BURMA - Yangon - Shwedagon Pagoda 2Yangon Rangoon BurmaYangon Rangoon Burma 3 BURMA - Yangon - reclining BuddhaYangon Rangoon Burma 1
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  • BURMA - Yangon - Shwedagon Pagoda 2
  • Yangon Rangoon Burma
  • Yangon Rangoon Burma 3
  • BURMA - Yangon - reclining Buddha
  • Yangon Rangoon Burma 1
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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, which means 'end of strife'. Even after the government relocated its capital to Nay Pyi Daw in 2006, Yangon remains the largest and most important commercial city within Burma. The present site of the city was destroyed by fire and suffered extensive damage during the second Anglo-Burmese War (1852), before being rebuilt to its present plan by the British who made it their colonial capital of Burma. Yangon's early history is tied very closely to its magnificent 2,000 year old Buddhist Pagoda, Shwedagon, where 8 of Buddha's hairs are said to be enshrined. At the heart of the city, Shwedagon dominates the city's sky line and the revered golden pagoda draws people to it from within the city and elsewhere. In his 1930s novel 'Gentlemen in the Palour', Somerset Maugham was 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." Surrounded on three sides by water, Yangon has a unique charm with crumbling colonial buildings, tree lined streets, bustling food markets and tranquil lakes. Pagodas glisten in amongst the buildings throughout the city which although busy, remains relatively peaceful due to a ban on motorbikes imposed in the 1990s.

Features in the following itineraries

My favourite thing is to go where I've never been.

Diane Arbus