Yangon & Vicinity

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Yangon is the known as “Garden City of Asia” and is the main gateway to Myanmar. In 1755, King Alaungpaya founded the city on the site of a small settlement called Dagon. The name of Yangon means “End of Strife”. Yangon is filled with lush trees, shady parks, beautiful lakes, colourful markets and colonial heritage style buildings. The city centre always bustles with street vendors, trishaw and passenger buses, and a diversity of shops. The magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda; one of the wonders of the world, City Centre Sule Pagoda, Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda; the reclining Buddha Image, Colourful China Town, Botahtaung Pagoda, Kabaaye Pagoda, Naga Glass Factory and Bogyoke Scott Market are hightlights to visit in Yangon. Among them, the holiest place of Shwedagon Pagoda is famous not only for being one of our land treasures but also as a place to meet devoted Buddhists at meditation and pray. A visit to Yangon is not complete without a visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda.


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Shwedagon Pagoda

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The world famous Shwedagon Pagoda is the prominent landmark of Yangon which is almost 100 meters towering above the green city-scape of Yangon. It can be seen from miles around and believed to have been built 2500 years ago. According to legend, two brothers enshrined eight strands of hair from the Lord Buddha with relics from the previous Buddha. The chamber was sealed with a gold slab and built over with a golden pagoda. This pagoda was in turn built over with a silver pagoda, then a tin, a copper, a lead, a marble and then an iron brick pagoda. *Your visit to Yangon will be incomplete without visiting Shwedagon Pagoda.


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Sule Pagoda

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The Sule Pagoda is an excellent landmark. It is said to be over 2.000 years old. The pagoda is said to enshrine a hair of the Buddha: its Mon name. Kyaik Athok translates as "the pagoda where a Sacred Hair Relic is enshrined". The golden pagoda is unusual in that its octagonal shape continues right up to the bell and inverted bowl. It is surrounded by small shops and all the familiar non-religious services such as of astrologists. palmists. and so on. In the downtown area Sule Pagoda is a monument which most foreign visitors pass by unnoticed. But it is the only central piece of the capital. like the Arc de Triumph in Paris It is the Sule Pagoda. Its legend says that Sule Pagoda marks the site where King Ukkalapa held meetings to build Shwedagon. "Su-Wei" is a Myanmar word meaning "meeting". In course of time 'Su-Wei' corrupted to 'Su-Le' Successive town planners. King Thayawaddy. Montgomery. Fraser and others. all decided to keep Sule Pagoda as the centre piece of Yangon because of its strategic location. religious significance and artistic beauty. It can be reached through four entrances of the four stairways facing four cardinal directions or by two overhead bridges.


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Chaukhtatkyi Pagoda

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The pagoda enshrines a large reclining Buddha image (70 meters long), which was originally built in 1907 but it was suffered damage due to the climate for years. It was demolished in 1957 and rebuilt to this structure in 1966.


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Botahtaung Pagoda

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The Botahtaung Pagoda is located on the Botahtaung Paya Road. which was named after the Pagoda. It is situated way downtown beside the Yangon River. The Pagoda overlooked the pleasant water front of the river. The Botataung Pagoda was named after the thousand military leaders who escorted relics of the Buddha brought from India over two thousand years ago. The meaning of Bo is "leader" and tahtaung is "a thousand". It was built almost in the same time as Sule Pagoda and Shwedagon Pagoda over. 2500 years ago. The name of the pagoda was originally Kyaik-de-att. which was a Mon name. or Sandaw Shin as it is enshrined with the sacred hair of the Lord Buddha.


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Bogyoke Aung San Market

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Formerly named Scott Market, it is the main shopping centre of the city. Open daily from 09:00 a.m. to 17:00 p.m. except public HoliDay. Myanmar arts and crafts, mostly pure hand-made, are best souvenirs and prices are very reasonable. Lacquer ware, wood and ivory carvings, tapestries, silverware, brassware, silk and cotton fabrics and shoulder bags are some of the favorite items. For jewelleries, there are Myanmar rubies, sapphires, jade and pearls available at Myanmar Gems Shops.


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Other interesting places of Yangon

Blind School
Gem Museum and Gem Market
Hlawga Wildlife Park
Kabaraye Pagoda (World Peace Pagoda)
Kandawgyi National Park
Karaweik Palace
Meditation Centers
Nagar Glass Factory
National Museum
People's Square & People's Park
Yangon Zoo


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Bago & Vicinity

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Bago, an ancient capital of the Mon Kingdom in the 15th century is located north of Yangon (80 km). You can make a one day return trip from Yangon and most of the Kyaikhtiyo two day trips include Bago sightseeing. Apparently the Mons were the first to the settle at this site. The ancient capital of “Hanthawadi” is said to have been founded in 573 AD by two Mon princes from the capital Thaton. In 13th century Bago became the centre of the Mon Kingdom of “Ramanadesa” which consisted of all of lower Myanmar. The world’s most beautiful reclining Shwe Tha Lyaung Buddha Image, Shwe Maw Daw Pagoda, Kyakhet Wyne Moastery, Klyani Sima (Ordination Hall), the four giant Buddha Images of Kyaikpun Pagoda and Kanbawzathadi, the palace of famous King Bayinnaung are all tour sightseeing highlights in Bago.


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Golden Rock ( Kyaikhtiyo)

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Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda is well known as Golden Rock. Kyaikhtiyo is the most popular pilgrimage destination in Myanmar and located in Kyaikhto, a small town in Mon state (about 160 km drive from Yangon). A huge boulder on which a gilded stupa was built is incredibly balanced on a high cliff in a deep forest. For many years, the only way of travel was to climb on foot along the steep slopes to the summit, where the Golden Rock is 1100m above sea-level. NowaDay, there is a steep winding road for four-wheel drive cars from the base to the nearest point of the pagodas. All visitors can easily reach the cliff by car and elderly people and disabled people can hire local porter men to carry them up the hill by basket cradle. According to legend, the Buddha’s hair is enshrined in this pagoda.


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Mawlamyine

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Mawlamyine (Moulmein) is the capital city of Mon State and lies at the mouth of Thanlwin River. It is also the third largest city in the country after Yangon and Mandalay. It is situated 300 km south-east of Yangon and is easily accessible by road or train from Yangon. Places of sightseeing are the Kyaikthalan Pagoda, built in 875 AD, Uzina Pagoda, Shwesandaw Pagoda, Kyaikkhami mid-water pagoda and Setse Beach. If time permits or you get a chance, you should visit Thanbyuzayat Town (about 34 km), famous for the Allied War Memorial Cemetery where the allied prisoners who died while building the famous “Death Railway” are buried.


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Thanlyin

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Thanlyin is located on the other side of Yangon River and situated about 30 mintues from Yangon. It was an important trading centre in the 17th Century under the Portuguese. Kyaikkhauk Pagoda and Yele Phaya, Old Ancient Portuguese Church are some of the places of interest. There is also the National Races Village across the river.



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