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Yangon - A city frozen in time

By Carlton Leisure - 30/07/2014

shwedagon-paya-at-twilight

With several pagodas and colonial era buildings, Yangon paints a picture that few cities can rival. The city may have lost its capital crown to Nay Pyi Taw but its aura refuses to die. Turning its back to rest of the world may have cost it in terms of development but it makes it a city frozen in time. Here the travellers can still catch the glimpse of colonial city that has not changed much even after colonial rulers left it some six decades ago. This commercial and spiritual hub of Myanmar gets its share of attention with traditional markets, Chinatown and Hindu temples. Here we throw light on gem of tourist attractions in erstwhile capital of Myanmar.

Pagodas

Pagodas are inseparable part of Yangon as city is home to some of the most dazzling pagodas. Sule Pagoda situated in the heart of downtown Yangon is such an attraction which is visited by a large number of devotees and common travellers. The pagoda also holds a prominent place in Burmese politics, ideology and culture. Shwedagon Pagoda with its 99 m structure is also a popular destination. Also referred as the Great Dagon Pagoda and the Golden Pagoda, this most sacred Buddhist pagoda for the Burmese, with relics of four past Buddhas, dominates the skyline of the city.

Natural attractions

Yangon compensates the lack of glamour with natural attractions and old world charm which city and its surroundings have in abundance. Situated on the bank of Yangon River the city has no dearth of natural beauty. Kandawgyi Lake situated east of the Shwedagon Pagoda is one such place that attracts tourists in large numbers. Inya Lake, the largest lake in the city, also deserves a visit. When it comes to greenery, there are People's Park and Mahabandoola Garden while Zoological Gardens, with vast number of wild animals, cater to animal lovers.

Monuments

The city is home to several monuments that date back from medieval to British and contemporary period. Bahadur Shah Zafar Grave which is tomb of last Mughal emperor of India is visited by a large number of visitors. National Museum with its vast collection of Burmese artefacts is also a great destination. But one of the prime draw card of your Yangon visit situated at 54 University Avenue, which is Aung San Suu Kyi's House, who is one of the world’s most prominent political prisoners.

If you want to take a slice of daily life of common people in Yangon that board the circular train that passes through several villages that surrounds Yangon. Bogyoke Aung San Market and Chinatown are excellent destination for shoppers.