Top 5 Best Things to Do in an Afternoon in Yangon

Yangon – one of the biggest cities in Myanmar, is the city of many hidden wonders. Though it seems not to have many Western travelers, this is exactly why Yangon is an fascinating destination as it is different from other exotic places. It feels like experiencing a different world of Myanmar, and that means there are lots of things to do in this Myanmar’s beauty. So here we are: Top 5 Best Things to Do in an Afternoon in Yangon!

1. Visiting Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda is probably one of the most well-preserved spiritual monuments in Myanmar. For some tourists, spiritual monuments such as Shwedagon Pagoda may not really interesting to them. But, there is a reason why visiting Shwedagon Pagoda is always in the list of top activities in Yangon, beside being a famous religious monument.

afternoon in yangon

Shwedagon Pagoda is a interesting sight to see in its appearance alone. The pagoda is 99 meters and we can pretty much see it from every spot in Yangon. When we watch the pagoda upclose, it is truly a magnificent sight to behold. The gold-claded pagoda with its great stupa, embeded with countless Buddha images is simply impressive. During the morning, the pagoda looks like shimmering under the sunlight, and things become more interesting as the time pass. If we back here in the afternoon, we will be able to see the appearance change of Shwedagon, and at night, the pagoda’s color shifts to amber-like hue, making it looks radiant and illuminated in the night sky.

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In addition, as we come to Shwedagon Pagoda, we can be able to see people and devotees come and pray, meditate. Sometimes we can also see people doing the rituals based on their birthday, which are believed to bring good karma and lucky.

2. Enjoying Chinatown Yangon

During the afternoon, if you want to have something to sate your stomach, it is a good idea to come to the Chinatown. The place is filled with tons of food vendors, restaurants, featuring variety of dishes from Chinese food such as rice congee, grilled pork skewers, to barbecue, noodles, and more… (including edible crickets!). Located to the west from Sule Pagoda, the Chinatown includes from 18th to 24th street. It is also the busiest, and also top chosen place for night-life activities. Noisy, but fun and lively area, Chinatown, especially the 19th street, is definitely a place to check out for an exciting Yangon night-life experience.

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3. Visiting Bogyoke Market

When we visit a foreign land, surely we want to get something special, something interesting as souvenirs for families and friends, or simply have some food for afternoon meal. In that case, let’s go to Bogyoke Market and surely you will not be disapointed. Bogyoke Aung San Market was built in 1926 and it was previously known as Scott Market. Its design originally came up with during British colonial period (no wonder why it has a “Western name”).

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Since a long time ago, the market has been a place for rare gems trading, notably rubies and jades. Nowaday, the market has approximately 2000 shops, including food vendors, restaurants, fresh merchandises such as fruits, vegetables, etc…. This is also where you can find gorgeous fabrics as a splendid souvenirs, other alternative is woodcarvings and figurines .

One thing you may want to bring along is the camera, it is recommended by many seasoned tourists. Even if we don’t buy anything, it is still an ideal place to walk around the see the local’s daily life.

4. Taking Yangon Circle Train

Certainly this 3-hour-ride is a must-have activity for those who really enjoy experiencing the people’s daily life of Yangon. Yangon Circle Train, or Yangon Circular Railroad, likes any other trains in Yangon, is a common people’s choice for public transportation. It is said to be built in 1954 by the British, the rail runs in circular loop with 50 kilometers length. This slow ride through 39 stops around Yangon is a good way to experience all Yangon.

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You can hop down at every stop to temporary rest and get food for the next trail, and then get back to the trainwithout any problem. In case you get tired or there is somewhere else you want to go to particularly, you can hop down at any stop and you are good to go.

Though the train starts running from 6:10 AM to 22:00 PM, it is said that the best oppurtunity to enjoy this ride is during after dawn, since this is considered to be Yangon life’s most active time of the day.

5. Relaxing in Kandawgyi Park

Though traveling in Yangon is an exciting trip, at some point we will feel tired. But of course we don’t just want to return to hotel and waste the afternoon right? Instead of just back to the hotel and sleep, why don’t we go to Kandawgyi Park?

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As you might have guessed, Kandawgyi Park was made during British colonial time. Unlike the busy and crowded streets of Yangon, Kandawgyi Park (can also be translated as ‘great royal lake’) is like a true getaway place. Walking around the park is like immerse ourselves into a whole different world from the rest of Yangon, a world full of green lush trees, relaxing atmosphere. In case tourists want to have some place to take a break, there are lake-side relaxing restaurants.

One feature in Kandawgyi Park is that it has lake boardwalk platform where you can walk or do some exercises. The platform also provides fantastic views of the lake. It is even better if travelers come here during afternoon to see the sunset view of Shwedagon Pagoda.

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