Yangon (Rangoon)

white marble Buddah pagoda CorridorOur entry point into Myanmar was Yangon.  Our group arrived by 2 different flights; a Bangkok Air flight from Bangkok and a Jetstar flight from Singapore.  At the completion of our trip we spent another night in Yangon in order to make morning flights out of the country.

Some general facts and observations about Yangon:

    • The city was formally known as Rangoon and many of the local people there still refer to it by that name.  In fact, RGN is the designation for the Yangon International Airport.
    • Yangon is the former capital of Myanmar and its largest city with a population of approximately 4,000,000.  There has been no official census taken in Myanmar for 25 years.
    • Yangon is a big city with lots of people.  Many have come to the city from small villages in the countryside looking for work.
    • Traffic is a nightmare in the city.
    • If you are visiting Myanmar, there are some Shwedagon 2sights in the city that must be seen: among them (but not limited to) is Shwedagon Pagoda and relatively close by the reclining Buddha in Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda.
    • There is a huge number of beautiful old residential, commercial and government buildings in the old part of the city that were constructed during the period of British colonial control in various states of disrepair.  Quite a few of those are now being restored or renovated for re-use.
    • Many of the streets and boulevards within the city are tree-lined and there are several large lakes and parks within the city that add to its charm and livability.
    • When we’ve visited other South East Asian cities, Saint Mary's Cathedral detail-2 - RGNwe’ve seen the occasional church but we were shocked by the number of Christian churches we saw in the city.  We saw Catholic and Anglican Cathedrals plus Episcopal, Methodist and Baptist churches. There is even a Jewish synagogue in the old part of the city.  Virtually all of these are vestiges of the British colonial era but seemed active today.  In looking at the yellow pages for Yangon, there are 32 listings for “churches”.
    • There are some neighborhoods in Yangon with streets lined with amazing homes demonstrating enormous wealth.  There is also a lot of poverty in the city and beggars are seen at every major attraction.

See our additional Yangon pages describing some of our touring in the city.

Our discussion of our guide/travel agent in Yangon can be found on our Myanmar Travel Agents page.

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