Myanmar has seen a transformation in the past couple of years with the influx of tourists. Affectionately still called Burma by the locals, this is a beautiful country to visit which is still quite untouched by the western world. There’s plenty for the kids to do, even if it isn’t stroller friendly. Check out our guide on where to eat, stay, and play for a weekend in Yangon.
There aren’t too many brand named hotels in Yangon. Many are boutiques which are super cute. If you do need the comforts of home, then we highly recommend the following:
* The Belmond Governor's Residence is where you stay if you’re looking for old-world colonial charm. The beautiful hotel is located in the west of the city. You’ll be transported back into a bygone era. Make sure you have a cocktail at the bar, they are delicious. Take dinner outside on the veranda and listen to the sights and sounds of nature.
* The central location of The Strand makes it a great hotel to stay in. This luxury hotel is perfect if you have little ones. Step back in time, let the butlers look after you and enjoy all that the hotel has to offer. It’s recently undergone a major refurbishment, so enjoy the new decor. Suites are spacious and dining decadent, enjoy.
* The PARKROYAL Hotel is located next to the railway station on the main road into the city. This modern hotel has old world charm and is located close to the main tourist attractions. There’s a beautiful outdoor pool where you can relax after a day of exploring.
The Belmond Governor's Residence, 35 Taw Win Road, Dagon Township, Yangon, Myanmar, +95 1 230 2092, www.belmond.com/governors-residence-yangon/luxury-hotel
The Strand, The Strand Yangon, 92 Strand Road, Yangon, Myanmar, +95 1 243 377, www.hotelthestrand.com
The PARKROYAL Hotel, 33 Alan Pya Phaya Road, Dagon Township, Yangon, Myanmar, +95 1 250 388, www.parkroyalhotels.com/en/hotels-resorts/myanmar/yangon
There’s a lot to see and do in Yangon, from visiting temples to markets to museums and more. Here are our top favorite places to visit:
* Shwedagon Pagoda - One of the most famous tourist attraction. This temple is truly magnificent, covered in gold and at night it’s lit up and it looks it could be straight out of a fairytale.
* Chaukhtatgyi Buddha -The Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda is famous for its gigantic image of Reclining Buddha, 215 feet tall. It was built in 1966 replacing the old image built in 1907 by Sir Hpo Thar and is housed in a large metal-roofed shed.
* Yangon Circular Train - Take a train ride around the city and take in everything it has to offer, there are 4 options: small group, full day, half-day or a private tour. Make sure to book in advance.
* Inya Lake - For a tranquil walk out of the hustle and bustle of town, this is a beautiful lake to visit. If your family is into sailing, drop by the Yangon Sailing Club, which is open to non-members on Friday night for drinks and has a stunning lakeside setting.
* Bogyoke Aung San Market - Located in the center of Yangon and you can easily spend half a day here strolling down the pebble roads and enjoying the massive bazaar for traditional arts and crafts, search for the beautiful gemstones and be prepared to barter!
* People's Square and Park - Located in town, this is a large exquisite green park is fantastic for a stroll or for when you need some peace and quiet. You’ll also get to enjoy the amazing views of the Shwedagon Pagoda.
Local food is brilliant here, with a pleasant mix of Chinese, Indian and other Asian flavors. For a taste of authenticity, head to Shan Yoe Yar, a traditional restaurant that’s well priced. Popular with the locals, tourists and business people, you can try lots of local dishes. Ask the waiter for their recommendations. The Mandalay Restaurant at Belmond Governor's Residence is where you eat if you want to treat yourself or go on a memorable datenight. Do take the waiter's suggestions and be delighted by this high-end restaurant. Have an aperitif by the pool first before you make your way to dinner. Got some picky eaters in the family, don't fret, plenty of western food options too! For thin crusted gorgeous pizza, head to Parami Pizza. Cheat day for the whole family. For juicy steaks, we loved the Porterhouse, and if you're in need of American style burger and a game of football head to 50th Street Bar & Grill, they'll sort you out.