Yangon

 
 

Yangon lost its capital status in 2005 to the newly created city of Naypyidaw, about 350 km further north. Despite everything, Yangon does not cease to attract all eyes and remains the first city of the country with its 4.5 million inhabitants. It is also through this city that all travellers will necessarily pass.

Yangon is the "city of the Golden Pagodas" and lies at the confluence of the eponymous river and the Dagon river. This charming name is according to the presence of the famous Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist shrine in the country, which has attracted pilgrims for 2600 years.

Yangon or Rangoon?

Rangoon's name was officially changed to Yangon in 1989, along with many other place names across the country. Although this change reflects the reality of local pronunciation, it was controversial, as the military junta making the change is not officially recognized as legitimate by some governments and citizens.

Yangon through time

Yangon was originally a small fishing village that lived at the foot of Shwedagon Pagoda. The presence of the British has left traces and many buildings of colonial architecture mark this city of Asia, without disfiguring it. With the dictatorship that took hold in the 1960s, Yangon lost momentum. The city, as if caught in a state of siege, seems asleep and many buildings in the city centre give the feeling of being somewhat tired. Despite this wear and tear of time, Yangon has not lost its beauty. Its parks, its lakes, its shady streets and all its heritages make it a very pleasant city to visit and where it is good to stroll and dream...

 

Circulation

 

The city was built and organized by the British, the same model as in the United States was conceived there: streets all parallel or perpendicular to each other, with street numbers and not names to locate themselves. It is therefore easy to find your way around but the particularity is that Yangon is the only city in the country where all transportation on two-wheels is prohibited. The number of cars is therefore impressive, which makes traffic extremely difficult at rush hour. On a map, a short distance between two tourist sites can therefore take considerable time.

 

Good to know

 

Yangon is one of the few cities in Asia that has retained its cosmopolitan charm of yesteryear: from the colonial district breathing the past, the Chinatown of the 1960s, through the Indian district and its spices, its modern downtown... The city is unique in the country and in Asia. 

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