Visit Yangon -Highlights in Yangon (Rangoon, Burma)

Do you want to visit Yangon, Myanmar (Rangoon, Burma)?  There are many highlights in Yangon. Fascinating curious people, beauty waiting to be discovered, unsuspecting surprises – it is a city full of life and energy.

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Visit Yangon -Highlights in Yangon (Rangoon, Burma)

1) Exploring the Streets!

Broad, red stained smiles and red splattered walls instantly make me feel at home! The beetle-nut seed is still widely used in Myanmar and, just like in PNG, it is chewed and spat EVERYWHERE – staining teeth and ground alike.

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Beetle Nut Stained Walls along a Walkway

I arrive into Yangon at about 6pm and find myself getting herded along with every other tourist on the plane to Motherland II Guest House: not exactly cheap ($10/dm $14/dbl) or fancy, but the free pick up and drop off to the airport makes it a good deal.

I was soon to discover, that Myanmar is not cheap!

I split a room with a girl from France- Fanny… and then a group of us tourists went out to find something to eat.

Wow! The contrast to the rest of Southeast Asia was immediately seen and felt.

The streets in the former capital Yangon, still claimed as the capital by most, are poorly lit, crumbling and dreary.

We found a little street café and enjoyed some delicious Myanmar food – not too different from the typical fried rice and noodle dishes of SE Asia, but Myanmar, influenced by neighboring Bangladesh/India, adds a unique flare and spice in both its people and its food.

After Dinner a few of us – Fanny, Matias, Catherine and I – decided to wander the crumbling streets in exploration of a Myanmar experience – and oh did we find one…

2) An Unsuspecting Surprise…

Coming to an intersection, the somewhat empty streets are suddenly packed with people and excitement. Rounding the corner we come face to face with a giant Ferris wheel!

visit yangon, rangoon burma, travel yangon, travel to yangon, yangon myanmarStanding quite tall its bright fluorescent lights drawing the communities around like moths! People of all ages flocking in – the dreary streets are suddenly filled with smiles and laughter!

We stand for a moment spell bound – gawking up at the wheel that feels so displaced so out of tune with the crumble around it.

But this was no ordinary wheel – you can tell it is old and as it spins around and around there were people crawling all over it!

People jumping off of it, jumping on it, crawling up it, hanging from it – all while it spins furiously around!

We are still unsure of exactly what is going on but it draws us in and we know that we have to ride that wheel…

Read the rest of the fascinating experience on a Myanmar Human Powered Ferris Wheel and watch some videos of a Human Powered Ferris Wheel…  If you visit Yangon, definitely try to find a Human powered Ferris wheel to ride!

3) Calm Kandawgyi lake

The next day Fanny, Matias and I head out on foot to see the town. To visit Yangon – the former capital of Myanmar – is to visit a crumbling, dirty city with only remnants of past glory.

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A little History – although not too long ago:

On November 6, 2005, the government moved the capital to a green field, 3.2 km west of Pyinmana. They built a city out of nothing and called it Naypyidaw – the people of Myanmar say “everything there is new there!”

It is claimed to be one of the fastest growing cities in the world but the reality, we are told, is that the government regulates who goes and who comes so tightly, that it actually resembles a ghost town – lots of big flashy buildings with no one in them.

We were not actually able to visit there, however, so I can not say how accurate the stories are.

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The capital of Myanmar’s heart, is still Yangon, even thought the government has, in a way, abandoned it.

We visit the Kandawgyi lake – entrance fee = $3 straight to the governments pockets!

The lake is beautiful and peaceful a nice break from the dirty crumbling city.

There are boardwalks all around the lake and beautiful views of the Shwedagon Pagoda.

4) Visiting Shwedagan Pagoda

visit yangon, rangoon burma, travel yangon, travel to yangon, yangon myanmarDuring our trip to visit Yangon, we are able to see the Shwedagan Pagoda – entrance fee = $5  straight to the governments pocket.

Wow! What time and money people infest into their beliefs:

The Shwedagan Pagoda itself stands a majestic 99 meters tall and is coated in gold.

Intricately designed pagodas and temples surround its base creating an atmosphere of a fairy-tail land.

Gold and red are everywhere as the monks bustle about in worship.

We are approached by a monk and soon find ourselves sitting and chatting with a group of monks about life, religion, movies – everything –except their government

– no one in Myanmar talks about their government, only in empty spaces and hushed tones are few words ever mumbled.

We discover that the monks of Myanmar are unique to all of SE Asia. Unpolluted by tourism the monks of Myanmar are incredibly friendly, educated, knowledge thirsty and open minded.

They loved practicing their English with us and asking us questions about the rest of the world – we sat and talked with them for hours.  I definitely recommend anyone to see and experience these highlights in Yangon.

Visit Yangon Myanmar RELATED LINKS:

Read Other Adventures from Journey of a Jungle Girl

Read about more stories of Myanmar -Human Powered Ferris Wheel

Return to Home from Visit Yangon Myanmar

Highlights of Myanmar are some of the interesting experiences I had in Myanmar… If you get an opportunity, I  recommend you See and experience these highlights when you visit Yangon.

Thanks for reading Visit Yangon Myanmar!

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  2. […] the 1st of the 5 Highlights of Myanmar: Visit Yangon Myanmar. The 1st of my highlights of Myanmar was visiting the unique ‘ex-capital’ Yangon. We […]

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