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With its tropical trees and beautiful lakes, pavement tea-shops and magnificent heritage buildings, Yangon is alive with spirit. You can enjoy an intriguing mix of Burmese culture and multinational communities. Yangon is the modern name for Rangoon and this vibrant and fast-changing metropolis is where Myanmar’s past and future collide.

Yangon has long been the heart of the country. Alaungapaya, the founder of the last line of Burmese kings, made Yangon his capital in 1753 and it remained Myanmar’s capital until 2005 Yangon remains the country’s largest city and the primary commercial hub, but the Myanmar capital has since moved to the purpose-built city of Napyidaw.

Fusion of east and west on Yangon holidays

Yangon has a rich cultural history drawing on Burmese, British, Chinese and Indian influence. You can find the legacy of the former British colonial rule within Yangon’s extensive collection of colonial period architecture. Yangon has the highest number of colonial buildings in Southeast Asia, much of which have faded to romantic dilapidation where gentle pastel colours are now draped with creeping vines. Some of these spectacular buildings have since been restored to their former glory, such as the renowned Strand Hotel Yangon, which is situated on the riverfront. Yangon is also renowned for its many parks and lakes and a relatively low-rise skyline, which earned Yangon the nickname 'Garden City of the East'.

Hovering over the Yangon at the top of Singuttara Hill lies the glorious, golden Shwedagon Pagoda, which is visible from many viewpoints. We highly recommend you put this first on your list of things to do in Yangon. Arrive a few hours before sunset so you have plenty of time to tour the many shrines before you watch the sun bathe this gorgeous temple in many hues of rose-gold light. Find a quiet corner and observe local worshippers performing their traditional rituals and ceremonies at this important Buddhist temple.

Once you have experienced Yangon, with its exciting fusion of east and west, set off to explore the temple-strewn plain of Bagan and the splendidly-serene Inle Lake.

Destination Highlights

  • Visit the Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda to see the huge reclining Buddha image with its beautiful eyes.
  • Shwedagon Pagoda is the glory of Yangon and the heart of Burmese Buddhism - the entire pagoda is gilded with pure gold.
  • Spend time in Dala, a small town across the river from Yangon to see local rural life and experience a contrast with the busy city streets.
  • Go on a walking tour around the colonial buildings and religious sites of Yangon to get an insight into the history and culture of the city.

Great sample itineraries

We have an array of popular itineraries that feature Yangon which we hope will help you plan your Myanmar travel. Call our Destination Specialists today and let us craft a tailor made holiday in Myanmar that is perfect just for you.

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Myanmar Luxury Private Tour

  • 9 Days
  • Guide Price £2,799 PP
Discover Buddhist monks, bright golden pagodas and plains scattered with magnificent temples on our Highlights of Myanmar tour. This classic...
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Escorted tours holidays
mg cthu

Classic Myanmar

  • 6 Days
Peaceful pagodas with shiny pointed stupas, temples in beautiful teak and awe-inspiring sunsets – discover these delights and more on...
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Iconic journeys

Tour Mandalay Yangon

  • 6 Days
Available as either a small group or private tour, this journey gives you the ideal introduction to this fascinating country....
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Iconic journeys
Ngapali Beach

Myanmar Tour From Yangon

  • 12 Days
Our 12 day Highlights of Myanmar Tour with Ngapali Beach Stay provides an opportunity to see the best of Myanmar...
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Iconic journeys

Our favorite hotels

Yangon is a sprawling city. Find your haven and stay in the right location with our carefully-picked selection of hotels, below.


Belmond Governor's Residence

A stylish boutique hotel centrally located in Yangon’s Embassy Quarter, the Belmond Governor’s Residence is a true landmark with a unique colonial...
H&J Rating
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Explore Yangon

Time Zone


Flight Time

Direct flights are available via Bangkok and Dubai.


MMK - Myanmar Kyat

Visa Information

British citizens will need to obtain a visa for travel to Myanmar.


English is widely spoken

Health Info

No special vaccines are required or recommended for travel to Myanmar.

Barbara, Destination Specialist

“Take the Circle Line train ride around Yangon. This is a three-hour circuit but you don’t have to do the whole thing. Opened in 1961, the train carries an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people a day around the city. This is a popular route for local people to go about their daily routine, and is a great way to naturally participate in the local life.”

Destination Specialist
Isla, Destination Executive

“Explore Yangon’s multicultural hotspots. Head to Chinatown for barbecued meat at the 19th Street Night Market, and go to the Indian Quarter on Anawratha Road for a delicious and authentic thali.”

Destination Executive

Events & Festivals

Yangon boasts a couple of events and traditional festivals that are held throughout the year and can be enjoyed by everyone.


Thadingyut is Myanmar’s festival of lights and marks the end of the Buddhist lenten season. Local people welcome back the Buddha from heaven by festooning the streets, houses and public buildings of Yangon with coloured lights and candles. Thadingyut is celebrated with traditional musical plays and films, as well as many steaming food stalls.

Where to eat in Yangon

The House of Memories is a restaurant and museum in an old villa in Yangon. During World War II it was the headquarters of the Burma Independence Army and an upstairs office was used by Bogyoke (General) Aung San, the hero of Burma’s fight for independence.

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