Highlights of Myanmar | Yangon

Yangon, Myanmar a city of history and curiosity for an escorted small group tour for mature and senior travellers to explore.Include Bagan and the Irrawaddy river in any educational based tour program for couples or solo travellers.

8 Jan 20 · 3 mins read

Highlights of Myanmar | Yangon

Yangon , formerly known internationally as Rangoon , is Myanmar‘s largest city . Yangon Myanmar served as the capital of independent Myanmar from 1948 to 2006, until the military government moved its administrative functions to the planned city of Nay Pyi Taw (Naypyidaw) in central Myanmar. Yangon is located on the east bank of the Yangon River(eastern mouth of the great Irrawaddy River), and is famous among travellers today for its golden pagodas and in downtown Yangon for colonial buildings dating back to British Burma. Myanmar‘s largest city has downtown area with shopping malls for the locals that will not look out of place in any modern Southeast asia city as well as a Chinatown or a local food market to visit.

Yangon‘s most notable structure is the gold plated stupa of the Shwedagon Paya, (golden pagoda) one of Buddhism’s most sacred sites. The stupa, which still dominates the landscape of central Yangon, was said to have been built from the 6th to the 10th centuries.

Yangon skyline with Shwedagon Pagoda
Yangon skyline with Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar

A village called “Dagon” was built in the area in the 11th century until it was captured by King Alaungpaya in 1755. The founder of the Burmese Konbaung Dynasty, Alaungpaya renamed the village “Yangon”, which means “end of strife”, and built a grand city in its place. The city was destroyed by fire after the First Anglo-Burmese War, and was captured by the British in the second war, renaming it “Rangoon”. It became the capital and major port of British Burma, and the colonial architecture buildings were built during this period as the city was re-designed by British engineers as a grid.

High Court building
Colonial-era High Court building in Yangon, Myanmar

The Buddhist shrine housed in the 100-metre central stupa of the Shwedagon Paya is believed to hold strands of the Buddha’s hair. The Shwedagon Pagoda is adorned with gold and precious stones, and is believed to be worth US$3 billion on its own. The 114-acre complex features four entryways to the place of worship. The way to the western entrance–the grandest–is paved with shops where you can peruse (and purchase) antiques, toys, herbal remedies and souvenirs. The golden structure reminiscent of Yangon’s glamorous past looks enthralling in sunlight, so guests are invited to see it during sunrise or sunset.

shwedagon paya (pagoda)

For locals the golden pagoda in the most important shrine in Myanmar‘s largest city.

Other places of interest in Yangon include the Kandawgyi Lake, which is not far from Shwedagon Paya. Here in Kandawgyi park you can take a stroll on the boardwalk-though be careful as some boards are rickety around the Kandawgyi lake! Sule Pagoda occupies a traffic circle in the centre of Yangon, an ancient golden temple that can be surprising to see right in the middle of downtown traffic. Also in central Yangon close to the golden pagoda is the Chauk-htat-gyi Buddha Temple houses a 66-metre reclining Buddha-definitely a sight to see. The contemporary Yangon skyline and the colonial architecture from British Burma are best admired on a walking tour of central and downtown Yangon.

Sule Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar
Sule Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar

Articles about Myanmar published by Odyssey Traveller.

External articles to assist you on your visit to Myanmar.

Related Tours

Myanmar, Temples of Bagan



Myanmar's Art and Archaeology | Small Group Tour

Visiting Myanmar (Burma)

This is a wonderful small group program for seniors and mature couples and solo travellers focussed on the art and archaeology, designed to take you chronologically through Myanmar’s history. From Yangon to Pyay, where the 4th-9th century walled city has received Unesco World Heritage status, on to Bagan’s 10th-13th century pagodas, to Mandalay’s last royal dynasty and the 18th-19th century colonial era returning to Yangon for the colonial heritage and modern art scene.

From A$7,250 AUD

View Tour
Myanmar places of interest

15 days

Oct, Mar

Discovering Myanmar | Small Group Tour for Seniors

Visiting Myanmar (Burma)

Visitors to Myanmar will find a fascinating country full of old-world charm and rich culture. A beautiful scenic destination, we visit Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan on this small group tour for senior and mature travellers on a small group tour for couple and solo travellers.

From A$10,510 AUD

View Tour

Asia and the Orient

Silk Road View 78 articles

Myanmar (Burma)

Bagan Myanmar View 4 articles

Join 22,383 like-minded travellers receiving our weekly newsletter.

Special offers and promotions
A$350 AUD first trip travel voucher
The latest tours and articles