Yangon was our first stop on our unforgettable 3 week trip to Myanmar. Watching Yangon come to life in the morning was absolutely captivating.
It wasn’t just a big city; it was a cultural explosion, there are plenty of fascinating places to visit. This city was hot, noisy and busy with plenty of unfamiliar smells. But it completely amazed us!
Meaningful travel for us is getting out of your comfort zone and stepping into a strange and sometimes uncomfortable place to learn something new, and in turn, we learn something about ourselves. This city definitely offers that!
Food plays a big role in the street life. There is an active community in the morning with coffee and food stalls everywhere on the streets. Definitely, visit the 19th street area. It lights up at night into THE eating and drinking gathering place. We had such great conversations with travelers and locals here, cold beer and good food as we discussed our discoveries and the enormous change happening in this country now.
A must-see is the Shwedagon Pagoda. It is the most spiritual place in Yangon. Locals and monks from all over Myanmar come to this temple to worship their Buddha and sometimes play tourist too. If you travel here on your own, get a guide to teach you the meaning and significance of this vast site.
When the light turns to dusk, it casts a magical scene. The pagoda is in all its glory of glistening gold, for so many cameras to capture this enormous place.
Our favorite day in Yangon was riding the Circle Line train around the city — All we did was watch and listen. We wandered through markets at a train stop, and sometimes the market even spilled onto the train tracks.
Myanmar tested us. To listen, observe and not pose judgment.We looked past the big, noisy metropolis and found such a warm, inviting culture.
We even came back for another few days to explore some more.
We stayed at the Hotel Grand United Chinatown– Interestingly there are two of them, our stay was at the link attached. Great breakfast, good location near the markets and night market, and comfortable very air-conditioned rooms.
Yangon Chinatown, 19th Street Chinatown Yangon, Shwedagon Pagoda, Sule Pagoda, Free Yangon Walking Tours and The Yangon Circle Train
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Troy is an ex-TV editor and producer originally from Canada. He quit his 20+ year career to pursue a life of long-term, slow and transformative travel. Now with his wife Dorene, he helps people who want to redefine their midlife by making conscious changes at TravelLifeExperiences. He also works with travel and hospitality brands to create and share their video stories at TravelLifeMedia.com