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Yangon (Rangoon)

This former capital was known by its colonial era name Rangoon until 1989 when the ruling military regime changed it back to Yangon, meaning 'end of strife'. Even after the government relocated its capital to Nay Pyi Daw in 2006, Yangon still remains the largest and most important commercial and intellectual city, not to mention the most exciting, within Burma (Myanmar).

Yangon's history is rich, ancient and complex; the present site of the city was destroyed in a fire, and suffered extensive damage during the second Anglo-Burmese War in 1852, when the British seized Rangoon and all of Lower Burma. In 1853, the British moved the capital from Moulmein to Rangoon, and rebuilt the city to its current plan. After the British had captured Upper Burma in the third Anglo-Burmese War in 1885, Rangoon was finally declared as the colonial capital of British-ruled Burma (Myanmar). Colonial Rangoon, with its spacious parks, lakes and mix of contemporary and traditional architecture soon became known as ‘the garden city of the East’.

Surrounded on three sides by water, modern day Yangon has a unique charm, with sweeping tree lined boulevards, bustling food markets, tranquil lakes and pagodas glistening amongst the buildings throughout the city. And following the recent political and economic liberalisation, it is reaping the benefits; decaying colonial buildings and monuments are being spruced up, there's an eruption of new restaurants, bars and shops, and there are building sites – and traffic jams – everywhere. Downtown Yangon is a quaint and attractive part of town, and pavements are teeming with food and book vendors, colourful open-air markets, neighbouring temples, mosques and churches, showcasing the city's cosmopolitanism, and some of Southeast Asia's most impressive colonial architecture. It’s well worth a guided walking tour around this part of town to soak up the atmosphere and sample street food delicacies.

But most importantly, and what has always been important to Yangon, tying in very closely to its early history, is the magnificent 2,000-year-old Buddhist pagoda, Shwedagon, where eight of Buddha's hairs are said to be enshrined. At the heart of the city, a golden pinnacle around which everything else revolves, Shwedagon dominates the city's sky line and the revered pagoda draws people to it from within the city and around the world. In his 1930s novel ‘The Gentleman in the Parlour’, Somerset Maugham was so inspired by the beauty of the pagoda to write: "The Shwedagon rose superb, glistening with its gold, like a sudden hope in the dark night of the soul”. This majestic stupa is outstanding no matter when it is seen, but the best time of day is at sunset, when the sun’s rays emblaze the golden pagoda, lighting up the night sky; it truly is a spectacular and special sight. 

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The traveller sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.
G. K. Chesterton

Client Testimonials

I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had dealings with. Everything – from the individual care and attention in helping to plan the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round.
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
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So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
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Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
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Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
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I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
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From our Instagram

A team of Ampersander's have officially landed in #Rajasthan. First stop, the Capital - #Jaipur 💗
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Also known as the Pink City because of its trademark colour throughout, its hard to miss a picture perfect moment in front of one of Jaipur's landmark doorways.
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For more inspiration and to follow the teams journey through the Golden Triangle, keep an eye over on our Instagram stories and get in touch if you want to begin your trip!
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✨Beautiful Udaipur✨
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A pleasure palace built in the 1700s, the location for Octopussy and many a love story, @tajlakepalace is so magical, you can’t quite believe your eyes
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📸 @the_adventuresofus during their whirlwind tour of India 🧡🇮🇳
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One of our #Cambodia specialists, Simon, has just returned from the wonderful #ShintaManiWild & couldn’t recommend it more! 🇰🇭
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Overlooking a crashing waterfall & immersed in rugged jungle, this luxury camp genuinely lives up to its name 🍃
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Swipe to peek inside the tents, designed by one of our favourite designers #BillBensley & get a striking bird’s eye view of the camp...
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Welcome to the gateway to #Asia! #Singapore is the perfect stop over destination 🇸🇬
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A colourful city packed full of contrast and a variety of ethnic districts ready to be explored!
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#LittleIndia, originally a division of colonial Singapore. Today a vibrant district with a mix of Hindu and Chinese Temples and The House of Tan Teng Niah - one of the last surviving Chinese villas in the Indian enclave
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If you'd like a taste of #India and #Singapore on your way to #Asia, get in touch to start planning your multicultural trip!
. 📸 @bellabellalara @travel_with_han @melbrammer_travel @climbintogether
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Glide down #ThePerfumeRiver to experience #Hue’s scenery, passing mausoleums as you go 🍃🌿
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📸 Beautifully captured by @soaipham
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As the year begins to draw in, here at Ampersand HQ we've been thinking about where our adventures in 2020 will be, but where will be yours? 🌍
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Will it be on the soft white sand beaches of #Cambodia @songsaaprivateisland, indulging in the colourful cuisine of #Vietnam, rejuvenating at @vanajourney, #India, hiding away beneath the #okavangodelta or exploring the endless shrines and Temples found in #Japan...
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It's never too early to start planning! For inspiration, get in touch with one of our experts today to start your 2020 adventure.
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"They've spotted us!" 🦒 #OkavangoDelta in #Botswana
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One of the most sought-after wilderness destinations in the world. Reigning over 15,000 Square kilometers of land - there's no wonder that its home to 200 different species of mammals!
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If you'd like to be in with the chance of spotting one of these for yourselves, get in touch to start planning your safari adventure! 📸 @ravalli1 @mlabgol @mo_naser 
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As you travel through #Cambodia’s countryside you’re bound to come across some friendly faces like these! 🧡
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If you’d like to go off the beaten track in this wonderful country and meet some lovely locals along the way, then please get in touch!
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📸 @alesmartan
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'Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever' 🙏
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Today, 2nd October 2019, marks 150 years of celebrating Mahatma Gandhi's birthday. The celebration of Gandhi Jayanti is observed in India as a national holiday, where ceremonies and tributes are conducted across the nation.
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If you would like to celebrate this special time of year in India, do get in touch and let us help you plan a trip for 2020. 🇮🇳
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📸 @whatbaublenext_sam
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