Yangon

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July 26, 2014 as of 10:09 PM

Yangon, the commercial capital, is the main gateway to Myanmar. Evergreen and cool with lush tropical trees, shady parks and beautiful lakes, 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.

When you travel Yangon, visiting Shwedagon Pagoda is a must. It is one of the most famous and interesting place to visit in Yangon. Other temple sites not to be missed are the Sule Paya with an octagonal-shaped dome, the Botataung Pagoda with the sacred hair of Lord Buddha enshrined, and the Chaukhtetgyi Pagoda with a 70-metres reclining Buddha statue.  Finally, there is the Kaba Aye Pagoda within which is the Buddhist Art Museum and Maha Pasana Cave. For aspiring yogis and meditation devotees, it is worthwhile to check out Mahasi Meditation Centre and International Meditation Centre, both of which offer full-time meditation amenities.

To seek out intriguing shopping finds, Bogyoke Aung San Market is an excellent choice. Constructed in 1926, the market is best known for its colonial architecture, inner cobblestone streets and wide selection of souvenirs.

Situated at the confluence of the Pazundaung Creek and Bago River, the Yangon River is an interesting spot to seize out the local lifestyles. At the Yangon Nanthida Jetty, one can enjoy the panoramic scenery and magnificent sunset over the river.

Around Yangon are Hlawga Wildlife Park, and Bago. Just a 45 minutes drive from the city, the Hlawga Wildlife Park is home to over 70 kinds of herbivorous animals and 90 bird species, definitely an ideal place for picnickers, naturalists, botanists and bird watchers. Bago, 80 km /  about 1 hour drive from Yangon, is one of the richest archaeological sites in Myanmar.

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