See Yangon as what it is: a religious mecca for Buddhists with a vast array of holy gilded stupa. The trip also takes you to experience the influences of British colonialism in the downtown old building and Chinese emigration as seen in the bustling Chinatown.
After pickup from Thiwala cruise terminal by your private guide and driver, get comfortable in an air-conditioned vehicle for a 45-minute ride to Yangon. Begin your trip 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 follow your guide to visit the nearby 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.
Leave the holy atmosphere to discover British colonial buildings located in Downtown Yangon. Marvel at the old charms of magnificent colonial architecture when you stroll through colonial buildings such as the City Hall, Inland Water Transport Building, Custom House, and the Stand Hotel – one of Southeast Asia’s historic colonial hotels.
After lunch in a local restaurant, continue to visit Chinatown (or Tayoke Tan), which is, perhaps, the busiest and most vibrant area in Yangon. Mingle with the locals and tourists alike and walk through row after row of shops, restaurants and food stalls with its giant colorful signboards fighting for your attention.
Next, 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 old kings as you stroll through the display of lavish beds, gold rugs, ivory kitchen chairs, and embellished ceremonial attires.
Complete the tour with a visit to 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.