On my previous visit to Yangon, I didn’t spend much time in the city. Instead, I was travelling to Mandalay and Bagan, followed by a short stay in Inle Lake. I only spent 24 hours in Yangon, which is actually enough time to see the major attractions in the city. On my recent visit to Yangon, I decided to explore more of the streets of the city as they had attracted me with their mix of old architecture jostling with shiny new glass and steel buildings, traditional longyi’s alongside western business attire.
Although Yangon is not the official capital of Myanmar anymore, it still retains it’s financial and commercial status as the majority (actually it’s more like all) of business is done here. And in many of the streets and alleys you will find shops, businesses and even markets popping up on the road side, a testament to the enterprising nature of the Burmese.
This blog post pays homage to the markets of Yangon, whether it’s an official market place or just an ad hoc street market.
Having been to some of the other markets in neighboring countries like Thailand with it’s huge weekend and night markets and their mind boggling variety of knick knacks, Bogyoke Aung San Market is pretty underwhelming to me.
This street was quite short, but it does continue across a major traffic junction into the next street. I decided to turn back as the Sun got higher and the temperature started rising.
During this visit, I also wanted to see Yangon’s Chinatown which I missed out in my last visit. The Chinatown is actually next to Yangon River where you’ll find many shipyards and warehouses for cargo handling. The buildings around Chinatown are characterized by many shops, trading offices and wholesalers.
Staying in the City
While there are many hotels in Yangon, this time I decided to try staying at the Pan Pacific Hotel which is located above Junction City. Both the mall and hotel were opened just 2 years ago. I managed to get myself a good deal on Hotels.com for this stay.
Staying at Pan Pacific Hotel has it’s advantages. You are in the city and within walking distance to Bogyoke Market and several street markets. Chinatown is and Sule Pagoda are also walkable in 10-15 minutes. Shwedagon Pagoda is a short taxi ride away. Plus, the Junction City shopping mall provides all the modern amenities that a city dweller like me would want. The only downside about being in the city, the roads around the hotel are always congested with traffic, which makes getting around Yangon a hassle as taxis try to squeeze their way in and out of the traffic jams.