With its wide streets, parks and lakes, Yangon has the sleepy charm of a provincial town while still being home to over 4 million people. Whilst no longer holding the title of capital city, Yangon (formerly Rangoon) is nonetheless the ideal starting point to any journey through Burma.

No stay in this fascinating city would be complete without a visit to the stunning and much revered Shwedagon Pagoda. Undeniably the centerpiece of the Rangoon, the lustrous golden stupa is visible from all corners of the city and is a spectacular sample of Burmese temple architecture and the country’s holiest Buddhist shrine. Much of Yangon’s allure stems from its colorful street life: food hawkers on the pavements, gems in the gem market; rickshaw drivers in striped longyis (sarongs) peddling lazily through tree-lined streets; and people drinking endless cups of sweet, milky tea at roadside tea stalls. Down on the waterfront, you can explore the ancient winding streets home to some stunningly preserved British colonial-era architecture, with tumbledown mansions rubbing shoulders with traditional Burmese houses.

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