Discover the highlights of Myanmar’s former capital in this exciting guided private trip. Visit a series of holy religious sites including Sule Paya, Chauk Htat Gyi Paya, Botataung Paya, and particularly iconic Shwedagon Paya (paya means pagoda) for insights into the country’s roots in Buddhism. Explore Burmese history and heritage as you stop by the National Museum and Bogyoke Market.
Meet your guide and driver upon pickup from the cruise terminal, who’ll drive you 25km northward to Yangon. Begin the tour at 2500-year-old Sule Pagoda, which is claimed to enshrine one of eight Buddha’s hairs. Its gilded dome is topped with a golden spire reaching far into the skyline of downtown Yangon.
Then stop at Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, which houses a magnificent 65m-long reclining Buddha donning a crown encrusted with diamonds and gems. Next, visit Kaba Aye Pagoda (World Peace) where you’ll see the country’s arguably largest Buddha statue cast from silver before heading to Mahapasana Cave – a man-made ‘great cave’ to hold major religious ceremonies. Enjoy your local lunch at Karaweik Hall.
Afterward, continue to explore Bogyoke Aung San Market, which is well known for its large selections of gemstones and longyi (Burmese traditional costumes). Expect to find rare antiques, traditional handicrafts, clothes, and regional dishes for sale there.
Then head to Botahtaung Pagoda (or the Pagoda of thousand military leaders), a prominent landmark located on Yangon’s waterfront. Housed inside the pagoda is a collection of relics of Buddha transported from India over two thousand years ago by these military leaders.
Travel northwest to visit National Museum. Its main treasure – the impressive gem-encrusted Lion Throne that belonged to the last king of Myanmar – makes up for the inadequately labeled and lit exhibitions. See the ostentatious lifestyle of the old kings as you stroll through the display of lavish beds, gold rugs, ivory kitchen chairs, and embellished ceremonial attires.
The last stop is the iconic Shwedagon Pagoda, located atop a hill. Start from the foot of the hill, and follow your guide on a long entrance stairway to the main terrace, passing by various markets, worships, and monasteries. Learn about the daily life of local dwellers in the immediate vicinity and Burmese Buddhism as you visit the monks. If you don’t want to climb, elevators and escalators are also available. As you come up from the covered walkway, marvel at the glittering marbled main terrace, dotted with holy worship halls and pavilions. Take off your shoes before venturing deep inside to listen to your guide introducing about Myanmar spiritual beliefs.