Just this month, we were privileged to travel to Yangon, Myanmar. I actually booked in 2015 and everything was planned out. Unfortunately, we didn’t push through because of some conflict in my job.
This year, I really wanted to make that plan reality. So, this article contains the list of places we went and what we did for five days of our travel.
1. Sule Pagoda
There were several pagodas in Myanmar, being a Buddhist county. These pagodas were built with the purpose of serving a religious function. Sule Pagoda is the first pagoda we have seen by walking an hour from our hotel.
The fee is 3,000 Kyats/ person. Shoes and socks are not allowed. Don’t wear sleeveless, skirts or any types of clothing that shows too much skin. There is an area you can leave your shoes in and it costs 1,000 Kyats. Though, I just read that you can actually bring your shoes or you can put it in your bag.
Once we were inside, there were young monks who asked for a donation from us several times. We had to say no several times after giving our first donation.
In addition to that, there was a local man who initiated a conversation and asked us where we’re from and what we do. He also told us that he volunteered to help the orphan monks. At first, we were amazed by what he does for his fellow people. He showed us some of his videos and photos. It was truly a nice conversation until he was telling us that he can teach us how to meditate in exchange for a donation. We responded by saying we will visit the monastery by ourselves and donate when we get there. After that, he said goodbye.
2. Botathaung Pagoda
This is our second pagoda, still by walking but we got lost and it was lunch time so we looked for something to eat first. Once we were satisfied, we walked again. Good thing, the young man we asked spoke very good English and he was able to give us clear instructions. We walked for another hour to reach this pagoda.
It was believed that inside this pagoda was Buddha’s sacred hair relic which I haven’t seen. There was an area inside of a Buddha with a variety of pieces of jewelry so the place was tightly secured.
This time, free water and an area for the shoes were provided to us.
3. Shwedagon Pagoda
No visit to Myanmar would be complete without visiting Shwedagon. It is a 2,500-year-old pagoda which
enshrines Buddha’s hair and other holy relics.We arrived at this pagoda through a taxi ride. It was just so far from Botathaung Pagoda and it was late in the afternoon already. The taxi driver was very nice. He charged us 2,500 Kyats only which is the real price. He told us that usually, drivers will charge foreigners higher price.
There is a different entrance for foreigners so make sure your driver knows about it. The entrance fee is 8,000 Kyats/ person. Still, no shoes nor socks are allowed but you can leave it for free.
4. Cathedral of the Holy Trinity
While walking we passed through this church. We went inside and made a wish.
This was also another place we passed through walking around the city. What I saw mostly in the market was their “longyi” in different color and textures.
The plaza is located just outside the Sule Pagoda. It’s accessible and you can see the locals selling street foods and teas.
7. Yangon Zoo
I planned to visit the zoo on a weekend but when we passed through it going to Shwedagon Pagoda, we saw a lot of cars parked. The driver told us that a lot of local families stay in the zoo every weekend. So, we decided to go on the next day, instead.
The entrance fee is 3,000 Kyats/ adult and 2,000 Kyats/ child for foreigners. It’s open from 8 AM to 6 PM.
This is a good place for tourists with children because you will be able to spend time exploring and viewing different species of animals. What so sad to look at is the situation of these animals. It seemed that there is no proper care for them. There is also no one manning high-risk areas like the tigers or reptiles.
8. Kandawkyi Lake and Garden Wooden Bridge
Just across the zoo is the Kandawkyi lake. It is an artificial lake built during the British colonial times to supply clean water to the city. The long wooden bridge in itself gives tourists a good walking workout while enjoying the lake and the surrounding. You can see people sitting down or couple dating. Some are fishermen trying to catch fish.
Be careful though because some parts of the wood are broken or rotten. Some planks are out of place giving a higher risk of falling off.
9. Yangon Sunset Viewing near Karaweik Palace
At the end of the bridge, you can see the Karaweik Palace. Karaweik is a palace on the eastern shore of the lake. We didn’t go inside the Karaweik hall though but we saw restaurants around the place.
To get inside, you have to pay 300 Kyats/ person or if you have camera 500 Kyats/person.
We loved it because we were able to watch and enjoy the sunset. We didn’t plan anything or know about this place. We were lucky to be in the right place at the right time. It was pretty amazing!
Golden Rock is one of the three most sacred religious sites in Myanmar. The rock on top is believed to cover a hair of the Buddha.
The journey to this site isn’t easy because it is located in the outskirt of Myanmar called the Kinpun Village. It is a 4-hour drive by bus. Another option is by hiring a taxi which will be more costly.
11. Walking around the city
You probably should have guessed that I love walking around cities especially the ones new to me. So, while I was walking around, I took some photos of the local people and random places.
It’s actually safe to walk around. The locals we talked to told us that it’s totally safe in their country unlike ours. Ouch!
Probably, you’ll only get intimidated when they will stare at you for a long time. After minutes of walking, I felt uncomfortable a little because people are just staring so long so I decided to cut my walk short and go back to my hotel. =(
By looking at these photos, you will have an understanding of what the country is like.
For other travel posts, you can read my journey to other Asian countries.
Have you traveled to Myanmar?