What is an expat who lives in Yangon

Yangon: Tips for your trip

Here you will find everything you need to know for your trip to Yangon. This includes tips on travel and accommodation, sights and nightlife, shopping and getting around.

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Table of Contents

The capital of Myanmar is Naypyidaw. Never heard? Just. Yangon is by far the largest and in many respects most important city of the former Burma, while Naypidaw is mainly the administrative seat of the government.

Accommodation tip for your stay in Yangon:
Chic rooms with a good price-performance ratio await you at Hotel Shwe Yee. The pool on the roof terrace with a view of the pagoda is particularly beautiful (View hotel at:Booking.com / Agoda). Further hotel tips in different price ranges as well as recommendations for tours can be found below in the article

Yangon: Tips for your trip

The megacity of Yangon is the spiritual and cultural center of Myanmar and, although tourism is already fully established here, it is still a very authentic and largely original city. Here you can find out what you can experience in the city and why it is one of the most beautiful destinations in Myanmar. Many additional tips are linked.

Worth knowing in advance

Yangon was once just a fishing village and was actually called Dagon. When King Alaunpaya conquered all the Mon cities in the 18th century, he named the village the capital of the Burmese Empire and, full of optimism, renamed it Yangon - roughly synonymous with "end of the fight". Due to its location on the sea, Yangon developed into the most important place in the country.

When the British colonial rulers took over the scepter in Myanmar, Yangon became the name "Rangoon" (in German spelling "Rangoon"). That is why the airport's international abbreviation is still »RGN« today.

In 1989, 40 years after independence, Burma became Myanmar and Rangoon became Yangon again. Yangon held the status of the capital until 2005, when the seat of government was moved to Naypyidaw.

Today over five million people live in the city that is hungry for development and modernization. The existing infrastructure cannot keep up with the growing volume of traffic. There is strong construction everywhere and the increase in prosperity can be clearly seen, for example in the residents of Yangon, many of whom dress more modernly and often also have a penchant for unusual hairstyles.

If Myanmar is an emerging country, Yangon is definitely the epitome of an emerging city - somewhere between tradition and new beginnings, between decay and shine, between slum and penthouse. Yangon can be confusing, annoying and exhausting and cannot be compared to other Asian cities.

Anyone who brings patience, flexibility and a small portion of fatalism with them, and who can get involved in a city that is perhaps going through the greatest change in its history, will surely have a great time here.

Your individual Myanmar dream trip

Would you like to have your trip organized by professionals? Whether beach vacation, cultural sights, nature experiences or honeymoon: With Fascination Southeast Asia you can book your very own dream trip. It is organized and carried out by local experts who have been working in Myanmar for many years and who know the best destinations, accommodations and insider tips. The itinerary is designed on the basis of your wishes, expectations and ideas. Basically, (almost) anything is possible. Also a combination with other countries in the region.

Interest? Check out some sample routes here.

orientation

Yangon is located in the south of Myanmar not far from the coast. In the north of the city is the largest of the three international airports in the country, which often makes Yangon the starting and / or end point of most travelers.

Calculated very optimistically, it will take you around 20 minutes to get to the center by taxi from here. Once there, orientation is easier because the streets are laid out like a grid, which is also a legacy of colonial times. The north-south streets are numbered while the east-west streets have names of famous Burmese people.

Most of life takes place in the south of the city, in downtown, between the Strand Road on the riverside and the Shwedagon Pagoda. You can easily explore this area on foot. In any case, as a tourist, you only travel on foot or in a taxi. It can be helpful to have an overview of the different parts of the city or townships.

Districts in Yangon

Yangon has four Townships (Districts), which consist of 33 districts (townships): Northern, Western, Eastern and Southern District. In the north are the districts of Insein and Mingaladon with the international airport. Most of the new housing estates have been built here in recent years.

A little further south, in the Bahan district, are the more luxurious new buildings. This neighborhood is very popular with expats. In the east and west of the city there are further housing estates and industrial areas. For tourists, as already mentioned, the downtown area is the most interesting, there are many interesting markets and sights as well as most of the hotels.

What to do in Yangon

The metropolis in the south of the country offers numerous activities for every budget, in addition to markets, colonial buildings, bars and shopping malls, the most important religious building and landmark of the country is also located here. Excursions to the surrounding area are also easy to organize.

There is a lot to discover in Yangon! You can explore the many temples and sights of the city very well on your own or as part of a city tour. Or you go on a tour off the standard routes to get to know the everyday life of the people in the city better. You can then feast your way through the best local dishes on a food tour.

Sightseeing in Yangon

Here is a small selection:

Shwedagon Pagoda

There is one thing you should and should not avoid: a visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda. According to historians, it was built between the 6th and 10th centuries and is by far the most important shrine for Buddhists in Myanmar.

The attentive reader may notice the word part "-dagon". Right, that's the old name of Yangon. “Shwe” means “gold”, and the name part says it all: the 100 meter high stupa is completely gold-plated and can be seen from almost the whole city. Around 27 tons of gold and countless precious stones were built here in honor of the Buddha. The Shwedagon Pagoda is located on Singuttara Hill, four covered entrances lead up to it. Around the pagoda you can hardly get enough of the prayer pavilions, religious relics, floral decorations and of course all the gold and glitter. Due to its importance and fame, the Shwedagon Pagoda is both a pilgrimage site and a tourist hotspot, which is why there is always a rush here - especially in the evening when the entire complex is illuminated and the overall picture is very atmospheric together with the evening sky.

The facility is open every day from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m., the entrance fee for tourists is 8,000 kyat (approx. 5 euros). Of course, knees and shoulders must be covered and shoes must be taken off. In no case should you disturb people while they are praying or during ceremonies. Respectful behavior is always, but especially here, mandatory. Taking photos is not a problem, and there is also an ATM on the premises. You can find a travel report with lots of photos here.

Sule pagoda

In the middle of Yangon downtown, on a traffic island, is the 2500 year old Sule Pagoda. This is about half as high as the Shwedagon Pagoda and more of an "everyday pagoda". Keeping it simple and of not that extraordinary importance. What makes it extraordinary is its location and the contrast to the fast-paced and modern city around it, as well as the octagonal shape - each of the eight sides represents a day of the week, Wednesday got two sides. Admission is 4,000 kyat and the Sule Pagoda is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Here, too, you should pay attention to appropriate clothing and respectful behavior.

Chinatown

For the food alone, make a detour to Chinatown, as the Tayoke Tan district between 18th and 24th Streets is called. Chinese culture has a huge influence across the country, and as in other major cities, many Chinese shops and restaurants are located in a particular area. A Chinese temple should not be missing either. 19th Street is known throughout the city as the culinary mile, and there is street food as far as the eye can see. A pleasure for all the senses and highly recommended despite the hustle and bustle.

Kandawgiy Lake

East of the Shwedagon Pagoda is an idyllic place of rest and relaxation in the midst of the bustling city: the Kandawgyi Lake. Around the lake there is a large evergreen park as well as restaurants and a few small playgrounds for children. The lake was artificially created by the British colonial rulers.

Circular train

The Circular Train offers an inexpensive variant of the city tour. This state-run ring railway runs in a circle around the city at a snail's pace. A wonderful invention for locals and tourists that connects the suburbs of Yangon with the center. The train starts at Platform 7 of Yangon Central Railway Station, the main train station. A ride costs 1000 kyat (less than one euro). Here you will meet a cross-section of the population, and the many hawkers also take care of physical well-being.

National Museum of Myanmar

If you would like to learn more about the turbulent history of Myanmar, the National Museum is the right place for you. Ancient, cultural and religious relics, among other things, are exhibited on five floors. The museum is open most days from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and costs $ 5 to enter. Photography is prohibited here.

Do you want to see more?

Then you will find a detailed report on the most beautiful sights in Yangon here.

Top tours, excursions, and activities in Yangon

Yangon offers day trips to Bago and the Golden Rock. Both places are conveniently located on a route northeast of Yangon, and if you have a little more time, you could stay in Bago and extend the tour to two days.

In Bago there are many sights in a relatively small area, including the Kanbawzathadi Palace, some pagodas and a reclining Buddha. Entrance fees are to be paid almost everywhere and of course these are easy to pay - you should plan for 10,000-15,000 kyat, depending on what you want to see.

Day trips to Bago are available from Yangon.

The Golden rocks (Burmese: Kyaiktiyo) in the village of Kinpun is around 1,000 meters above sea level. This rock, supposedly held on the mountain by only two hairs of Buddha, is an important national sanctuary and attracts not only religious pilgrims but also tourists from all over the world. The rush here is significantly greater than in Bago. At the base camp in Kinpun, trucks drive the visitors about 10 kilometers up to the summit, from which you can not only get very close to the rock itself, but also enjoy wonderful panoramic views over the landscape. Entry is 10,000 kyat and photography is allowed. It should be noted that women are unfortunately denied direct access to and touching the Golden Rock. If you want to enjoy the sunrise, the best thing to do is to book a room in one of the numerous hotels on and around the mountain.

You can visit the Golden Rock as part of a day tour from Yangon.

If you want to explore the places on your own, you can take the train from Yangon to Bago (1000 Kyat, about two hours) and from there by bus or a private driver to Kinpun, where the Golden Rock is located .

Of course, these and many other tours can be booked in any hotel and travel agency in Yango - and of course online. The best platforms are:

All tips for your Myanmar trip

Inspiration: Most beautiful destinations, pictures ✭ Book a round trip ✭ Flights: Cheap plane tickets, domestic flights ✭ Travel planning: Myanmar packing list, best travel time, visa & entry, money & finances, best travel credit card ✭ Traveling with a child ✭ Health: first-aid kit, travel health insurance ✭ On site: Find hotels, excursions & tours, train tickets, bus tickets, ferry tickets ✭ Our Myanmar Facebook group

To the Myanmar blog

Eating & Drinking: Restaurants in Yangon

The cuisine in the multi-ethnic state is extremely multifaceted and strongly influenced by the neighboring countries, of course complemented by local peculiarities. The secret capital Yangon offers a cross-section of all these different culinary trends. When it comes to the sophistication and complexity of the dishes, Myanmar can hardly compete with its neighbors Thailand, India and China, but there is still a lot to discover here. How about, for example, a fragrant fish soup (mohinga, the national dish) or a tea leaf salad (lapet thoke)?

Curries or fried noodles are omnipresent in the streets of Yangon - but in a more greasy version, as peanut oil is generously used in Myanmar's kitchens. Attention peanut allergy sufferers - that could be difficult!

If you are more in the mood for Chinese, Thai, Indian, Vietnamese or just a pizza, you are lucky that you are in Yangon, because there are many international restaurants and fast food chains here in addition to local cuisine.

Street food and markets

For the best street food, 19th Street is in Chinatown known. In addition to Chinese dishes, there is everything here that you would want from a real food mile. 19th Street is extremely busy, especially in the evening, because good street food is no longer an insider tip. Tourists and residents meet here to eat and drink beer - that's why it's a little bit more expensive here than on less frequented streets.

For early risers, the market on 26th Street is recommended, which is just around the corner. The locals buy their groceries here in the morning, so the market is not very touristy.

A little less known is the night market on Strand Road, right on the riverside. This has only officially existed since the end of 2016, and over 1,000 dealers and cookshops are now gathering here. This market is still more frequented by the locals, but that will soon change. So if you like it a little more authentic and less crowded, maybe take a look here. The market is open every day from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Really good Indian and Nepalese food, accordingly also a large vegetarian offer, is available in the Indian quarter, Little India. You can find it a few minutes' walk north of the Strand Hotel. In addition to numerous restaurants, there are also markets and cookshops here.

If you really want to immerse yourself in local life, why not visit one of the many teahouses. The teahouse culture in Myanmar is unique and most tourists have either never heard of it or keep their distance, because it is actually exclusively local - which does not mean that foreigners are not welcome. On the contrary, you will probably find immediate contact with the extremely friendly and open-minded city dwellers there. Green and black tea, which is drunk with sweetened condensed milk similar to Vietnam, are very tasty and an integral part of everyday life in Myanmar.

Do not be surprised if you are served snacks with your tea that you did not order. These are billed according to consumption, so you can eat them or leave them. In addition to snacks, some tea houses also offer warm meals, but you have to order them. Teahouses are sometimes not actually houses, but stalls with plastic furniture or restaurants in the open air - perhaps that's why they are not immediately identified as such.

Due to the low level of tourist traffic, English language skills cannot be assumed here, but with gestures and smiles you always somehow understand each other. Do not be disturbed by constant "kissing noises" or the noise we make with our lips when we want to attract our pets - only a guest politely draws the waiter's attention. Please do not copy it in Germany, it might not be so well received.

Nightlife in Yangon

The »nightlife« in Yangon cannot be compared to that in Singapore, Bangkok or here and, if available, is more geared towards tourists. There are bars and small clubs, but these are mostly located in luxury hotels and accordingly you will meet few Burmese here.

Events for the locals such as karaoke, concerts or performances often end by 1 a.m. at the latest. This is due to the fact that for a long time Myanmar did not have enough electricity to run all night long entertainment - and potential visitors simply did not have the money to afford it.

There are also simple restaurants that serve alcohol; these are also called "beer stations". Here people drink, watch football on TV and laugh a lot. Women are welcome here, but since socializing in beer stations is not appropriate for them for cultural reasons, you will meet almost exclusively men - or foreign women. You can drink cheap local beer, rum or whiskey.

Skybars in Yangon

In line with international developments, there are already a few sky bars in Yangon, e.g. the Yangon Yangon, the Atlas Bar & Lounge or the Esperado Rooftop Bar. The drinks are comparatively expensive here, and you also have to pay admission here.

Shopping: Shopping tips for Yangon

Yangon is not a classic shopping destination, but you will still find many ways to spend your money here.

Markets in Yangon

You can find the best bargains in local markets, such as the big one Bogyoke Aung San Market.

This mainly consists of a market hall that initially appears to be very orderly, as well as many shops and stalls in the vicinity. Mainly classic souvenirs such as textiles, lacquerware and carvings are offered here.

The small shops outside the hall that sell local specialties such as coffee, tea and sweets are interesting - there is really a lot to discover here. Nobody leaves this market hungry either.

There are many food stalls and small restaurants all over the street and in the market itself. The Bogyoke Aung San Market is located downtown, not far from the main train station.

Shopping malls

If you prefer to stroll in real shopping centers, no problem, Yangon has a few of them too - e.g. the Yuzana Plaza, the Blazon Shopping Center, the FMI Center, the Junction 8 Shopping Center or that Ocean Super Center.

Yangon with child

At first glance, the chaotic city of Yangon may not seem ideal for a trip with children, but Burmese parents also have children who want to be kept busy. So there is definitely a lot to experience for the little ones too.

A ride on the Circular Train is sure to be exciting for children too, and you can be sure of the open-mindedness and curiosity of the friendly locals.

The offer to let off steam Yangon Waterboom water park or the playgrounds in Maha Bandula Park at. The should also be a highlight for children Happy World his, a no-entry theme park near Shwedagon Pagoda. The carousels, ghost trains and bumper cars as well as the man-operated Ferris wheel will certainly not only provide entertainment for children.

Regardless of the facilities mentioned, you have to be aware that getting around on foot with a toddler can be difficult, as the few existing sidewalks are in poor shape and the traffic is extremely confusing. In any case, double caution is required. Here you can find an experience report on traveling with a child in Myanmar.

Tips for your stay in Yangon

What you should know in advance:

Overnight in Yangon: Tips on hotels and accommodation

Depending on your budget, all options are open to you in Yangon, from 5-star luxury to shared rooms in a hostel. Even if there is still a lack of hotels in one or the other area of ​​Myanmar, this is definitely not the case in Yangon, so even last-minute travelers have absolutely no difficulty in finding a nice room.

Roughly speaking, the room prices start at € 5 per night and the upper limits are of course open. Good mid-range hotels start at € 40 per night. The most interesting area for tourists to stay overnight is certainly downtown, roughly everything between the river bank and Shwedagon Pagoda.

OurHotel tips for Yangon:

  • Inexpensive but good: The Backpacker Bed & Breakfast is a popular hostel in a central location. Dormitory from 5 euros per night, inexpensive private rooms and a great roof terrace with a view of the river. (Booking.com / Agoda). This is what affordable double rooms in a good location offer 15th street @ Downtown Yangon. Chinatown and a great food market (19th Street) are just around the corner (Booking.com / Agoda).
  • More comfort: The Hotel Shwe Yee not only offers beautiful rooms with a good price-performance ratio, but also a great pool on the roof terrace with a view of the pagoda (Booking.com / Agoda). Are you looking for a really nice boutique hotel? Then take a look at the tastefully furnished The Loft Hotel Downtown Yangon in the heart of the city. However, the cheapest rooms are quickly booked out (Booking.com / Agoda).
  • Pretty chic: The noble one is very popular and always top-rated Wyndham Grand Yangon. Large pool with great views (Booking.com / Agoda). The Pan Pacific Yangon offers a breathtaking view of the city and has luxuriously furnished rooms and suites as well as a wellness area and a fitness center. And please take a look at the pictures of the infinity pool! (Booking.com / Agoda)

Here you can find more hotel tips for Yangon.

Or you can look directly at the Yangon overview pages from Agoda or Booking.com.

Public Transportation: Getting Around & Transportation in Yangon

buses

Getting around is one of those things in Yangon. There are of course buses, but these are not particularly tourist-friendly. The routes are not clear and destinations are only declared. Anyone who knows their way around or speaks Burmese will have no problem, for everyone else traveling by bus in Yangon is and remains an adventure.

taxi

Therefore, as a tourist, you can actually only get around on foot or by taxi. In districts like Downtown it is not a problem to be on foot, in other areas there are no or very poor footpaths, and you usually walk on the edge of the busy streets. Always be vigilant in traffic here.

Tuk tuks

There are also tuk-tuks, but not as many as in other Asian cities. The taxi is simply much more popular here and also quite cheap.

(No) motorcycles

It is curious that, in contrast to other Asian cities, you will hardly see scooters here. Legend has it that a senior officer had a scooter accident in Yangon a few years ago and banned scooters across the city.

Budget: How expensive is Yangon?

The price level in Yangon is quite low in terms of food and transport. You pay an average of 1-3 euros for a main course, and even less than one euro for non-alcoholic drinks. Exceptions are of course upscale and tourist restaurants as well as catering in hotels.

You only pay a few euros for taxi rides within the center.

The hotel prices are slightly higher compared to cities like Bangkok or Phnom Penh. This is because for a long time there was just not much competition among hotels as there weren't that many tourists who got lost in Yangon.

With increasing numbers of tourists and the construction boom, hotel prices can be expected to fall rather than rise in the future.

ATM / withdraw money in Yangon

Unlike a few years ago, finding ATMs is no longer a problem. In order to use them, you may need to know a few things. The maximum withdrawal amount nationwide is 300,000 kyat, which is around 180 euros - you can do a lot with that.

The ATMs are real divas and don't just give money to everyone who has a credit card. Depending on whether you use Visa or Mastercard or simply an EC card, you will find that some banks accept your card immediately and others not at all. Nobody knows why. Sometimes the machines are simply empty or out of order. Keep trying and not giving up is the motto. And don't wait until the last kyat to go get new money.

It can be an advantage to let your house bank know in advance that you are in Myanmar so that the card is not blocked due to unusual activities. The problem has occurred sporadically among travelers in the past.

The best travel credit card for Myanmar

You can save a lot of money on your travels with the right credit card. Here you can find out which cards you can use to withdraw cash free of charge worldwide and pay in local currency at no additional cost. And who is currently the only provider who reimburses you the foreign fees at the machine, for example in Thailand or Myanmar.

Here is the credit card comparison

Avoid fees

Transaction fees for withdrawals are due in any case (usually around 5,000 kyat). In addition, the fee from your house bank may be added. You can save money if you have a credit card that allows you to withdraw money abroad free of charge. In addition, there is currently a bank that will even reimburse you for the foreign fees. More on this in my article on the best credit card for Southeast Asia.

Paying direct by credit card is still very unusual in Myanmar and, if at all, only possible in hotels or very touristy restaurants as well as in the shops of international chains.

It is important to know that the import and export of the local currency, the kyat, is not permitted. It can be helpful to take a few US dollars with you as cash in addition to a credit card in order to be liquid in case the ATMs strike again and no exchange office is in sight. As travelers to Asia already know the game, they should be in pristine condition. Wrinkled, dirty or cracked notes will not be accepted. Actually, according to the law, US dollars should no longer be generally accepted, but experience shows that dollars are still very popular.

If you want to exchange cash, you should compare the rates. Exchanging money on the street involves risks, as counterfeit money is often in circulation here.

Medical care in Yangon

The good news is that Yangon is virtually free of malaria and dengue fever. The mosquitoes don't feel as comfortable in the big city as they do in rural areas. There is still a residual risk, especially during the rainy season. In any case, there is a risk of developing cholera or gastrointestinal infections in Yangon. The risk of rabies is also rather low, but cannot be completely ruled out due to stray animals. Before your trip, get advice from a trained travel doctor on risks, vaccinations and hygiene measures - they definitely know what to do and what not to do.

If you are already on site and need medical help because you are injured or not feeling well, all preventive measures will of course be of no use to you. You may guess that medical care in all of Myanmar is not up to our western standards. But there is at least one international clinic in Yangon with English-speaking doctors that is open 24 hours, the International SOS Yangon Clinic.

In the event of serious illness or surgery, however, it is likely (and in your best interest too) that you will be shipped to Bangkok, where first-class medical care is definitely guaranteed.

Either way, treatment abroad must always be paid for immediately. If you have international health insurance, you can have the costs reimbursed later. For this it is essential to keep all treatment records and all receipts carefully!

If you need medication, no problem, there are many well-stocked pharmacies in Yangon. Having a simple basic supply of medication with you definitely can't hurt. Here you will find tips for your own first-aid kit.

Packing list for Yangon

Over time you have it in your head, until then a checklist can't hurt - here you will find a suggestion for a packing list (also to print out and tick off).

Of course, you can buy a lot of things you've forgotten in Yangon too, so don't worry too much about it. As long as you think about your passport, money and possibly essential medication, the rest will be found.

Yangon: climate, weather, best travel time

The advantage of a big city is that you can visit it all year round - there is something to do or see even in the worst weather. But the climate is not always the same. The months December to February are considered the best travel time, when the main season is almost in all of Southeast Asia. For us Europeans the temperatures are pleasant and it rarely rains.

From March to April it is sometimes unbearably hot (up to 40 ° C). From May onwards, the “rainy season” is announced, which still means summer temperatures for us, but also increased precipitation.

The rainy season sometimes goes until October, sometimes until November - then it gets drier and warmer again and the main season starts again. All seasons have a high level of humidity in common, which some travelers find oppressive - but that's the tropical climate.

Here you will find detailed information about the climate and the best time to travel to Myanmar.

Yangon: Events, Festivals and Holidays

The holiday calendar in Myanmar is largely based on the Burmese lunar calendar. Some of the main festivities take place during the full moon. Moving holidays are for example:

  • The Burmese New Year: Anyone who knows Songkran from Thailand or Pi Mai in Laos will already know what is meant: The New Year is one of the absolute highlights and lasts for several days. The New Year festival is not called "water festival" for nothing: in many places in Yangon (and also in other cities) people are now getting each other wet.
  • Full moon of Kason: The full moon in the Burmese month of Kason (corresponds to our April or May) is celebrated as the anniversary of Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death. Accordingly, many religious celebrations take place around the temples and pagodas.
  • Buddhist Lent: Buddhist Lent begins in June or July (Waso month) and ends in October (Thadingyut month). At the beginning and the end there are ceremonies in monasteries and pagodas, at the end there is a three-day festival across the country, and you can see countless sky lanterns and candles.

There are also some fixed holidays, where the name already suggests that they have no spiritual, but rather political background:

  • January 4th: Independence Day
  • February 12: Unity Day
  • March 27: Day of the Resistance
  • July 19: Day of the Martyrs

facts and figures

Here is what you need to know at a glance:

How is the clock change in Yangon?

Yangon (GMT / UTC +6: 30) is four and a half hours ahead of Germany, Austria and Switzerland during summer time and five and a half hours in winter time.

What is the currency like?

The local currency in Myanmar is Kyat (spoken: “Tschatt”, international abbreviation MMK). Depending on the exchange rate, you can get around 1600 kyat for one euro. Here you can find the current exchange rate (link on finanzen.net).

Kyat banknotes have the following values: 1,5,10,15,20,45,50,90,100,200,500,1000 and 5000.

Yes, there are really 45 and 90 kyat notes, it is not a bad fake. The coins are called pya and you will only see them as change.

What language is spoken?

Burmese is the official language in Myanmar and is spoken by around 35 million people. The Burmese language has its own alphabet, which is impossible for any non-native speaker to read. Understanding in English is still difficult to a large extent, even in hotels or at the airport you should not expect fluent communication. Nevertheless, the usually sociable locals are happy to exchange a few words with you, even if in the end no one really understood the other. It's about the encounter.

How big is yangon

Yangon itself is around 576 km², with the metropolitan area being even larger.

How many residents does Yangon have?

Yangon currently has a population of over 5 million. If the surrounding communities are included, around 6 million people live in the metropolitan region.

post

Letters and postcards from Yangon need about two weeks to Europe, the Burmese post is considered to be reasonably reliable. Postage stamps can only be bought at post offices, but most hotels also take your postcards and take care of the postage.

WLAN / SIM card

The quality of the Internet is still problematic throughout the country, at least okay in Yangon. If you want to work on the go, you'd better wait until you are in another country.The Internet is extremely slow and tends to crash completely, and it is also possible that some sites and e-mail providers are blocked by the government (e.g. Hotmail). Internet cafes have been around in Yangon for some time.

Another special case is cell phone reception. In order to be able to make calls with your SIM card and use the mobile internet, your mobile operator has to sign a contract with a provider in Myanmar - and that is practically never the case. So you can assume that making calls, texting messages and mobile internet will not work with your SIM card (and if it does, then probably at prices that have fallen well), and that your only connection to the world is the hotel WiFi.

Of course, you can buy a Burmese prepaid SIM card on site for the equivalent of around € 12, e.g. from Telenor, Ooredoo or MPT, just pay attention to the size (nano or normal).

Yangon travel guide

The tried and tested travel guides from Stefan Loose and Lonely Planet are always helpful. These cover the whole country, but of course there are also many tips about Yangon included here.

Yangon: arrival and onward travel

The largest city in Myanmar has excellent connections to all modes of transport and is an absolute transport hub. To get an overview for yourself, take a look at the city on Google Maps, it helps a lot to find your way around.

By plane

Here is all the information you need to get here by air.

Where is the nearest airport?

Yangon's international airport is located in the north of the city and has been served fairly regularly by many major airlines for the past few years.

Transfer from the airport

When you arrive in Yangon, you can choose between a taxi (price around 3,500-4,000 kyat) and the bus to Downton (200 kyat) for the transfer to the city center. Alternatively, you can book a private transfer from the airport to your hotel in advance.

Flights to and from Yangon

The prices for flights from Europe are a little higher and range between € 700 and € 900, depending on the season and luck. Emirates offers flights to Yangon (with a change in Dubai). In addition, I can recommend Momondo and Skyscanner as flight search engines.

A cheaper option can be to book a flight to Bangkok (maybe spend a few days there) and then fly from Don Mueang Airport with Air Asia to Yangon. The flights with Air Asia are very cheap (30-60 €) and the flight duration is less than a full hour.

Domestic flights

The international airport is also an important hub for domestic flights, as most international travelers arrive here and continue their flights straight away. Myanmar has many small airports all over the country that are controlled from Yangon, e.g. Mandalay, Heho (Inle Lake), Nyaung U (Bagan) and Thandwe (Ngapali Beach), to name just a few.

By train

Train journeys are and will remain popular, and if you have enough time, an experience not to be missed. Journeys on the state railroad take a long time, but offer a glimpse into the real Myanmar.

From and to Yangon there are most connections, e.g. from and to Mandalay, Bago and Thazi. Departure is usually very early in the morning (or late at night depending on your perspective) from the Yangon Central Railway Station.

You can either buy your ticket there or book it online in advance, for example on this booking page for train tickets in Myanmar.

By boat / ferry

You can also travel from Yangon by ship. From the piers on Strand Road, boats lay e.g. B. into the delta area of ​​Ayeyarwaddi. If you want to know more about this, the best thing to do is to inquire at the hotel. All information on the Internet is not necessarily up-to-date.

By bus / minibus

Thanks to a relatively new express way, Yangon can be reached by very comfortable coaches from anywhere else in the country. Similar to the neighboring countries, these coaches are a cheap and very interesting alternative to flying - if you have enough time, because apart from the few well-developed roads, progress is slow.

The highway bus terminal, the size of a Kleimtstadt, is a bit outside of Yangon, but from here you can get to the center quickly by additional buses or by taxi.

If you want to book your bus ticket in advance, 12go.asia is recommended, for example. Here you can book comfortable coaches with nice, wide seats and plenty of legroom for little money. The buses connect many cities in Myanmar and the process runs smoothly.

Here are the most important routes (some rail connections are also shown):

OfToDurationpriceView connections
YangonNyaung Shwe (Inle Lake)approx. 11:00 hfrom € 17.00View connections
YangonBaganapprox. 10:00 hfrom 15, - €View connections
YangonMrauk Uapprox. 6:00 p.m.from 18, - €View connections
YangonNgapali Beachapprox. 11:30 a.m.from 12, - €View connections
YangonChaung Thaapprox. 8:00 hfrom 8, - €View connections
YangonNgew Saungapprox. 7:00 hfrom 8, - €View connections
YangonBagoapprox. 2:00 hfrom 7, - €View connections
YangonMawlamyaingapprox. 9:00 hfrom 11, - €View connections
YangonKalawapprox. 9:00 hfrom 18, - €View connections
YangonMandalayapprox. 9:00 hfrom 12, - €View connections

Of course, after clicking on a link, you can also display the connections in the opposite direction.

Private transfer

Of course, you can also charter a private taxi if the distance makes it possible. The best way to do this is to inquire at your hotel or at local travel agencies.

What are your tips for Yangon?

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Photos: Bago and Golden Rock from Shutterstock.com
Street view by Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
Chinatown from eFesenko / Shutterstock.com
Circle Train from Ludi1572 / Shutterstock.com
Bogyoke Aung San Market from 2p2play / Shutterstock.com
Credit card from Sanyawadee / Shutterstock.com
Rain from j.wootthisak / Shutterstock.com
Water festival from charnpui / Shutterstock.com
Yangon Airport by Phuong D. Nguyen / Shutterstock.com
Yangon Train from RYUSHI / Shutterstock.com