Welcome to the Rangoon cruise port guide. Yangon is the official name of the city although often Rangoon is still used. It is the former capital of Myanmar, while it is still the largest city with a population of over 5 million. Yangon is an intense city with a fascinating street culture that is always entertaining. Walking around in a city like this you never know what to expect around the corner. Vendors, meetings, haircuts blend in in between the countless tea shops on the side walks. Burma is a country that has captured our imaginations for years. What in the 19th century was a prosperous and mighty country would become one of the poorest countries in the world. The regime is especially a touchy subject when talking about this country. Myanmar would write history in the 20th century. It is a country that has been isolated from the rest of the world for decennias. Now a new age has come and it now has the opportunity to prove they are on the road to greater democracy. Just recently Myanmar has opened itself up again and slowly on even the cruise ships are coming back. For the reason it has been closed for so long it is still a raw and unspoiled experience. People on the street are happy to see the tourists and yet they are not quit sure what to do with them. If Myanmar is on your list, go fast, because thing are about to change.
When cruise ships have Rangoon on their destination list they dock at Thilawa. The port is also known as MITT which is short for Myanmar International Terminal Thilawa. This cruise dock is located about 30 km south of Rangoon. The drive takes about an hour or more. You will find MITT is a large industrial port mainly used for the petrol industry and cars import. There is no walking inside the port. The port offers a free shuttle service to the exit of the port. This is where you will find a limited amount of taxis and a the public street with some restaurants on it. Need more information about the Thilawa port, transportation options and what to see and do? Visit the Thilawa cruise port guide.
Yangon is known as a city of gardens. Kandawgyi is without doubt the most impressive one in the city. In this park you will find a couple of km’s of walkways over the water. They create leisurely walks through the park where you cross all kinds of things including the gold structure you see here. This is the Karaweik hall or palace. It is a bird-shaped floating restaurant on the eastern side of the lake.
This is a MUST in Rangoon. It is one of the most impressive religious sights in the world! On top of the Singuttara hill we find this gigantic pagoda that is visible from all over town. It is a 90 meter high golden stupa, topped with 6500 diamonds, rubies and other precious stones. As a visitor you are allowed inside and as soon as everybody has taken off their shoes and are inside you can feel everybody is the same in there. Many people come to witness this religious site, but the mayority of people come from all over the country to perform their religious buddhist rituals.
Yangon’s City Hall This is the city hall of Rangoon that you’ll find next to the Sule Pagoda and Mahabandoola Gardens. Mahabadur garden In the middle of the city we find the Mahabadur garden. It is a very popular city park that is known for being a good hang out place, but also because of its eye catcher in the middle. This long obelisk is the Independence monument. It commemorates the independence of Burma from Britain in 1948.
On 26th street you will find a local fresh market. They virtually sell anything here. From fruit and vegetables to fish and chicken. The entire street become one market stall, but imagine that its still a public road, so whenever a car needs to pass it will just need to driver over the products.
Also known as Bogyoke Aung San Market lies in the heart of Rangoon. It is the most popular market among the tourist. Find any kind of art, jewelry or fabric here.
This is a city landmark for Yangon and it marks the city centre. What the Arc de Triumph is for Paris is what the Sule Pagoda is for Yangon. The pagoda is a 42 meter high golden stupa that is said to be over 2000 years old and house the hair of a Buddha. When the Brittish started to rebuild the city in the 1880’s they implemented a grid pattern in the city all around this pagoda. That is why this pagoda truly marks the city centre and it is a great starting location for any visit to the city.
A hotel in the Kandawgyi Park that is owned by the richest man of Myanmar sets a new standards for luxury. Go for something off the beaten track and book yourself here for a lunch or spa.
In the city of Rangoon you will find all kinds of colonial buidlings. They are reminders that Burma used to be the richest country in Asia and as Rangoon in its glory days as a modern city. Nowadays they are just reminders of time gone by. The result is a beautiful city centre with the largest collection of colonial architecture anywhere in Southeast Asia. The plan is the upgrade all of them and return them into the state that reminds us of their former glory.