THINGS TO DO
BEST THINGS TO DO IN YANGON
Yangon is the business capital of Myanmar and one of the liveliest places in the country. If one looks at a map, one would see how well the streets have been laid out. These streets were designed during the colonial era. Some of the buildings are preserved as heritage sites to retain the colonial touch of the city.
Walking from Hotel 63, on the west side of downtown, you would be able to see many such buildings. The whole downtown is surrounded by the Yangon harbour. Therefore, you may see transport trucks from harbor moving around displaying a merchant and a busy life. After the political changes, the living standards and lifestyles of Myanmar people have improved. We may be greeted with changes towards westernization everywhere. Expatriate bars such as the RETRO BAR, Pubs, Nightclubs are seen in downtown Yangon. An evening or morning walk around downtown is a must where you could observe street life and the hustle bustle of everyday business life.
The most interesting places and the highest ranked attractions are found in Yangon’s downtown and have the highest tourist presence than elsewhere in Myanmar. In downtown another interesting feature emerges, one finds whole streets dedicated to selling a specific range of items -30th street sells Electrical equipment, 19th Street food etc.
The real beauty of Myanmar and Yangon itself is that one is taken back in time. One could be amazed by seeing the development arising within the city but the former glory with the unspoiled panorama of the colonial buildings, the ports, the temples and the marketplaces adds the features that attract tourists the most.
The most powerful – Botahtaung Pagoda
Renowned for its Buddha’s Hair relic, the structure, its mysterious power, and it’s easy accessibility, the Botahtaung pagoda has been ranked fourth among the best tourist destinations in Myanmar. One can walk right throughout this pagoda and be lost within its golden chambers. Walking amongst the high golden walls, praying for prosperity and worshiping Buddha’s Hair Relic, are traditions that bring many South Asian tourists to this pagoda.
“It really has power, my wish came true, I came back to pay respect after one year,” said one of the guests at our Hotel. She was not the only guest who said so, we have come across many Thai’s who profess that their wishes have been granted. On any day one would observe many locals offering donations, making vows, and giving alms. It is believed that this pagoda is spiritually protected by highly devotees called themselves dragon ladies who live close to the pagoda. The Botahtaung pagoda was the first ever place where the relics of Buddha were brought to and one learns from the people various legends that followed this event.
The Great Shwedagon Pagoda
No visit to the Union of Myanmar is complete without a visit to the 2,500 years old Shwedagon Pagoda, which enshrines strands of Buddha’s hair and other holy relics. Located west of the Royal Lake on 114 -acre Singuttara Hill in Yangon, Shwedagon Pagoda is the most sacred and impressive Buddhist site for the people of the Union of Myanmar. From a humble beginning of 8.2 meters, the Shwedagon Pagoda today stands close to 110 meters. Shwedagon Pagoda is covered with hundreds of gold plates and the top of the stupa is encrusted with 4531 diamonds; the largest of which is a 72-carat diamond. It is clearly one of the wonders of the religious world. Shwedagon Pagoda is a repository of the best in Myanmar heritage – architecture, sculpture, and arts. The Shwedagon Pagoda consists of hundreds of colorful temples, stupas, and statues that reflect the architectural era spanning almost a 2,500 years. To understand this monumental work of art and architecture, visitors will experience an insider’s view of this magnificent symbol of Buddhism to the lives of the Myanmar people. Shwedagon Pagoda forms the focus of religious as well as community activities – the bustling of devotees and monks washing the statues, offering flowers, worshiping, and meditating. Shwedagon Pagoda is administered by the Board of Trustees of Shwedagon Pagoda.
taken by Shwedagon pagoda main site.
Chinatown (for street food)
Chinatown in Yangon usually refers to the area of the 24th street through 18th street, west of the Sule Pagoda in downtown Yangon. It’s one of the busiest and most action-packed areas of town, especially in the evenings when the sidewalks teem with food vendors selling everything from fresh produce to ready-made food. 19th street is the most popular hangout for expats, spending long evenings enjoying each other’s company and the gastronomic delights. Specialties of the 19th street are not known to many- Drinks and beer are cheap, you could pick your seats in any wayside restaurant and request your food according to the style of cooking you relish. You could even order food and drinks you wish to obtain from other food stalls and your restaurant will oblige. Therefore you must not miss this experience of walking along the 19th street to be entertained with its food, drinks and its hospitality.
Free Guided Walking Tour
Yangon walking tour is one of the upcoming highlights tours of Yangon, This service is presented free of charge.
This free guided tour is good for the ones who want to explore a bit more in downtown and yet an opportunity to make friends with some new faces.
Bogyoke Aung San Market
Bogyoke Aung San market, also commonly known by its former name Scott Market, was built in 1926 during the British colonial period. The lanes within the market are paved like European style cobblestone streets and the large indoor section is laid out like a bazaar. Honestly speaking, being an expat, I am not a huge fan of the market as it seems to be more on the touristy side, and prices are a wee bit on the high side. But that being said, it is a great place to visit if you’re looking for jewelry (but use discretion), Burmese dresses and fabrics, souvenirs, art or handicrafts, all in one location.
Bogyoke Aung San market, also commonly known by its former name of Scott Market, was built in 1926 under a design from the British colonial period. On the outside of the market are a number of European looking cobblestone streets with shops housed and either side, and there’s also a large indoor section that’s set up more like a bazaar. Honestly speaking, I’m not a huge fan of the market itself, it seems to me to be a little on the touristy side, and prices are little high as well. But that being said, it is a good place to come if you’re looking for jewelry (just use discretion), Burmese dresses and fabric, souvenirs, artwork, or handicrafts.
Botahtaung Harbor – Rhythm cruise
These cruises are looked forward by many to relax and rejuvenate themselves during their visits to Yangon. There are a variety of cruises to choose from according to your busy schedules. There are River cruises along the Yangon River, Day trips, One-Night and Two-night trips to Mandalay and Upper Myanmar. There are also Rhythm cruises daily at 4.00 pm for just 10$, that takes you down the river with the sunset while observing the evening life on its shores. The Yangon River cruises stop in mid-May due to a decreased numbers. The trips to Mandalay and upper Myanmar will be closed in the months of June and July at the beginning of the rainy season.
Nagar Glass Factory
Adventure and beyond… The Nagar hand-blown glass factory is a little difficult to locate as it is off the traditional tourist beaten track. However, we thought of including it in our list of things to do, due to its nature and its history. Built-in 1948 by a master glass craftsman and his wife, it was hit by trade sanctions in 1977, in 2009 it was destroyed for the most part by the Nargis cyclone. No glass has been produced since then but what is left is now maintained by the next generation.
Located on a land area of 4 acres behind the Brazilian Embassy, there are glass artifacts strewn across the site in the open, among the trees. You are at liberty to pick up pieces you fancy, among the stacked up glassware. They would clean, polish and finish your pieces while you wait. The prices are unimaginably low for a good piece. But if you are a glass-hunter it is wise to visit early in the day. An hour would suffice. This gives the resident family, time to show you around and share their old stories with you. You would find the hour well spent.
Yangon Water Boom
Yangon Crocodile Farm
Yangon crocodile farm is one of the hidden spots for touring, The farm was initially built not for showing to the public 2 decades ago but for a farming purpose, now it has turn into a favorite spot for both local and foreigners to come by and see these wonderful creatures and learn about them.
Sule Pagoda – Ceti
According to Burmese legends, the site where the Sule pagoda now stands was once the home of a powerful nat (spirit) named Sularata (the Sule Nat). The king of the Nats, Sakra, wished to help the legendary king Okkalapa build a shrine for the Buddha’s sacred hair-relic, on the same site where the relics of the three previous Buddhas were buried. Unfortunately, these events had happened so long ago that not even Sakra knew exactly where the relics were buried. However, the Sule nat, who was so old that his eyelids had to be propped up with trees in order for him to stay awake, had witnessed the great event. The gods, the nats and the humans of the court of Okkalapa, therefore, gathered around the Sule Ogre and asked him, again and again, the location, which he eventually remembered.
The Sule Pagoda was made the center of Yangon by Lt. Alexander Fraser of the Bengal Engineers. It was he who created the present street layout of Yangon soon after the British occupation in the mid- 19th century. (Lt. Fraser also lent his name to Fraser Street, now Anawrattha Street and still one of the main thoroughfares of Yangon). All road distances from Yangon are measured from the Sule Pagoda.
It is a Mon-style ceti (pagoda) octagonal in shape, with each side 24 feet long; its height is 144 feet, 9 ½ inches. Except for the ceti itself, enlarged to its present size by Queen Shin Sawbu (1453–1472), nothing at the pagoda is less than a century old. Around the ceti are ten bronze bells of various sizes and ages with inscriptions recording their donors’ names and the dates of their donations.
Various explanations have been put forward for the name: according to legend it was called su-way, meaning gather around, the place where Okkapala and the divine beings gathered to inquire about the location of Singattura Hill, and the Sule pagoda built later to commemorate the event; another legend connects it su-le, meaning wild brambles, with which it was supposedly overgrown, and a non-legendary link suggests it is from the Pali words cula, meaning small and ceti, pagoda
Visit National Museum
The National Museum of Myanmar is located at No. 66/74 Pyay Road, Dagon Township in Yangon. The Museum was founded in 1952 with its premises, at what was once the Jubilee Hall. In 1970 the museum was moved to a more spacious building on Pansodan Street. But these premises were not originally constructed to house a museum.
The present National Museum on the Pyay Road is a splendid and spacious five-storey building specially constructed for this purpose with well-lined landscaped grounds. Priceless ancient artifacts, works of art and historic memorabilia are on display in 14 halls on four storeys. Three halls on the ground floor hold the exhibit on the evolution of the Myanmar script and alphabet, the Lion Throne Room, and the Yatanabon period pieces.
15 minute FREE Head Massage @ HOTEL 63
On our mission is to become the Best choice in Yangon. We have many value-added services attached to our products. One of the most popular services provided by Hotel 63 is the 15 minutes free head massage to every guest.
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Yangon Circular Train
The Yangon Circular Train was built by the British in 1954. It covers a railway track loop of 45.9 kilometers and stops at 39 stations. It takes almost 3 hours to complete the journey. Trains make both clockwise and counter-clockwise journeys daily, along the railway loop. The Train ride will give you a chance to mingle with the friendly locals and get a glimpse into their laid back and almost stress-free lifestyle. Don’t forget to take your camera to capture some of the most picturesque scenery along the way.
Tri shaw rides
Trishaws in Myanmar are typical bicycles with side-cars or tricycles with a back seat. They are commonly referred to as sikecars and can carry two persons at a time. One can enjoy a trishaw ride in the suburbs of Yangon.
We foresee this mode of transport gradually disappearing in the near future. Trishaw rides are typically used for short distances rides at a small fee. This has become an attraction to Western travelers and is a rare opportunity to experience what it was in the East, in the bygone age.
The Karaweik Hall, also known as the Karaweik Palace is one of Yangon’s many landmarks seems to appear like two golden birds floating majestically on the Kandawgyi lake
The Hall, in reality, is a concrete structure with the roof shaped like a Pyatthat, a Burmese style multi-tiered very ornate roof. The prow of the ship is built in the shape of a Karaweik, a bird from Burmese mythology. A golden ball hangs from its beak. The back of the structure is designed like the tail of the Karaweik bird, in red and gold colors and on top of the tail is a depiction of a Nat spirit.
The air-conditioned hall inside is a good restaurant having a minimum order requirement of 8000 Kyats. The restaurant opens for lunch and closes after dinner. There are authentic traditional Burmese cultural shows to enrich the dining experience.
Most of the travellers are inspired by the nightlife in Yangon. clubbing scene has simultaneously grown with the country opening.
FUSE ———————————– $$$$ ——————– 🙂 🙂
MUSE (AREA 51) ———————- $$$———————- 🙂
DJ’S BAR ——————————- $$$ ——————— 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
CLUB 5 ———————————–$$$$ ——————- 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
PIONEER ——————————–$$$ ——————— 🙂 🙂
BRAVE BAR —————————–$$ ———————– 🙂 🙂 🙂
VIBE ————————————- $$$———————- 🙂 🙂
NICE BAR ——————————-$$$ ———————- 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
SKY WAY ——————————–$$ ———————— 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
ONE ENTERTAINMENT KTV ——- $$$ ———————– 🙂 🙂 🙂
EMPEROR ——————————-$————————– 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
BAR Thingy / Roof Tops
Most of the travelers tend to socialize in a popular bar around and have a great time, we have made a small list of some favorite bars for you to crawl.
RETRO BAR / 7th Joint Bar / Beer FactoryPirates / Ginki Kids / Burbrit / Bar / Basement / The Roof / Sports Bar /50th Street Bar /JAZZ in Time/ Ko San Double Happiness/ piano bar / Terminal 5 /Cuba Bar/ Bar Dubai /Union Bar /Penthouse / Harrys Bar/ Eclipse Bar / friendship bar
Best Roof Tops with best views and good price
Sapphire Lounge / Vista Bar / Sky Bistro /Esperado Roof Top /Sky Bar / Cocoon Bar / Atlas Roof Top
Myanmar is one of the best countries to get yourself a good massage. There are many traditional massage places around Yangon which starts from 3$ -40$ as per your requirements, Sapel Spa is one of the best spa’s in town and a must visit during your stay in Yangon.
Burmese authentic massages are done normally in a laydown position mainly in a matt.
Movie Library @ HOTEL 63
On our mission to become the best choice in Yangon we have many value-added services attached to our end product. Another one of the most popular services provided by us is the movie library exceeding the count of 250 movie which includes a variety of languages English, Hindi, Sri Lankan, Chinese, Korean etc.
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Enjoy the amazing panoramic view of the Yangon skyline and its ancient pagodas! offering 20 balloon flights per day from sunrise to sunset.
The price for adults is 22 USD. For Children of 12 years old or below, the price will be 11 USD.
Mini Read / Readers Lounge /Coffee Shop
On our mission to become the best choice in Yangon we have many value-added services attached to our end product. Another one of the exceptional things the hotel has to offer is the mini library also named as Readers lounge, Readers lounge gives the customers to chose from the variety of interesting reads and the latest trending magazines. The lounge is always occupied by readers who love a chill in the busy downtown. One can always try out the piano or the guest computer free of charge to use the internet or official work. -at 63 make yourself at Home-
Ride on an Open Air Sightseeing Bus
Mingalar Bus offers Myanmar’s first and only open-top bus service! Our open-top buses are the best way to visit Myanmar’s top destinations. Accompanied by a bilingual travel expert, our bus tours are the most intimate way to see the sights without sacrificing ease or comfort.
photo credit – mingalarbus site
Try Out Sri Lankan Food @ HOTEL 63
On our mission to become the best choice in Yangon we have many value-added services attached to our end product. Another one of the exceptional things the hotel has to offer is the Sri Lankan food served at Retro Bar,
We have included an article published in Myanmar times click >> SRI LANKAN FOOD
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