To be honest, I viewed Yangon as a stop-over – due to mainly seeing photos of one main attraction (Shwedagon Pagoda) in a city with buildings crammed together. However, I was pleasantly taken aback, wishing I had an extra day to explore the nooks and crannies of Yangon.
Besides being surrounded by greenery in the welcoming form of landscaping or parks, golden tipped pagodas dot the landscape like a game of hide-and-seek amidst colonial architecture – some of which have been redesigned into chic (colonial) cafes (like Rangoon Tea House) and art galleries (like The Secretariat, pictured below). There are also several alleyways between houses which have been turned into social places, think outdoor gym or teahouse next to walls covered in local art cum murals – if you’re in Downtown, head to 31st and 32nd St for a glimpse!
As for the main attraction, I was genuinely and literally shocked at the grandiosity of Shwedagon Pagoda – as in, mouth gaping open swiveling from corner to corner kind of shocked… Plus, the entrance fees in Yangon are some of the cheapest, for Shwedagon Pagoda it was just 10,000 MK (7 USD) and for the National Museum it was a mere 5,000 MK (3 USD); and mind you, the National Museum spanned four floors + included an actual throne sat on by the former King.
“No matter how much care is taken, someone will always be misled.” Burmese Proverb
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