We took the 13 hour overnight bus ($20) from Inle Lake and despite the comfortable seats, free meal and full time bus attendant, it was a horrible ride. The mountainous nature of the journey ensured that the first 5 hours were all twists and turns rendering it useless to attempt sleep. However, the bus did get us to Yangon in one piece, so for that I am grateful. We arrived at 6am to the very busy Aung Minglar bus station – 10 mins from airport, 30 minutes from downtown.
From blogs that we have read and from other travellers, we were told that we would only need one full day in Yangon to see everything. If you are on a tight schedule, this would be true.
We were fortunate enough to have friends living there and they picked us up from the bus station to their cozy apartment in the heart of Yangon.
We had brekkie in an upscale cafe called Ragoon Teahouse – which I promise you has the best dessert I have ever had. Trust me when I say this.
The major tourist points of note in Yangon are : Shwedagon Pagoda (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 0630 – 2200. Usually there is a $8 dollar entrance fee 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.
Inya lake is a beautiful area not far from the pagoda which is also home to the famous Inya Lake hotel. A great place to people watch.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s House is still a huge tourist attraction. For those unaware, she was the political leader in house arrest for 21 years.
After a long day exploring, we hit Hummingbird for yummy cocktails, 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. 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 sometimes.
Everything you want to see is in relatively close proximity to each other and does not take long to see.
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.
By the way, this is the view from Tessa & Charles place. Incredible to see the Pagoda all lit up! We decided not to go visit at night since there was the crowd madness because of the Full Moon.
// Voici la vue que nous avons du balcon de nos amis! On y voit le lac et tout, mais voici le gros zoom sur la pagode! C’est tellement beau et majestueux! Pouvez vous y croire au fait qu’il y a présentement aucun building plus haut que la Pagode? La loi vient de changer et les projets de constructions arrivent à grands pas!