yangoon (rangoon, yangon)
YANGOON the former capital city of Myanmar, is as busy as it gets in the country – the downtown area is always alive with people in the distinctly, laid back Myanmar way. The highlight of any trip to Yangon is undoubtedly the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda, surely one of the most incredible sights in the world and certainly one of the best preserved and maintained. A priority for many will be the chance to shop for exotic fabrics, rubies from the famous Mogok mines and handicrafts competitively priced even when compared to the rest of Southeast Asia.
The Shwedagon Pagoda is the most notable building in Yangon, a great cone-shaped Buddhist monument that crowns a hill about 2 km (1 mile) north of the cantonment. The pagoda itself is a solid brick stupa that is completely covered with gold. It rises 99 m (326 ft) on a hill 51 m (168 ft) above the city. There are four entrances leading into the base of this great Pagoda. No one is sure what is inside.
The Sule Pagoda is an excellent landmark. It is said to be over 2,000 years old and to enshrine a hair of the Buddha. It is unusual in that its octagonal shape continues right up to the bell and an inverted bowl. It is surrounded by small shops and all the familiar non-religious service people, such as of astrologists, palmists, and so on.
The Botataung Pagoda, named after the thousand military leaders who escorted relics of the Buddha brought from India, was built over 2,500 years ago. The Pagoda is hollow inside and you can walk through it. It's a sort of mirrored maze inside the pagoda with glass show-cases containing many of the ancient relics and artifacts which were sealed inside the earlier pagoda. Above this interesting interior, the golden pagoda spire rises to 40 m (132 ft) on a circular base.
The Kabar Aye Pagoda was constructed in 1954 and its compound is a large one indented to create a peaceful and quiet environment for the monks and devotees. This 34m (111 feet) high pagoda measures 34 meters around the base. The compound is a large one consisting of many monasteries and the stairways are full of vendors on both sides, selling many hand-made products.
The Chauk-Htat-Kyi Pagoda is famous for its huge image of a reclining Buddha. It was rebuilt in 1966, measures 65 meters (213 feet) and is housed in an iron structure with a corrugated iron-sheet (CGI) roof of six layers.
The Ngar Htat Kyi is a sitting Buddha image. It is housed in a pavilion of iron structure with a five-tiered CGI roof. Hence Ngar-Htat-Kyi Pagoda means the pagoda with the five-layered roof. The abbot's monastery is close to the pagoda, which is of fine Chinese design.
The Koe Htat Kyi or The Nine Story Pagoda is another enormous Buddha image in Yangon. The image is a 21m (72 feet) sitting image and was built in 1905 on the 14-acre compound of the Bargayar monastery. At the entrance of the hallway, there is a statue of a frog and a snake. It is different from other images in that it uses the style of Magite (armors) around the image.
The Mae Lamu Pagoda is located in the suburb of Yangon with spacious ground where visitors love to stroll around. It is famous for the giant images depicting Buddha's earlier lives. There is a huge figure of a reptile into whose belly you can walk and one of a crocodile with wide-open jaws.
The Kyaikkalo Pagoda has been an object of veneration throughout Myanmar history. The octagonal shape of the plinth indicates that the pagoda has a Mon architectural design and was originally built entirely of massive blocks of laterite stone. It is a pagoda with a solid stupa. The main pagoda stands on the uppermost terrace and is surrounded by 25 minor stupas.
The National Museum is located in a splendid five-story building constructed for the spacious and specially landscaped grounds. Priceless ancient artifacts, works of art and historic memorabilia are on display in 14 halls.
The Myanmar Gem Museum presents the whole range of Myanmar ruby, sapphire, period and a variety of assorted colored stones, jade, pearls in lots or embedded in exquisite jewelry, gold ware, silverware and jade figurines.
The Bogyoke Aung San Market is situated in the heart of Yangon - on Bogyoke Aung San Road. It is the most popular market and a great tourist destination located in one of the most precious colonial buildings. There are thousands of shops selling luxury items, handicrafts, foodstuffs, clothing, jewelry, fashion and consumer goods. Looking around and finding the most suitable item would be fun.
The Karaweik Hall is a landmark located in Kandawgyi Lake. This modern architecture of a mythical creature has three floors, and ceremonies are often held in it. The whole building was gilded with gold about 20 years ago. It was tastefully renovated; its beauty enhanced by the Garden City, with added attractions such as showrooms of ten traditional arts, shops, an amusement section for children and ample parking. You can enjoy lunch and dinner with Myanmar, Chinese and Eastern or Western cuisine at moderate prices, in the ornate halls, accompanied by a variety of traditional entertainment.
The National Races Village is situated in Tharketa Township, on the left of Yangon-Thanlyin Bridge. If you visit the village, you will not only enjoy fresh breezes blowing across Bago River but also get the sense of Union Spirit from the village of our national Brethern, Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Bamar, Mon, Rakhine and Shan. You can see buildings with significant symbols denoting various tribes residing in the country.
The Yangon Zoological Garden was inaugurated in 1906. Nowadays, it has an area of 28 hectares (69.25 acres). It is a world-class zoo where one may observe a collection of animals’ habitat from Myanmar to the world over. There are 59 species of animals, 63 species of birds, and 17 species of reptiles. On the flora side, there are over 15,000 trees and plants.