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Myanmar Chronicles - Yangon

Updated: Jan 19

Although it was superseded by Naypyitaw as the official capital in 2005, Yangon remains Myanmar’s largest and most populous city, as well as its diplomatic, economic, and cultural hub.

The city has retained a great deal of its colonial charm. Following the Third AngIo-Burmese War of 1885, the colonial capital on the banks of the Yangon River witnessed a dramatic building boom. Today, this group of Iate 19th and earIy 20th century buildings in downtown Yangon is the largest of its kind in the world, a miraculous vestige of the era when old Rangoon was one of Asia’s most affluent, cosmopolitan cities.

On the other hand, the chimeric Shwedagon Pagoda is Myanmar’s most sacred Buddhist shrine. At 99 m, the stupa dominates Yangon’s skyline, and looms even larger in the consciousness of the country’s Buddhists. Successive rulers enlarged and embellished the complex, adding countless shrines, halls, and lesser stupas.

Visiting the Sule Pagoda with a guide, we learned the importance of our birth days, animals representing that day, and how to pay our prayers at the corresponding planetary posts around the stupa.

Our personal guide Arkar took us to a four hour walk around the old town telling us the history and stories behind the colonial buildings.

As advised we chose to visit the Shwedagon Pagoda during the sunset, for the most spectacular look.

Indeed our hotel Esperado Lake View Hotel, next to Kandawgyi Lake provided us the best view of Shwedagon Pagoda at all times during our stay.

The National Museum, despite its poor lighting and labeling provided us an insight to the culture of Myanmar.

We topped our visit in Yangon trying the famous street barbecue on the 19th Street.