You can find a variety of buys in Yangon, from the high-tech to the traditional. Local techies swear by Technoland, which sells everything from smartphones to cameras. For local handicrafts – think lacquerware (above) and puppets – and traditional longyi (a sarong-like garment), check out Bogyoke Aung San Market (Bogyoke Aung San Rd); be sure to bargain when you are shopping there.
Enjoy modern Myanmarese cuisine at Rangoon Tea House; try its catfish mohinga (rice noodles in fish soup) and Keema Paratha (fried flatbread stuffed with spiced minced meat; below). Do also join the locals for breakfast at a traditional teahouse. The dishes offered there, from dim sum to naan (baked flatbread) with curry, encapsulate Myanmar’s cultural melting pot.
Raising the bar
For city views, including that of the famous Shwedagon Pagoda, you should definitely head to a rooftop bar. Noteworthy ones include Atlas Rooftop Bar & Lounge (below) – reopening in October, 2017 – and Vista Bar. Also check out foreigner-friendly ones housed in hotels, such as the Gallery Bar in Sule Shangri-La Yangon, where you can enjoy imported beers in a setting modelled after a British pub.
Dollars and sense
Traffic is always busy anytime before 9pm, so do include buffer time when going places. While taxis are likely the most reliable mode of transport, metered ones are almost non-existent, so negotiate the fare before you hop on. Motorcycles are not allowed in most parts of the city, so do not risk riding one. Since credit cards are not widely accepted here, do carry extra cash, especially in US dollars; ensure the bills are clean and crisp, otherwise it is likely that the money changer will reject them.
It’s only natural
You’ll need to travel out of the city for the best nature experiences. Inle Lake (below) in Shan State, which is accessible by a one-hour flight from Yangon to Heho, is arguably the most popular scenic spot among locals and tourists alike. The tranquility of the lake is something that will stay with you for a long time.
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This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.