Upon arrival at Yangon International Airport, picked-up and transferred to your hotel in town by our Sonasia Holiday’s guide.
Though no longer the capital, Yangon remains Myanmar’s commercial heart and also the core of its spiritual life, thanks to the glorious Shwedagon Paya (Pagoda), while its colonial-era buildings (decaying as many of them may be) give the downtown area a historical charm which new capital Nay Pyi Taw - and Mandalay for that matter - will never possess. Whether you get lost in the city’s animated markets, seek out beer and barbecue in Chinatown, visit Hindu temples or take an eye-opening ride on a commuter train, Yangon’s streets provide a vibrant and engaging introduction to the country.
After a soft rest, head to the heart of downtown, where East meets West with a mix of pagodas, monuments and colonial buildings. Walk around Sule Pagoda, City Hall, Victory Monument and some of the nearby colonial buildings. Take in the Colonial charm of the city that was once the capital of British Burma.
After seeing the sights, take a food safari through downtown by local open-air trishaw and experience the culinary delights of Myanmar’s most bustling city. The tour begins at a local tea shop where guests enjoy Burmese tea and a taste of the city’s traditional culture. The tradition of drinking strong tea with condensed milk and sugar was brought to Myanmar by the British more than a century ago.
However, people still drink green tea, which is complimentary in most of the local tea shops, to wash away the sweet flavor. The tea shop visited today is popular with locals and serves a variety of traditional Burmese snacks and noodles, all of which can be sampled. Some of the famous dishes are mont pyar tha let (rice pancake), mont leit pyar (wanton-like parcels of bean and jaggery), shwe htamin (golden sticky rice), mohingar (rice noodles with fish soup - Myanmar’s national dish) and own noe khauk swe (yellow noodles with chicken and coconut soup).
Trishaws will be waiting outside to continue the evening journey. Everyone gets their own trishaw and local driver. Take a short ride through the downtown area and head past St Mary’s Church and the former Minister’s Office. Once known as the Secretariat, this beautiful red brick building was built by the British in the late 1800s and takes up an entire city block. Famous as the location where national hero General Aung Sang was assassinated in 1947, the inside of the building has been closed to the public for over 50 years.
After about a 15 minute ride, head down a small alley off the main road to get to one of the most famous noodle shops in Yangon, 999 Shan Noodle. It is possible to pick from a variety of dishes, though the restaurant is popular for its Shan noodles. Typically eaten for breakfast, Shan noodles can be had as a soup or salad and are fantastic any time of day.
From here, go on foot through the heart of downtown, past landmarks like Mahabandoola Park, city hall, and Sule Pagoda, each lit up like a beacon in the middle of town. This short stroll should work up an appetite for next stop, a local Indian restaurant. During British rule, Yangon was populated with more Indians than Burmese. Many of their descendants still live here today with their influence being seen on the local dishes. Try some of the Indian-influenced snacks that are still popular with Burmese people.
From here, it’s back on the trishaws. Take a ride through Little India, with its colorful temples and make one last stop at Chinatown. Continue through a bustling night market before heading to 19th street. Famous for its barbeques, 19th street is a lively place to enjoy meat and vegetable satays, washed down with draught Myanmar Beer.
Transfer back to the hotel. Overnight in Yangon