Yangon & its environs

Yangon formally known as Rangoon and it was founded by King Alaung-Paya, who was the founder of the Third Myanmar Dynasty, having subdued all the Mon towns and bringing them under his control. And he made Dagon the residence of the Myanmar Kings and changed its name to Yangon, which literally means "End of strife", in 1755. Nowadays, Yangon is the commercial capital of Myanmar. Being Home for about five million people, Yangon has a unique charm with its glistening Pagodas, Many Colonial-era houses and government buildings, which were built between the mid 19th century and the outbreak of World War II in 1940, are visible in this city, tree-lined streets, bustling local markets and tranquil lakes.

Shwe Dagon Pagoda is magnificent at the top Singuttara Hill, considered by many as the greatest and most impressive Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar today. Originally 8.2 meters tall, now it stands close to 100 meters in all its glory through successive renovations by Myanmar monarchs. The Pagoda, more than 2500 years old, enshrines strands of Buddha’s hair and other holy relics. Colorfully dressed worshippers offering flowers, food, candles and water can be constantly seen circling the shrine daily. A sunset visit promises a spectacular sight, when the gold spire gleams and glitters in the light of the setting sun.

Botataung Pagoda situated nearby Yangon River. Bo means “leader” and tataung is “1.000” – the Botataung Pagoda was named after the 1.000 military soldiers who escorted relics of the Buddha brought from India over 2.000 years ago. This ancient monument was completely destroyed during World War II and is one of the few pagodas in Myanmar which allows visitors to walk inside, instead of just around.

Sule Pagoda, which is the heart of city centre & situated in the very centre of downtown Yangon, the tall zedi of Sule Pagoda makes an excellent landmark, in fact, it is used as a milestone from which all addresses to the north are measured. It is over 2.000 years old, but like many other ancient Burmese shrines, it has been rebuilt and repaired many times over the centuries. It is said that the central stupa enshrines a hair of Buddha. Its Mon name, Kyaik Athok, translates as “the stupa where a Scared Hair Relic is enshrined”.

Chauk Htat Kyi Pagoda, this Reclining Buddha is almost as large as the enormous figure than Bago. It is located in a large metal-roofed pavilion on Shwegondine Road, only a short distance east beyond the Shewdagon Pagoda. The statue was rebuilt in 1957 and completed in 1966.

Bogyoke Market, the largest and liveliest of Yangon’s market is worth a wander with its wide and diverse range of goods from groceries to handicrafts, and antiques to the latest wear. It is a haven for souvenir hunters - one can find here the most exotic gifts or keepsakes and mementos for a lifetime.

Twante

It's an interesting day trip from Yangon to Twante. Twante is a township located in the southwest of Yangon Region and one can reach by hire jeep from Dalah jetty or by taking a ferry along the Twante canal. The peaceful town is now a famous tourist attraction of Shwe Sandaw Pagoda, Ohh Bo pottery village and cotton weaving, and for an old Mon paya complex.


 

Thanlyin

Thanlyin was formerly known as Syriam. Myanmar usually pronounce as "Tanyin". It is a city in Yangon Division in Myanmar. It is located on the bank of Yangon River and you can make short excursion from Yangon.

Thanlyin was the base of the Portuguese adventurer, Philip De Brito. Officially a trade representative from Rakhine, he established himself as a local warlord from his base at Thanlyin, and hired his forces on occasion to the Mon in their battles against the Bamar. However, in 1599 he unleased his army against Bago, which he sacked. Captured by the Burmese in 1613, he was executed by impalement, a punishment reserved for defilers of Buddhist temples. Thanlyin continued to be a major port until it was destroyed by King Alaungpaya in 1756 during the Mon revolt. Now, the tourist attraction of the town is Kyaik Khauk Pagoda rising on the hillock & Yele Pagoda in mid-stream on a late rite reef.

Bago, Golden Rock, Mawlamyine

Bago

An ancient city of the 15th century Mon Kingdom, Bago (Pegu) is one of the richest archaeological sites in Myanmar. It is situated 80 km from Yangon and is two hours drive through the countryside - a convenient day excursion.

Shwemawdaw Pagoda with the height of 114 meters dominates the town and it was originally built by Mon. Its’ architectural interest lies in its octagonal base and elaborate projections in the lower portion. The Pagoda was several damaged by earthquake in 1912, 1917 and completely destroyed by another earthquake in 1930. It was finally rebuilt between 1952 – 1954 in a slightly different style to the origin. At the northeastern corner of the Stupa a huge section of the Hti toppled by the 1917 earthquake has been mounted into the structure of the Stupa.

Shwetharlyaung Reclining Buddha Image (52 meters long & 16 m high) is considered to be one of the most lifelike of all reclining Buddhas. It was originally built in 994 AD by the king Migadepa to commemorate the changes of the religious from animist to Buddhism. The statue lay undisturbed for 125 years before being rediscovered in 1881 when the British were constructing the Yangon-Bago railway. It was restored to its former glory in 1906 .

The four sitting Buddhas placed back to back around a huge, square pillar at Kyaikpun pagoda is impressive for your visit. It is a giant, 30 m high and originally built in 1476 and one of the Buddha's statue collapse by earthquake in 1930 and renovated after many years.

Kyaikkhawaing Monastery with over 1000 monks is highlights of Bago and the best place to realize the ways of the Buddhist monks and their daily life.

Kyaikhtiyo (The Golden Rock)

A 160-kilometre drive from Yangon, and an invigorating 12-kilometre trek uphill along a meandering trail from the base camp at Kin-pun ... an overwhelming sight will meet your eye - a golden boulder, shaped like a hermit’s head and capped with a 6-metre high gilded pagoda perched precariously on the edge of a precipice, 1121 meters above sea level - the holy rock of Kyaiktiyo, Myanmar’s most popular pilgrimage centre. Legend has it that the Buddha’s sacred hair is enshrined in this rock.
 

Hpa-an

It is the capital of Kayin State with monumental hills, wonderful caves and lakes and it is located 270 km east of Yangon , 1 hour drive from the base of Kyaikhtiyo. Visit to the unusual shape of Zwekabin Hill & brilliant landscape, magnificent caves such as Bayin nyi, Saddan and the Kawtgoon (natural lime stone) which measures 200 feet height and 300 feet length are highlight of the town that give you the unforgettable experience.


 

Mawlamyine

The picturesque old colonial town once an important teak port. The main attractions are Kyaiktalan pagoda which affords lovely views over the city and harbor, the Mahamuni & Uzina Pagodas, Kyaikmaraw Pagoda, a half drive out of town along palm-lined roads and rubber plantation is a pleasant shrine to visit.

Further down the coast you can visit Setse Beach; Kyaikhami (Amherst) - a seaside resort with its Yele Pagoda perched over the sea; and Thanbyuzayat where the cemetery for World War II’s allied prisoners of war who died while building the infamous ‘Death Railway’.