Yangon – Myanmar (Burma)
Take an exciting journey to the largest city in Burma and discover a religiously significant city steeped in history and culture. Yangon is one of the key pilgrimage destinations of the ancient Buddhist religion, particularly as it is the home of the stunning Shwedagon Pagoda. The immense Buddhist shrine is visible from almost anywhere in the city thanks to its lofty position. Its incredible roof is coated in 27 metric tons of gold leaf, as well as thousands of diamonds and gems. Kyaikto, or Golden Rock, is another hugely important Buddhist monument and pilgrimage site. A pretty pagoda is perched atop a giant granite boulder which hangs perilously over a cliff edge, which is coated in golden leaves pasted on by devotees. Yangon reflects the story of Burma, or Myanmar, with half the city a modern metropolis and the other half a mixture of slums and shanty housing. A trip on the Yangon Circular Train is an excellent way to see both sides of the city, as you speed through the centre alongside the busy locals.
Where is it?
The city lies in the south of Burma, close to the opening where the Yangon River meets the Andaman Sea. Burma itself borders Thailand, China and Bangladesh.
What is it?
Yangon was the capital before the military government designated Naypyidaw as the new administrative capital city of Burma. The city remains the largest in the country.
Best time to visit?
Burma experiences a monsoonal climate, and as such the best time to visit Yangon is from November to January. The city is markedly less humid and cooler during these dry winter months.
Besides the more famous Shwedagon Pagodo, the Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda nearby houses one of the largest and most impressive Buddha statues in the world. The adorned statue is 65 metres long with a stunning golden exterior, along with a crown encrusted with diamonds and other precious stones.