Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, is the largest city in Myanmar and is the commercial and industrial epicentre of the country. In the 19th century the city was conquered by the British who established it as a centre for trade. With British occupation came western style colonial architecture and the development of Yangon’s rail system.

For the past 60 odd years, Myanmar has been isolated from the rest of the world due to a long civil war and ensuing military dictatorship. Foreign travel was near impossible, safety was difficult to guarantee, and communication lines were hard to come by. Because of this, travellers refrained from visiting the country and foreign interference and influence did not prevail.

Today, both in Yangon and the remainder of the country the mark of their extended isolation is clear. With little economic development for several decades, the streets and sights offer centuries of history told through untouched bricks, mortar, concrete, and  gold.

To experience the true magic of this city, I recommend visiting for a few days. Below is a list of my top recommendations:

Bogyoke Aung Sun Markets
Shwedagon Pagoda (by day and by night)
Do the old colonial walk and stop by some of the city’s infamous bookstores
Sule Pagoda
Kandawgyi Park
Take the Yangon circle line train
Visit Yangon central railway station
Discover Yangon’s Chinatown
Take a trip across the river to the city of Dawa
Enjoy the street food during the night markets

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