3 Things To Do In The Port Of Yangon
Formerly known as Rangoon, the chaotic yet sparkling city of Yangon is the starting point for many of our Irrawaddy River cruises. The journey will take you through the beautiful landscapes of Myanmar to see both natural and manmade wonders, but not before you have enjoyed some of these fantastic activities in the former capital.
Peer Into Pagodas
There are many beautiful pagodas to admire throughout the city, but the most striking and important is the Shwedagon Pagoda. Its stupa stretches an impressive 99 metres into the air and can be seen glistening in the sun from all corners of Yangon. People visit to perform particular Buddhist rituals that relate to their birth date, whilst some also walk the perimeter in a show of respect.
Another shining example and a temple you should definitely visit, if only from the outside, is the Sule Pagoda. In the downtown part of the city, all roads seem to lead here and it is at the centre of everyday life. It might not be as interesting as the Shwedagon Pagoda on the inside, but it’s still worth seeing.
Forage At The Food Markets
Wherever you go in Yangon, you will never be too far away from a food market. Some are small and take place on the bustling streets whilst others are larger and inside colonial shopping centres. They all do a great job of showcasing the delicious cuisine of Myanmar, a collection of food that is influenced by nearby flavours in India, China and Thailand.
With prices so cheap and everything looking so tasty, there’s no reason not to give in to your stomach. Simply pull-up a miniature plastic stool, choose a few options that catch your eye and dig in. For authentic and fresh ingredients, head to Street 26; for Chinese dishes, make your way to 20th street; and for a range of skewers that are barbecued in front of you, take a seat on 19th street. Among the local options that you might want to try are laphet thoke, a savoury salad made with tea leaves, and the national dish of Mohinga – a fish stew/curry served with rice noodles.
Tour The City On The Circular Railroad
If you are interested in seeing more of the city and learning about the people that live there, a trip on the circular railroad is a great idea. A full trip takes around three hours, but you can get off at any of the 39 stations along the route to explore. This track was built by the British in 1954 and stretches a full 50 kilometres around the outskirts of Yangon. Trains depart every half an hour or so from the central station and tickets cost less than 20p.
However long your time in Yangon is, you can’t fail to notice the passion and friendliness of the locals. This may be a disordered city but it’s one that you will quickly fall in love with. Call us on 0800 954 0064 to talk about the different Myanmar river cruises we can offer and how you can add a pre-cruise stay in Yangon to the beginning of your trip.