Yangon, Myanmar - part 3 - Orlando / Florida Guide
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While some things are very cheap here accommodation is not one of them. Yangon is expensive, and more importantly, price does not always reflect quality.
There are plenty of comfortable options though, no matter what your budget but its best the check them out.
At the top end of the market and if you want a place that oozes history then it’s got to be The Strand. It was built by the British in 1901 and it’s full of colonial charm and offers a range of suites as well as a spa. Doubles in this hotel start for around US$450.
If you want a modest mid-range place with friendly staff try the Asia Plaza Hotel. It has a good location near Bogyoke Market and great views of the Shwedagon Pagoda from the breakfast room, and doubles from US$150.
Finding somewhere that is both cheap and clean can be tricky but the Motherland Inn seems to manage both. It’s a walk or short taxi ride to the main attractions but given that a free airport pick-up and breakfast is included from just US$30 a night, it’s a good deal.
There are so many other attractions in the rest of the country that will tempt you, such as Inle Lake, Mandalay, Bagan and the Myeik Archipelago and that’s just a few. It can therefore be tempting to leave Yangon very quickly after arriving. However, you should plan at least a couple of days to explore the city. It may no longer be the capital as in 2006, the military government shifted that role to Naypyidaw but it certainly feels like one and offers the best introduction to Myanmar before your curiosity takes you further afield.
When you do want to start travelling then nearby Bago, which is 80km north east of Yangon, is worth considering for a day trip. It’s easily reached by bus or, more conveniently, taxi and the journey only takes a couple of hours. Bago is home to the tallest pagoda in the world (Shwemawdaw) and the huge reclining Shwethalyaung Buddha, which dates back to AD994. A little further east is Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, an iconic Buddhist stupa built atop a precariously balanced golden boulder.
As a general rule, people are more than happy to pose for photographs, even monks at the Buddhist sites. Just remember to ask first.
I would recommend getting one or two good guidebooks before you go so that you can plan your time and the places you really want to see. My suggestions would be Myanmar Insight Guides and Historical Walks in Yangon: Heritage Trust Guide Map.
The winter is November to February and is the dry season, when rainfall is lowest and temperatures reach highs of around 23°C. However this also makes it peak tourist season. March to May is the most oppressively hot period when it can reach the high 30°Cs or even the low 40°Cs. Do avoid Late May/ June to September/ October as this is monsoon season.
Enjoy your trip whenever you go.
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