Yangon isn’t the capital of Myanmar anymore, but with about 7 million people still the economy and culture capital of the country. Yangon offers many things to do, so it was easy to entertain us there for some days.
We arrived by night bus from Hpa-An early in the morning as it is somehow usual in Myanmar. The massive “Highway Bus” Terminal, or let’s call it a city in the city, is located about an hour drive away from the downtown area.
Worldtrip Berlin Tip: No matter if you must go from or to the Highway Bus Terminal – if you take a cab the fee is not more than 10.000 Kyat. You can use “Crab” to be safe or negotiate the price as there will be many cabs available. In the daytime there are also busses from the Sule square for 1000 Kyat. Make sure you arrive at the Terminal early enough, as it can be a struggle to find your bus there – Once you arrive you will know why.
Downtown Yangon was easy to explore, as it is all build up in squares. Most interesting things are in this area – except the famous Shwedagon Pagoda and the Kandawagzi Lake.
Worldtrip Berlin Tip: It is possible to walk the downtown area, but as it is very busy there is another good option to get a first impression. There are 3 downtown circle bus lines for 100 Kyat, Nr. 56, 57 and 58 – In the tourist map the route, direction and stops of each bus will be marked. The busses run every 1-2 minutes, so if you miss one it’s not a big problem. Be aware that the stops will not always have a bus stop sign, just look where the locals are waiting.
The first day we took the circle line to get an idea and then walked a bit randomly around and passed some spots we still wanted to see.
In the next morning we met Johanna again without planning, as she booked the same hostel like us. She met on the way Melina und Jana, so we decided to spend the day together.
One thing everybody recommended me to do is the circle train line of Yangon, starting and ending at Yangon Central Railway station. It is the best option to see the normal Burmese life for as cheap as 200 Kyat. The ticket also allows to hop off and hop on the train, as it is valid from “Yangon to Yangon”.
The whole circle line is about 3 hours, so we decided to make a break and hop off at a random station which looked interesting to us, as we saw a massive temple close to it. Arrived at the gate we were overwhelmed by the size of it. Also, it looked very dead, as nobody was around there, so the explorer mode was activated. Once we stepped inside, we realized why this temple has no people – Even it looks very old, it is still under construction.
Still, the workers inside allowed us to go upstairs and enjoy the amazing views from the various levels of viewing terraces – the feeling that we might have been the first western tourists exploring this place was extremely awesome.
Worldtrip Berlin Tip: As it is a temple, it is not allowed to wear shoes inside, so you basically walk barefoot on a construction site – Be extremely careful with your steps.
Last day we decided to visit the Kandawagzi Lake. From Sule square there are several public bus lines running this direction for 200 Kyat. The walk around the park is pleasant and relaxing. Right now, they are building the “Myanmar Aquarium” next to the lake including a viewing terrace in the lake with water-lightshow, so this might be an evening activity tip for the future.
Worldtrip Berlin Tip: Search on Google Maps or Maps.me for the “Utopia Tower”. It’s surprising and offers for a small entrance fee impressive views from the rooftop.
Very last one on our list was the famous Shwedagon Pagoda. It is 10000 Kyat entrance, so I decided to wait outside for the others and safe the money.
Worldtrip Berlin Tip: Visit “wanderwithoutcompass” in the partner blog section to see pictures from inside the Pagado.
Please share your experiences, tips and tricks about Yangon in the comment section to help others!