Yangon was one of the ship building centers as the East Yangon was a stockade until 1841. In May 1755, Alaungpaya occupied Dagon from the Mon and called it ‘Yangon’ “(End of strife)”. In sixteenth century, Myanmar teak was known in India. Yangon, which succeeded Thanlyin in 1755, was a minor shipbuilding centre. At the time of the Madras famine in 1877, the price of paddy was first high. Yangon was the largest rice port in the world at that time. Today Yangon, with a population of over 5.5 million, continues to be the country's largest city and the most important commercial center. Yangon's infrastructure is undeveloped compared to those of other major cities in South-east Asia and still remains the largest number of colonial buildings.
In Yangon, the most famous is the Shwedagon Pagoda on the Theinguttara Hill. It was merely 27 feet high originally. King Binnya-U repaired the Shwedagon Pagoda, raising its height to 66 feet in 1362 A.D. King Binnya-kyan (1453 – 1472 A.D) raised the height of the Shwedagon pagoda to 302 feet and then King Sinbyushin (1763 – 76) raised the Shwedagon Pagoda to the present height of 326 feet. Queen Shinsawpu (1453 – 1472) built the terraces measuring fifty feet high and three hundred yards wide, with a great stone balustrade, a circle of stone lamps and several encircling walls between which she planted palm trees.
It is today a monument in the middle of the business centre of Yangon. It is said to be over 2,000 years old and contains a hair given by the Buddha to two Burmese merchants. Located on a roundabout in downtown Yangon. The name of “Sule” came from the “Suwae” means “assembly”. It is concern with the wording history of Shwedagon. According to the history of Kyaikasan and general history of Myanmar and Rahkhine, two trader brothers from Myanmar brought eight strands of the Latter’s hair that ever given by the Buddha to the Ruler of Okkalapa, and they searched Theingotsara hill.
Although the Buddha hairs were enshrined in a pagoda, but they didn’t know that place. Shwedagon pagoda was built by finding that place, after the Ruler of Okkalapa and Nats or Spirits were assembled including with Sule Nat and inviting the four great Nats from the upland on “Sule Pagoda”was built. Then the human with the Nats assembled, they built a pagoda as a celebration and called as “Suwae zedi or pagoda”. Then the name “Sule pagoda” was changed form”
Chauk Htat Gyi Reclining Buddha Image
This is one of the largest reclining Buddha statues. This Buddha image is 66m long. It was completed in 1973. One of the unique aspects of this image is the mosaic on the sole of its feet representing the 108 distinguished marks of the Buddha.
Inside the building, as is usual in Myanmar, people are praying and making offerings as part of their daily lives. Add the monastery and the other activities and it is certainly worth spending there.
Located on Pyay Road, the National Museum has five floors of exhibits. Objects being displayed are 4560 and 15000 objects are preserved. It displays the Lion Throne, miniature models of the eight kind of thrones, the royal regalia, manuscripts, paintings, etc. On the ground floor display the evolution of Myanmar Scripts and alphabets, Yadanapon Period pieces and the majestic throne: Thihathana Throne (Royal Lion Throne).The last Myanmar Monarch King Thibaw seated on this throne when deliberating with his ministers on state affairs. On the first floor displays the Royal regalia. The suns of royal ceremonies of Myanmar Kings can also be seen in the hall. In the Hall of Myanmar History, on the same floor, clay pots, urns, votive, tablets and necklace of Pyu Era are exhibited. On the second floor the modes of transportation still use in rural areas, such as bullock cart, are exhibited and one hall is assigned to traditional music, song and dance. The third floor consists of paintings and ancient ornaments and jewellery. On the top floor, visitor can adore the Buddha images from Pyu Period to the present day.
Kandawgyi means "the great lake”. Kandawgyi Garden is a popular recreation centre of Yangon. The area of the Garden is 110 acres, water areas is 150 acres, which makes it a total of 260 acres. Kandawgyi is divided into three zone- recreation, relaxation and education. There are variety of beautiful flowers, the natural scene of the lake water and large shady trees. There are also an orchid garden, the children play-ground, the souvenir shops and restaurants. The playgrounds and picnic areas are favourite spots for children and teenagers. The beauty of Karaweik Hall also a unique work is exposed in the heart of Kandawgyi Lake. The sites to see are fresh water fish garden, Relaxation Zone, Rock Garden, boating in Recreation Zone.
Inya Lake is the largest lake in Yangon. Formerly the lake was built as a water reservoir in 1882. Inya Lake is surrounded by Parami Road, Pyay Road, Inya Road, Kabaaye Pagoda Road and University Avenue Road. The Inya Lake is a spot for locals to walk on the bank of the lake, and some food stalls are lined.
There is also a romantic garden known as Sein Lan So Pyay.
The Yangon Sailing Club is located on this lake too. Swimming, sailing and rowing are activities of the Sailing Club. The Inya Lake Hotel is also located on bank of this beautiful lake. Marina Residence is located on the Kabaaye Pagoda Road with the view on Inya Lake. Some private residences are located on the bank bordering the lake.
Bogyoke Aungsan Market
Bogyoke Aung San Market was built in 1926.It is located at the corner of Sule Pagoda Road & Bogyoke Aung San Street. Over 2000 shops sell anything a consumer could possibly want: Shan bags, luggage, sandals, tapestries, rattan, shoehorns, light bulbs, blankets, cosmetic, herbal medicines, kyauk-pyin (circular stone used for grinding the cream-colored facial cosmetic bark known as thanakha, thanakha logs itself, religious items, books, spirits, bamboo trinkets, pots, clothing— all are in the market. Myanmar handicrafts, ranging in variety, are coveted by tourists. The market is a treasure trove for such hand-made crafts. Jade jewelry is a perennial favourite. Antiques from knives to lacquer-ware are plentiful. Village and rural artifacts such as water buffalo bells and rustic utensils, brass weights and stone carvings, figurines and crystals give collectors a wide selection of unique choices. Perhaps one of the best buys is the original works of Myanmar artists. Watercolors and drawings of local artists fill the perimeter of one of the market inner court ways. Of course, modern items are readily available. They sell luxury items, handicrafts, gold smith, clothing, jewellery, foodstuffs, fashion, paints & consumer goods. Business hour (10:00 AM to 5:00PM). Close on Monday. Except during Buddhist lent( almost Jul-Sep), close on every Sabbath day which is to be set by lunar calendar.
Thanlyin( Syriam) and Kyauktan
Thanlyin was formerly known as Syriam. It is located on the south bank of Yangon River, and is a major port. In the late 1500s, Thanlyin was the base of the Portuguese adventurer, Philip De Brito. Officially a trade representative from Rakhine, he established himself as a local warlord from his base at Thanlyin, and hired his forces on occasion to the Mon in their battles against the Bamar. It was destroyed by King Alaungpaya in 1756 during the Mon revolt.
The main tourist attraction in Thanlyin is Portugee church(1750), Kyaikkhauk Pagoda. There is also the National Races village before getting Thanlyin. Yeylel Pagoda is erected on the island of in the middle of a river in Kyauktan. Yele Pagoda at Kyauktan means the Pagoda in mid-stream on a laterite reef. The pagoda was built by King Zeyasana, the seventh king of the Pada Dynasty in the third century BC. The height of the original pagoda was only 11ft. The only way to get into the pagoda is by the boat. Foreigners are required to sit at a "larger boat" which differs from the smaller ones that the locals take due to "security purposes".
Bago is just 80 km north of Yangon. Apparently Mons were the first to settle at this site. There is a village staying Mons near Shwetharlyaung pagoda. Two Mon brothers Thamala and Wimala from Thaton first founded the city about 825 A.D. In 13th century Bago was made the capital of the Mon Kingdom and it came to be known as Hansavati (Hanthawaddy). In 1553 AD, King Bayintnaung built Kanbawzathardi palace and unified second Myanmar emperor lasted till 1581 AD. Famous pagodas worth visiting among others are the Shwe Maw Daw, Shwe Tha Lyaung and Kyaikpun Pagoda.
The delta region outside Yangon is the town of Twante where the "pottery" is located. The boat trip provides a view of life along the canal while Twante itself provides interest as a centre of pottery and hand-woven cotton cloth. The pottery town of Twante is famous for the 21-mile-long canal that runs between the Ayeyawady Delta and the Yangon River. Twante can be reached by land or river from Yangon. It is only 15 miles away from Yangon. The streets of Twante are littered with so many beautiful pots of different sizes & shapes.