and precious jewels. Pilgrims can walk through a maze mirrored corridors into the innermost part of the spire where a collection of ancient Buddha Images were sealed in the glass showcases. The pleasant atmosphere of the waterfront attract the pilgrims coming to pay homage to the Buddha. After a visit to the pagoda, visitors wander down to the nearby Nanthida Jetty to enjoy the cool and fresh breeze passing through the Yangon river.
Chauk Htat Kyi Reclining Buddha Image
This Buddha Image is one of the beautiful largest reclining Buddha Images in Myanmar. The original image has suffered damage due to the climate and was demolished and rebuilt to this structure in 1966. The Buddha image is 70m long and lying on the right side, the right hand supporting to the head in the pose of rest. At the foot of the Buddha image, there is a small tower for visitors to take the photos of the footprint and the whole body of the Buddha. Chauk Htat Kyi is surrounded by many monasteries and so visitors can learn not only the Buddha image but also the ways of life of the monks.
The five story building situated on Pyay road is a symbol of pride and honour of Myanmar. It has a rich collection of antiques, cultural objects, arts and handicrafts of national races, the royal regalia, musical instruments and paintings. The famous Lion Throne is housed on the ground floor. There were nine thrones used to use by Myanmar kings. Among them the lion throne is the biggest and greatest one. But the Lion Throne was left and the others were destroyed by fire during the Second World War. Yadanabon period showroom, Myanmar historic period and prehistoric showroom and Royal Regalia showroom are the main exhibitions. National Museum is the only place where you can see national and culture heritage of the entire Myanmar.
Kaba Aye Pagoda (World Peace Pagoda)
The Kaba Aye known as World Peace Pagoda is located on the Thirimingalar Kaba Aye Hill in Yangon. The title incorporates the terms for auspiciousness and world peace. The pagoda was built on the purpose of auspiciousness and peace for the people of the world and those that come to worship it. Maha Pasana Great Cave is close to the pagoda. After the Buddha attained Mahaparinibana, during over 2500 years, altogether six Great Buddhist Councils have been held. The Sixth Great Buddhist Council was held in this Great Cave in 1954.
It was formerly called Scott Market named after Mr. Jarvin Scott, Yangon Municipal Commissioner, during the British colonial government. When Myanmar became independence in 1948, the name was changed to Bogyoke Aung San Market as the honour to the national leader Bogyoke Aung San. This is the only place for those who like shopping local products such as lacquerwares, silverwares, sculptures, jewelleries and souvenirs of the entire of Myanmar.
Formerly known as ' Syriam ' is located on the bank of Yangon river. It was a major trade centre. In the late 15th century, Thanlyin was controlled by Portuguese adventurer Phillip De Brito. Visitors can make a day-return trip across 2700 m long Thanlyin Bridge which was constructed by the aid of China. The busy typical market near the jetty is one of the interesting sights of the ways of life. Kyaik Hmaw Wun Mid-River Pagoda is the main tourist attraction with its glass mosaic decorations. One can get there by boat from the bank of the river.
Twante is 20km away from Yangon and can be reached by car or by boat. The small town is famous for its pottery industry. Pots are major products and various shapes and sizes of pots are produced. Pottery is still a thriving industry in Myanmar. It needs two persons for pottery work. The assistant has to mix the clay and turn the potter wheel and the master shapes the pot by his hands.
Htauk Kyant (War Cemetery)
A small satellite town some 30 km away from Yangon on the road to Bago. It is there in Htauk Kyant, War Cemetery with the graves of 27,000 Allied soldiers who died in the Burma and Assam compaigns of WWII. Maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the cemetery is beautifully landscaped.(Sir Anthony Eden's son was buried there). A few minutes stroll in garden cemetery will take you back to the past.