Yangon, the capital city is the main gateway to Myanmar. Evergreen and cool with lush tropical trees, shady parks and beautiful lakes, Yangon has earned the name of the Garden City of the East. Yangon was founded by King Alaung Paya on the site of a small village called Dagon when he conquered Lower Myanmar in 1755. The name Yangon means "End of Strife" which was anglicized to Rangoon. The present day Yangon covers over 350 sq. km. and has a population of over 5 million.
Towering almost 100 metres above the green cityscape of Yangon, the Shwedagon Pagoda is the landmark visible from miles around. One of the wonders of the world it was believed to have built over 2500 years ago where the Buddha's were enshrined. Successive kings had embellished the Pagoda during the 15th Century and Queen Shin Saw Pu raised it to its present height.
Kaba Aye Pagoda and Maha Pasana Guha
Kaba Aye, meaning World Peace, was built to commemorate the Sixth Buddhist Synod in 1954, which was held in Maha Pasana Guha (Cave) within the same compound.
Buddhist Art Museum
The Buddhist Art Museum at the Kaba Aye Pagoda has a wide collection of religious paraphernalia and Buddhist texts.
Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda
This huge 72 metres reclining Buddha was sculpted more than ten years ago. The original Image, built in 1907, was damaged due to exposure to climate over the years.
Located on Pyay Road, the newly constructed National Museum has five floors of exhibits. It displays the lion Throne, the Elephant Throne, the Royal Regalia, manuscripts, etc.
Other attractions in Yangon
Other attractions in Yangon are Sule Pagoda, Mai-lamu Pagoda, Botataung Pagoda, Bogyoke Aung San Park, People's Square and People's Park, Zoological Garden and Hlawga Wildlife Park.
Once a trading port occupied by the Portuguese in early 17th Century, Thanlyin and its surroundings offers many attractions. The old buildings still stand in evidence of the days of Portuguese occupation. The 270 metres long bridge spanning the Bago River made possible the 45 minutes' drive from Yangon. Kyaik-Khauk Pagoda and Kyauktan Pagoda in the creek are worth visiting.
A small town on the Twante Canal is two hours away by boat from Yangon. The boat trip itself is a joy and a chance to see the life along the canal while Twan-te is a centre for pottery.
Allied War Memorial Cemetery
Located at Htauk Kyant, 32 km from Yangon, on the road to Bago. It has 27,000 tombstones of Allied soldiers who lost their lives in Myanmar during the World War II. The cemetery is a calm, peaceful place and is beautifully tended.
Myanmar arts and crafts, mostly pure hand-made, are the best souvenirs with reasonable prices. Lacquer ware, wood and ivory carving, tapestries, silverware, brassware, silk and cotton fabric and traditional garments, shoulder bags are some of the favourite items. World-renowned Myanmar rubies, jade, sapphires and pearls are also available at Myanmar Gems Centre and other licensed Jewelry Shops. Bogyoke Aung San Market (Scott Market) is the largest market in Yangon and it is one of the best places for souvenir shopping.
Yangon Photo Gallery
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