Yangon, the commercial city, is the main gateway to Myanmar. Yangon has earned the name of ” The Garden City of the East “. Yangon was founded by King Alaungpaya on the site of a small settlement called Dagon when he conquered Lower Myanmar in 1755. The name Yangon means “End of Strife” which was anglicized as Rangoon by the British. The name of this city has changed along the history: first Dagon, then Yangon, and Okalapa Aung Myae Yan Hnin, then finally back to Yangon. The present day Yangon covers 400 sq m and has a population of over 6 million.
Many old colonial style buildings are still standing in YANGON, many of which are now occupied by government offices. The City Hall is one of the grandest, an impressive stone structure with classical colonial style and integrated with a Myanmar touch. The Supreme Court, High Court, General Post Office, Strand Hotel, Port Authority Building, Custom House and Railway Administrative Building are also magnificent remembrances of the bygone era.
Yangon is proud of the towering gold-crusted Shwedagon Pagoda, which is best known for its grandeur and awe-inspiring greatness. Described by Rudyard Kipling (1898) as “a beautiful, winking wonder that blazed in the sun, of a shape that was neither Muslim dome nor Hindu temple spire,” Shwedagon Pagoda is the one of the most magnificent monuments on earth. It is said to have been built over 2,500 years ago and Four Relics of the FOUR BUDDHAS are enshrined in it. The Pagoda is covered with 60 tons of pure gold and Its Umbrella or Tip is set with diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds.
The best time to visit Yangon is from October to February whereby the weather is pleasantly cool and dry with fresh northerly winds. Tourists attractions in Yangon include Buddhist Art Museum,, Sule Pagoda, Kaba Aye Pagoda (World Peace Pagoda) and Maha Pasana Guha, Maha Wizaya (Vijaya) Pagoda, National Museum, Myanmar Motion Picture Museum and the peaceful Kandawgyi Lake with the grand Royal Barges (Karaweik).[caption id="attachment_635" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Shwedagon"][/caption]
When you in Yangon, other nearby attractions which are worth exploring include the town of Bago (Pegu) which has attractions that include the beautiful Shwe Tha Lyaung Reclining Buddha, Shwe Maw Daw Pagoda, Kalyani Sima (Ordination Hall), Buddha Image of Kyaikpun Pagoda and the Palace of King Bayinnaung, Thanlyin (Syriam) town which has the Kyaik-Khauk Pagoda and Kyauktan Pagoda, Twante town which is known for the Twante Canal and Htaukkyant which houses the Allied War Memorial Cemetery.