Planning a trip to Myanmar? You must be wondering how many days you should spend in the capital Yangon? One day should be enough, but if you want to take your time and also have a taste of the culture like a local or local expat, keep yourself an extra day or two. Here’s our ideal one day guide to Yangon.
Start the day with breakfast at Rangoon Teahouse
We were fortunate enough to have friends living there and they picked us up to stay at their cozy apartment in the heart of Yangon. We had breakfast in an upscale cafe called Ragoon Teahouse – which we promise you has the best dessert we ever had besides Gordon Ramsey’s in Las Vegas.
Visit the iconic Shwedagon Pagoda
The Shwedagon Pagoda is the most important religious site in Myanmar, which rivals Angkor Wat for a spot on the most amazing thing to see in Asia. Opening hours are from 6:30 AM to 10 PM. Usually there is a 8$US dollar entrance fee for the Shwedagon Pagoda, but we arrived on a full moon so it was free of charge. Tours guides are negotiable and are recommended if you want to spend some real time learning about the rich history. Like most pagodas and temples in Myanmar – shoes off, long pants and cover up shoulder are essential!
Find a rooftop spot to look over Kandawgyi Lake
Kandawgyi Lake is a beautiful area not far from the pagoda which is also home to the famous Kandawgyi Lake hotel. A great place to people watch.
Don’t go to Aung San Suu Kyi’s House
We would like to emphasize to you to NOT go visit Aung San Suu Kyi’s House even though it is considered as a huge tourist attraction. All you will see in a big gate in front of our house and, of course, no visits. For those unaware, she was the political leader in house arrest for 21 years. You can find her in the news… a lot!
If you fancy giant buddhas and temples, make sure to get to the Chauk-Htat-Gyi Buddha Temple, Nga-Htat-Gyi Temple and Botataung Pagoda. Although, that can be quite overwhelming to do in one day.
Immerse like a local
You could do the real local way, or the expat local way! Since we were hosted by friends, they gave us a taste of being an expat by brining us to great addresses. So after a long day exploring, Hummingbird was a great place for yummy cocktails. We then ventured to Union Bar for world class scotch egg and ended the night at Gekko Restaurant for some Japanese/Korean to fill the belly.
The night didn’t drag too long as we had an early start in the morning, but all those places are recommended and local approved! You will need to remember, Myanmar can still be expensive for some luxury items such as good foods, so be prepared to pay a little more if you want these luxuries.
Yangon in a nutshell
Everything you want to see is in relatively close proximity to each other and does not take long to see. Plan carefully as you never know when traffic might occur. However, after spending a day there, having 2 days would enable you to enjoy the area and really get a feel for how to locals spend their time. Staying longer could also give you the opportunity to see Inya Lake, the largest lake in Yangon, but most importantly, maybe book a bike tour? Note that these tours are not for novice as you go through quite fun tracks!