The Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.

Yangon Rangoon Myanmar Burma

September 7, 2013 by David Herd

Yangon in Myanmar

Shwethalyaung Buddha

Yangon Rangoon Myanmar Burma, Yangon with a population of over four million, continues to be the country’s largest city and the most important commercial center. The city features a lengthy rainy season from May through October where a substantial amount of rainfall is received; and a dry season from November through April, where little rainfall is seen. It’s primarily due to the heavy precipitation received during the rainy season that Yangon falls under the tropical monsoon climate category. During the course of the year, average temperatures show little variance, with average highs ranging from 29 to 36 °C (84 to 97 °F) and average lows ranging from 18 to 25 °C (64 to 77 °F). I was there in June 2011 and it rained heavily every day.

Shwethalyaung reclining Buddha.

Shwethalyaung Reclining Buddha

The Shwethalyaung Buddha  is a reclining Buddha in the west side of Bago (Pegu), Burma (Myanmar). The Buddha, which has a length of 55 m (180 ft) and a height of 16 m (52 ft), is the second largest Buddha in the world, after the 74 m reclining Buddha in Dawei (Tavoy). The Buddha is believed to have been built in 994, during the reign of Mon King Migadepa. It was lost in 1757 when Pegu was pillaged. During British colonial rule, in 1880, the Shwethalyaung Buddha was rediscovered under a cover of jungle growth. Restoration began in 1881, and Buddha’s mosaic pillows (on its left side) were added in 1930.

The Buddha’s feet

Yangon Rangoon Myanmar

Yangon Rangoon Myanmar
Maha Vizaya Pagoda in Yangon.Maha Vizaya Pagoda

I really enjoyed my short visit to this mysterious country which has been closed to tourists until the last couple of years. There is an amazing number of wonderful temples or Pagodas to investigate, as well as many beautiful old seemingly abandoned mansions waiting for restoration. Most of the people I met were incredibly polite and spoke perfect English. Yangon Rangoon Myanmar is a place you should put on your bucket list.

Maha Vizaya Pagoda

Maha Vizaya Pagoda photo MahaVizayaPayapagoda2.jpg

Many run down stately homes

Yangon Rangoon Myanmar

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Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda

Amazing Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon.Shwedagon Pagoda Yangon

Backup power generators are needed in Yangon.Yangon Rangoon Myanmar

The infrastructure in Myanmar is under extreme pressure, there were power blackouts nearly every day we were there. Consequently most buildings and businesses have a huge power generator, usually on the footpath in front of their building.

Young Monks at Chinatown in Yangon.Chinatown Yangon Rangoon Myanmar

 Flowers in Chinatown

Chinatown in Yangon photo Chinatown12.jpg

Lots of rain

Yangon Rangoon Myanmar

The Strand Hotel

strand hotel yangon

Strand Hotel Yangon Rangoon Myanmar

Strand Hotel

During the colonial period, The Strand was one of the most luxurious hotels in the British Empire with a clientele of exclusively whites. The Sarkies Brothers sold The Strand to Rangoon restaurateur Peter Bugalar Aratoon and Ae Amovsie in 1925. In 1941, during World War II, following Japanese occupation of Burma, the hotel was used to quarter Japanese troops. The following year, the Strand’s ownership was transferred to the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. For the first time in 1945, since the Strand’s establishment, the Burmese became part of the hotel’s clientele. After Burma achieved independence in 1948, the hotel was neglected by post-colonial governments

50th St Restaurant in Yangon, American style food.

Yangon Rangoon MyanmarThe 50th St Restaurant is in, you guessed it, 50th St, very good atmosphere & big comfortable leather lounges, the food is ok as well.

Pre dinner drinks

50th St, good American restaurant and bar. photo 50thStRestaurant5-1.jpg

This street cafe is not as fancy as 50th St.  😆

Yangon Rangoon Myanmar


Pun Hlaing Golf Club. photo PunHlainggolf8.jpg

Pun Hlaing Golf Club in Yangon

Pun Hlaing Golf Club

About 45 minutes from the city is the Pun Hlaing Golf Club, quite a spectacular course. Here I am with Trevor (Australian) Clive (English) & Chris (German) we all live in Thailand, my 3 friends are all low handicap golfers , and I am the only hacker.  😳

Clive likes his food.

Yangon Rangoon Myanmar

Travel tip. Hotels are a little expensive are in short supply in Yangon Rangoon Myanmar so make sure you make a booking before you arrive. We stayed at The Alfa Hotel which was only 2 star, but the location was good and the staff very friendly. NB. I have just heard they have completed renovations.

Another tip. Make sure you have USD, preferably new smooth notes, as the locals do not like to accept old dirty currency.

Super travel tip. Ko Soe Lwin was our driver in Yangon, his old station wagon was certainly not a luxury vehicle but he was reliable, cheap and spoke perfect English,  phone him at +95 4925 9082 or e-mail [email protected]

AS I said earlier Yangon was Rangoon, Myanmar was Burma, other Asian countries have also changed their name, Thailand was Siam & Taiwan was Formosa. So Yangon Rangoon Myanmar, call it what you wish but it is certainly worth a visit.

            Sydney                               Paris                                   Bangkok
Sydney Opera house        Paris hotel        Grand Palace Bangkok
               Tokyo                        Rio De Janeiro                        Budapest
Tokyo        David Herd Thailand        Buda Castle
           London                               Beijing                            Capetown
Kings road Chelsea        David & the General photo DHandthegeneral.jpg        David Herd Thailand

That’s all folks

Eastern European Odyssey


Click here to see a Thai City due east of Yangon.

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