The old capital city of Myanmar is a mecca of bustling streets, temples, and endless street food to enjoy. While at first it might feel overwhelming to take on we’ve broken down our Yangon travel guide into the ultimate day of exploring. From a morning at the market and afternoon noodles to an incredible sunset at the Shwedagon Pagoda, there’s no shortage of amazing things to experience. You can easily spend several days seeing all that Yangon Myanmar has to offer, but this will give you a small taste of some of the cities best attractions. Also, don’t worry! If you have more time we’ve added some other epic things to do in and around the city.
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Quick Tips for One Day in Yangon
You can walk everywhere in the downtown area, but make sure to wear closed toe shoes! Some of the streets can get a little messy especially in the market areas.
Utilize the overpasses for crossing busy intersections and taking in different views during your Yangon travel.
Carry cash and have small bills if possible. Depending on what you buy it can be hard for some vendors to make change.
To get to places outside the city center like the Shwedagon Pagoda you can download the grab taxi app. Most of the rides we took were under $2 USD. Just be aware that there’s always heavy traffic in Yangon.
Get a Sim Card as soon as you arrive to help with directions. We paid 6,000 MMK (About $4 USD) for a one week unlimited sim card.
As far as dress code goes it’s most likely going to be hot on your visit. However, both men and women should have their shoulders covered and pants or long skirts for females.
If you’re flying out of Yangon make sure to leave extra time in case of traffic.
Yangon Morning Markets
Every accommodation that we’ve stayed at in Myanmar had breakfast included. So after your fill it’s time to hit the streets, and there isn’t a better place to start our Yangon travel guide than the morning markets. Bogyoke Aung San Market is a great introduction and area to get started in. Filled with jewelry, art, and Burmese hand crafts, this is one of the most touristic markets in the area.
After this you can head to something a little different at the 26th Street Fresh Market. Here you can spend an hour or so walking around and getting lost in the madness. We use the word market loosely here as there is street after street of locals selling everything from fruits and veggies to tailored clothing and electronics. We honestly didn’t see a single tourist in sight and spent several hours getting lost in the maze. This was definitely one of the most interesting parts of our visit to Yangon!
Legend has it that the Sule Pagoda is over 2,600 years old. It’s long been an important meeting point in Yangon Myanmar, and dates back to the time of Buddha. This makes it all the more incredible that it sits literally in one of the most busy roundabouts in the center of the city!
We chose to go here first to get a taste of history before going to the famous Shwedagon Pagoda later that night. It cost 5,000 MMK ($3.40 USD) to enter, and it won’t take more than half an hour to see the small sacred site.
By now you’re sure to have worked up an appetite so it’s time to sample some local specialties in the old capital city of Myanmar! Close to the Sule Pagoda there are actually three different restaurants that we ate at and can recommend.
The restaurants are ranked from casual to upscale, and we’ve listed the total cost we paid including two meals and two drinks. The links below also include the locations so you can find them. Cheers!
Yadana: (6,000 MMK/$4.08 USD) – Cafe that serves local dishes as well as traditional milk teas and bakery items. This was our favorite Shan noodle dish that was at an actual restaurant and not from a street food stand.
Rangoon Tea House: (20,000 MMK/$13.61 USD) – Rangoon Tea House is internationally known, and brings a fancy fusion to the slightly chaotic food world outside. This swanky upscale restaurant has its own take on Myanmar specialties like Mohinga, and it’s definitely worth a try if you only have one day in Yangon Myanmar.
Yangon Travel Ideas
If you follow this what to do in Yangon travel guide you should have a few free hours between lunch and heading to the Shwedagon Pagoda. You can take this time to explore the city more or rest at your hotel.
We have added some additional things to do for a second day at the bottom of this post if you feel like squeezing more awesome things in! Also, check out the Kandawgyi Lake or Reclining Buddha as a couple other must see attractions.
Seeing the spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda was easily the most incredible part of our time in Yangon Myanmar, and we have a feeling it might be yours, too! No matter where you have traveled and how many temples you have visited throughout Southeast Asia, the Shwedagon Pagoda is unique to any other.
We arrived just after 4pm and stayed for two hours until the giant golden pagoda lit up the night sky. Work your away around it slowly and take in the hundreds of intricate temples and sculptures that surround the famous pagoda. Try and arrive 1 to 1.5 hours before sunset and stay until its dark to truly experience all the majestic colors. Be sure to double check the sunset time so you can plan your night accordingly as well!
Yangon Street Food Night Market
A lot of people associate Yangon with all the epic street food, and that couldn’t be more right. After an entire day of exploring we would be shocked if you hadn’t dabbled into something at this point.
Starting at 3pm and going until almost midnight, the Yangon Street Food Night Market serves up both local and international specialties. Take a stroll through the food stands and dive into whatever looks good for dinner.
Now we would feel bad if we didn’t mention to be cautious about what you eat here. We typically tend to stick to the vegetarian street food options, and there’s some great ones in Yangon! Check out the chickpea soup, tea leaf salad, chickpea fritters, and fried tofu if you’re looking for something healthy and delicious.
More of What to do in Yangon Myanmar
If you have more days in the old capital city of Myanmar we’ve listed some additional fun places to see below!
Circle Train: The new Yangon travel rage is to jump on the local circle train and take a ride through the countryside. It can take over three hours before circling back to the city so plan enough time in advance.
Kandawgyi Lake: Walk over the stilted walkways of Kandawgyi Lake and take in some nature inside the city.
Reclining Buddha: Stretching over 66 meters long, this is one of the largest reclining Buddhas in the country.
19th Street China Town: Chinatown comes alive at night and 19th Street is the center of all the action.
National Museum: One of two national museums in Myanmar showcasing Burmese history, art, and more interesting artifacts.
YGN Walls: Take a visit to this open art gallery where the walls are bursting with colorful murals.
More Markets: While you might feel like you hit a bunch of the markets in one day in Yangon, there are plenty more to explore!
Have any questions about our one day in Yangon travel guide, or would you like to share some more tips for future travelers? Please do so in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
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Where To Stay In Yangon Myanmar
Ultra Luxury – The Strand – This historic hotel set in the center of the city also doubles as a national landmark. The Strand is a 5 Star hotel with all the amenities including a 24-hour butler service! You can expect large rooms, upscale dining, and a beautiful outdoor pool.
Fun Vacation – Hotel G Yangon – Hotel G Yangon has modern rooms that are perfect for any traveler. Check out the views from the sun terrace, hit the gym, or plan your day in the huge hotel lounge. It’s also walking distance to many of the main attractions in the old capital city of Myanmar.
Budget Travel – Backpacker Bed & Breakfast – This accommodation features budget friendly private rooms in the city center. The main draw is the massive rooftop lounge area with amazing views of the old capital city of Myanmar. They can arrange Yangon travel, tours, and transportation to activities in the city or outside of it.
Hostel Life – HOOD Hostel – This modern hostel offers bunks as well as family rooms for larger groups. It also has a 24 hour front desk and a shared kitchen. Hood Hostel is a great place to meet other travelers, especially if you only have one day in Yangon.
For more places to stay in the old capital city of Myanmar you can explore the latest prices here!
Flights: We always find our cheap flight deals using Skyscanner. That’s how we flew from Norway to Poland for under $20 USD, and Thailand to Vietnam for less than $50!
Transportation: 12Go is what we use to book ferries, trains, buses, and transfers while traveling through South East Asia!
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for thousands of activities around the world. From food tours to skip the line entry passes!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
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