Yangon is a bustling city of 5 million people and until the 18th century was still an insignificant fishing village, its famous landmark, the Shwedagon Pagoda has stood there for more than 2500 years, mesmerizing visitors and residents alike
No visit to the Union of Myanmar is complete without a visit to the 2,500 years old Shwedagon Pagoda,which enshrines strands of Buddhas 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.
Bogyoke Aung San market is a must for visitors and in a very central location. In the hearth of the city is the Sule Pagoda, the nucleus from where downtown Yangon was laid out in its Victorian grid pattern by the British about 150 years ago.
Myanmar’s history, culture, literature and national races are displayed at National Museum . On the ground floor exhibits the development of the Myanmar alphabet and script, as well as those of other nation races.The royal regalia of Myanmar kings, exquisite murals from past dynasties and fossils dating back millions of years are among the exhibits.The second floor features exhibits explaining Myanmar culture, music, songs and dances and displays, including those of Myanmar traditional musical instruments and marionettes.Traditional Myanmar paintings and modern contemporary art as well as ancient personalornaments and jewelry are exhibited on the third floor.The fourth floor features exhibits of Buddha images from different eras and displays of the culture of the country’s national races, including their traditional dress.
Myaing Hay Wun Elephant Camp(Yangon Division)
This elephant camp offers more than elephant rides and the sight of elephant being captured and domesticated. Visitors also have the option of observing a variety of wildlife, including deer, wild cats, bears, peafowl and lizards. The park is about 72 miles (116km) northwest of Yangon.
Half an hour's drive across the river will arrive Thanlyin, once the oil refinery of BOC. In the 16th Century, Portuguese mercenary Filipe de Brito y Nicote occupied the town and destroyed many pagodas and monasteries. Furthermore, melted the brass bells from the pagodas to cast cannons.An old Portuguese Church , tombs of King Natshin Naung, de Brito and Minister Padaytha Yazar can be seen there.Another half an hour's drive will reach Kyauk Tan with a pagoda in the middle of the river,accessible by boats. On the way, a place of interest is the Nats (Spirits) and Natsin Taya (A Hundred Nat Shrines) and several monasteries lining the road. A chance to see the country side life though not far from the Capital.
By local ferry across the river to the other side of Yangon River and an hour's drive on a bumpidy bumpy road along the Twante Canal will arrive Twante.
After visiting to Shwesandaw Pagoda can take a trishaw to the pottery production places to see locals busy moulding pots and filling the old fashioned kilns. Numerous ancient kilns were discovered in that region thus honored by the name "City of Pots" in the 7th century stone inscriptions.
2 hours drive from Yangon will reach Bago, once a Capital of the 16th Century Myanmar Kingdom,the 2nd Myanmar Empire. 180 feet long Reclining Buddha Statue found in the jungle is the main attraction in Bago. Hintha Gon, a hill is also a place for the spirit worshipping at weekends. King Bayintnaung's Palace was destroyed long before and was reconstructed a replica in accordance to the detailed descriptions found from the old palm leaf manuscripts. The original foundation was excavated more than a decade ago.
Just beyond Bago, Moeyungyi is a sanctuary for birds and waterfowls of more than 50 species.Migratory birds are also seen there and boats are also available to roam about the wetland habitat of approximately 40 sq.miles.
Pho Kyar Elephant Camp(Bago Division)
Pho Kyar Elephant Camp has demonstrations showing how these animals are captured and domesticated. Visitors can enjoy a ride on elephants. The camp was established as a base camp for timber extraction in the area and it is possible for visitors to seek working elephants in action.
Pyay, formerly known as Prome 179 miles north of Yangon by car. To and from Yangon, first railway line was built to Pyay in 1877. Pyay lies on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwady River with a fantastic view overlooking the river and the cliffs. Shwe –Hsan- Daw (Hair relic enshrined)Pagoda and the enormous Se-Htat-Gyi (Ten Storied) Pagoda are the places to be seen there.Srikshetra, the ancient Pyu capital about five miles to the east, is an interesting place for its historical importance and archaeological finding indicating it's hey-days during the 6th to 9th centuries