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Lovers of culture will delight in Yangon’s glimmering pagodas, towering religious monuments, bustling marketplaces and tranquil lakes.

Embarking on our 9-day Highlights of Myanmar tour, you’ll immerse yourself in its fascinating past with a visit to the gilded Burmese stupas (dome-like structures primarily used for meditation) of the ancient Sule Pagoda. Constructed around 2600 years ago, the Sule Pagoda is home to sacred Buddhist relics, including eight strands of the Buddha’s hair. Wander the cobbled streets of the traditional Bogyoke Aung San Market as you shop for handmade souvenirs and jewellery, precious stones and ceramics, before sampling delicious mohinga, (noodles in a spicy fish soup) and deep-fried samosas.

Discover Myanmar’s iconic reclining Buddha at the Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple and admire the intricate historic paintings adorning its walls. Journey to the picturesque Karaweik royal floating barge, walking across the age-old teakwood bridge and enjoying a breath-taking sunset. Gaze over the panoramic vistas of Kandawgyi Lake nestled in the manicured, surrounding park. Your Yangon adventure comes to a close as you contemplate the glimmering Shwedagon Pagoda. Its soaring stupa is covered in over 60 tonnes of pure gold. At the top of its 98-metre spire rests a 76-carat diamond; a sparkling reminder of the wealth of culture that awaits you in in Myanmar. From here you’ll venture to the 11th century pagodas of Bagan and lively markets of Mandalay, before gliding across Lake Inle and observing the unique fishing technique of its local leg rowers.

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Nick, Senior Destination Manager

“For a light, refreshing snack, try a tea-leaf salad. Bitter leaves are combined with diced tomatoes, nuts and peas for a varied texture. It’s delicious and available almost everywhere across Myanmar.”

Nick
Senior Destination Manager
a man wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera

“There are several traditional Burmese shows you can watch on your visit; I highly recommend the Karaweik Royal Culture show, which features Burmese dance, colourful puppetry and comedy.”

Clive
Content Editor
Christie, Destination Executive

“A visit to Kandawgyi Lake offers excellent photo opportunities – the shimmering golds of the Karaweik floating barge and the reflection of the dazzling Shewedagon Pagoda off the tranquil waters is divine. Visit at sunset to witness the barge illuminate in an array of vibrant colours, making for an equally picturesque shot.”

Christie
Destination Executive

Frequently Asked Questions

What currency should I use in Myanmar?

The official currency of Myanmar is the kyat, though the US dollar is widely accepted across the country. Change will be given in kyats, and it’s worth noting that usually only smaller denominations of the US dollar are accepted. Additionally, you may find some vendors only accept ‘perfect’ unfolded dollars. Cash machines are readily available across Myanmar, and most prevalent in city centres such as Yangon. Please keep in mind that cash machines may have a maximum withdrawal of 300,000 kyat, which equates to around $22. There may be international usage fees from your bank. We recommend you convert your cash before departure, and always have cash handy when visiting markets, and that you enquire with each vendor what they prefer to be paid in.

What should I wear to visit Buddhist temples and shrines in Yangon?

When visiting sacred Buddhist temples, you will be required to remove all footwear and cover your legs and shoulders. Please respect these rules, or you may be refused entry. There may be vendors outside some sites offering sarongs to cover your shoulders, but this is not guaranteed, and prices will be considerably inflated.

What language is spoken in Myanmar?

Formerly known as Burma, Myanmar’s official language is Burmese, though it is also referred to as the ‘Myanmar language’ in light of the country’s change of title. We recommend you bring a Myanmar (Burmese) phrasebook with you to ease communication with the locals.

Yangon’s temples and soaring gilded monuments provide a picturesque backdrop for keen photographers and historians alike. Experience Yangon as part of a multi-cultural adventure across Myanmar, exploring sacred sites dating back thousands of years, and engaging with the locals at vibrant bazaars.

Why you'll love Yangon...

• Taking a moment to reflect as you look across the magical Kandawgyi Lake and park from its teakwood bridge
• Haggling with locals as you shop for souvenirs at Bogyoke Aung San Market
• Observing the 100 Marks of the reclining Buddha at Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple
• Staring at the magnificence of the golden Shewadagon Pagoda
• Marvelling at sacred relics at the 2600-year-old Sule Pagoda
• Being hypnotised by a traditional Burmese dance performance at the Karaweik Hall floating barge
• Enjoying sweeping vistas of Yangon atop Singuttara Hill
• Sampling savoury street food such as deep-fried fritters and Shan-style rice (cooked with turmeric, fresh fish and garlic)

Did you know?

• The Shewadagon Pagoda in Yangon is considered Myanmar’s most sacred, housing four of the most holy Buddhist relics – the staff of Kakusandha, a piece of Kassapa’s robe, the water filter of Konagamana and the hair of Gautama.
• Many locals will adorn their faces with thanakha powder, collected from the bark of thanakha trees. This powder is known for its cleansing and beautifying qualities, and is a valid alternative for sunblock.
• The national sport of Myanmar is chinlone. A non-competitive hybrid of sport, dance and Burmese martial arts, players attempt to keep a ball of handwoven rattan (palm branches) in the air. This was primarily a form of traditional entertainment for royalty, and is often likened to the American game of ‘hacky-sack’.

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