Yangon is usually a quick stop for tourists traveling through Myanmar. It is the easiest city to get in and out of with many flights a day, most of which are much cheaper than flying from other airports in Myanmar.
With limited time, it is best to fill a day with activities in Yangon and then move on to other areas of the country. Here are my recommendations.
Start your morning off with a visit to the Bogyoke Market. Here you will find all kinds of spices and herbs, fruits and vegetables, betel nut vendors, gorgeous fabrics, and your standard souvenirs. The market is always bustling with locals, but it is best to go in the morning before the heat hits.
Following your visit to the Bogyoke Market, meander over to the Yangon Central Station, perhaps stopping for some street food along the way (keep a look out for the food vendors with “Safe Food” stickers – and always use your best judgement). Ride the Yangon Circular Railway around the greater-Yangon area for a different perspective of life in Myanmar. Tickets for the non-air conditioned train run 200 kyat and the air conditioned train costs 100 kyat more (1USD = ~1000 kyat). If you opt for the air conditioned train, keep in mind it can be very cold! Make sure to bring a sweater. If you’re in Myanmar during the rainy season, like I was, the circular railway is a great escape from the rain.
Before sunset, head over to the Shwedagon Pagoda to get a close up look at the 325-foot stupa. It’s breathtaking! Evening is the best time to visit, as crowds have started to thin and the pagoda gets even more beautiful as the sun sets (if you ask me).
Yangon is a beautiful city with historic British architecture, the most you will find in South East Asia. When you are passing through to the rest of the beautiful country, don’t forget to stop and take a look!