15 Things You Should Know About Yangon, Myanmar

Tickets were booked, ho(s)tel was confirmed, now you’re ready to fly to the capital of The Land of Gold: Yangon. But, before you set foot in Myanmar’s capital, let me help you arranging your itinerary. These are 15 things you should know about Yangon, from the international airport, currency, public transportation, daily expenses, and tourism attractions.

  1. Yangon is no longer the capital city of Myanmar, but it holds its position as Myanmar’s center of entertainment, business, culture, education. It is the largest, busiest, and most modern city in Myanmar, your gate to explore the whole country.

    sule road, yangon

  2. Yangonites (and Burmese in general) speak a limited English, in a weird accent or pronounciation. So, listen very very very carefully when they speak to you.
  3. Yangon is best reached by plane from Kuala Lumpur or any South East Asian cities. I took AirAsia for my trip on August 18th and 20th with a reasonable price, about USD 30 – 40. I’ve heard some issues about entering Myanmar by land from Thailand or Bangladesh, so I don’t recommend you to enter the country by land. Also, taking a flight saves your time and energy. Baca Juga: Berkenalan dengan Yangon International Airport, Myanmar 
  4. Myanmar’s currency is Kyat, or MMK in short, an abbreviation for Myanmar Kyats. Each 1,000 Kyat equals to 1 USD.
  5. Good news, Americans. Both Kyat and USD are accepted in Yangon and the whole Myanmar, similar to Cambodia. USD is used for taxi from airport to city center and hotels / hostels. Daily needs, such as meals (except at the airport, where vendors accept USD), drinks, souvenirs, and public transportation usually use Kyat. Both can be used for tourism attractions (Sule Pagoda, Shwedagon Pagoda, museums, and so on).
  6. Don’t worry about changing your currency in Myanmar. Money changers can be easily found at the airport, Sule area, or Bogyoke Market with a competitive rate. If you find some blogs urge you not to change your money at the airport, ignore them. Money changers at Yangon Airport are safe and quite good. Meanwhile, ATMs are well spread in the city (and country).

Note for Indonesians: sedikit money changer yang menerima Rupiah karena mata uang kita ini nggak populer di sana. Kalau pun ada, nilai tukarnya jatoh bangeeettt. Jadi banyak-banyak bawa USD atau minimal Ringgit, SGD, atau Baht deh.

  1. There are 2 telecommunication providers for your smartphone: Ooredoo and Telenor. Both are available at the airport’s arrival hall. I chose Ooredoo. Package starts from 4,500 Kyat for 2 GB of internet connection without calls.
  2. The weather depends on the month you travel. In general, Myanmar is a tropical country. Unless you go further north near the Chinese or Bangladesh border, expect a hot and strong sun rays. Bring an umbrella or hat, black sunglasses, and sunblock. Choose a comfortable shirt, preferrably short sleeves. Please note, the gloomy rainy season happens on August to October, be ready for flexible itinerary.
  3. Budget hotels or hostels are mushroomed around Sule Pagoda, but most of them are located in a same building with shops. So, when you’re looking for your place to stay, look carefully. I stayed for 2 nights at Space Boutique Hostel, and i highly suggest you to stay there! Why? Read the full article HERE. 
  4. Also, tourism attractions and iconic landmarks flock at Sule area, such as: City Hall, Immanuel Baptist Church, Mahabandula Park, Chinatown (Street 19), Yangon Central Railway Station, Bogyoke Market, and the main bus stop. Shwedagon Pagoda, Kandawgyi Park, and Karaweik Palace are 10 minutes bus ride (number 36). Chauk Htat Gyi Temple, Nga Htat Gyi Temple, People’s Park and Square, and Inya Lake are also easily accessible from here. Street foods, cafes, restaurants, are just a few steps away, so undoubtedly — this is your place to stay in Yangon, Myanmar.

    the infamous sule pagoda, seen from the crossing bridge

  5. Most tourism attractions are free! Just prepare your bucks for Shwedagon Pagoda (8,000 Kyat) and the museums. Sule Pagoda is best enjoyed from outside, on a crossing bridge, no need to enter the temple. Some sources say Kandawgyi Park charges 2,000 Kyat / 2 USD for visitors. But when I went there, I unintentionally entered the park through a parking yard of a restaurant, so it’s free 😀

    mahandula park, a free attraction in yangon

So was my visit to Chauk Htat Gyi temple. I incidentally entered the temple from the back door. But, actually, when I walked out through its official entry / exit gate, I didn’t see any locket office, visitors are go in and out as they like. The only payment was for the shoes storage, but you may give as much as you like to the box.

  1. When you’re about visiting temples, dress properly and bring a plastic bag to keep your shoes. So you don’t need to buy plastic bag from locals. In case you forget to bring your plastic bag, just give 100 Kyats to buy one from locals. Temples usually provide longyi for visitors who wear tank top or hot pants, but I don’t know whether you need to pay for it or not.

    you might find challenging to cross the streets in yangon, myanmar

  2. Foods and drinks are pretty damn cheap! Street foods usually cost 500 Kyats, such as mohinga. Prepare 2,000 Kyat for a meal at small restaurants. KFC starts from 3,500 Kyat. But I’m sorry, for my moslem friends, I can not guarantee if the food are hallal or no. I think Indian or Middle East restaurants are your best bet for trusted hallal meals. The burmese tea is similar to Thai Tea or Teh Tarik in Malaysia, I love it!
  3. Beyond my expectation, public buses in Yangon are better than in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (in 2015). Most of them are air-conditioned, some use cashless payment, 2 lines of bus rapid transit systems are in operation. Passengers hop on and hop off at the bus stops. If you don’t have the card, prepare 200 Kyat for each journey.

    public buses in yangon, myanmar

I tried to download some apps to help finding a right bus route, but unfortunately they’re in Burmese language I couldn’t understand at all. Asking direction from your hotel staffs or any locals are our best hope. Bus no. 36 will be the bus you have most.

  1. Things you’ll likely find everywhere in Yangon: birds, their shit, and stinky smell of thannaka. Many people splash thannaka on their face as the traditional make-up to give a cool sensation on skin, against the weather. Men wear longyi (burmese style of Indonesian / Malay sarong), and women wear some kind of traditional dress similar to Vietnamese aodai. Most of them are Theravada Buddhists.

How were they? I hope this post helps you. In short, Yangon is easy to navigate. It has no rapid transit, but you may easily access the tourism attractions by walking or taking a short bus ride. If you have further inquiries about Yangon, Myanmar, don’t hesitate to find me on social media (see the sidebar), or hit me a message to: teguh.nugroho8@gmail.com. Happy learning by traveling!

59 komentar

  1. Translate dulu ah .. bacanya mau pelan-pelan biar nikmat.

    1. Alon alon sing penting kelakon

  2. Komen pake bahasa indonesia ngga papa kan? Hehe ✌
    Ini liat foto-foto kota Yagon, Myanmar kayak ngelihat foto-foto kota di Indonesia. Berasa hampir mirip bangunannya 😀

    1. Boleh dong. Kalo bangunan modern emang mirip-mirip, tapi kalo liat kuilnya, liat rusun-rusun lawasnya, bangunan-bangunan tua peninggalan Inggrisnya, keliatan bedanya hehe.

  3. wih foto yang bagus ..

  4. Pagoda di Myanmar itu jg ada loh replikanya di Brastagi 😀

    1. Oh iya? Wah baru tau nih, kak

  5. Wuih kece, english version. Nulis english aja terus Nugie, biar blognya internasyenel.

    Beberapa orang mengutuk negara ini dan bersumpah gak mau ke sana. Aku mah masa bodo, kalo ada kesempatan, kenapa nggak :p

    1. Amin, terima kasih mas. Aku akan memilah-milah sih, mana yang tetep pake bahasa Indonesia, mana yang sebaiknya pakai bahasa Inggris.

      Nah, itu namanya menghakimi dan stereotip. Yang bermasalah itu pemerintahnya, bukan warganya. Harus banyak baca dan riset untuk mendalami masalah rohingya, karena udah terjadi ratusan tahun. Nggak cukup dengan sekedar tau dari apa yang diekspos media Indonesia.

  6. Gue kaget pas mau baca eh bahasa inggris haha
    Tips2nya mantep nih, lengkap, ternyata di Myanmar rupiah gak populer ya..padahal satu kawasan 😦

    1. Haha makasih, bro. Iyaaa, jadi nggak usah pede bawa rupiah ke sana ya.

  7. Wah jadi terupdate untuk bus di yangon. Hahaha dulu gak berani naik bus, masih gak ada atm, gak ada sinyal…. kayaknya perlu diulang niiih. Makasiih yaa Nug… good post!!

    1. Yangon sudah tambah maju, dan akan semakin maju lagi dalam beberapa tahun ke depan. A re-visit will worth the time 🙂

  8. Postingan yg komplit dan komprehensif sekali. Kapan2 pengen juga ke Yangon

    1. Yok, mas. Aku juga pengen ke Yangon lagi 😀

  9. Kalo ke kota-kota macam gini aku emang kurang tertarik, paling ujung2nya keluar masuk pagoda instead of wandering around the city

    1. Berarti sehari semalam cukuplah buat koh Anthony di sini. Sekedar ke Shwedagon Pagoda, Chauk Htat Gyi, Nga Htat Gyi, sama Sule Pagoda.

  10. Yangon itu kota yang ngangenin. Yang lama dan yang baru bercampur dengan harmonis. Penduduknya setiap banget dengan pakaian tradisional sehari-hari longyi. Pokoknya pengalaman saya di Yangon indah 🤣

    1. Aku pun pengen ke Yangon lagi, mbak. Semoga pengalaman mbak Evi bisa menetralkan pandangan negatif teman-teman tentang Myanmar 🙂

  11. Waaah, informatif banget Kak. Semoga suatu hari saya bisa ke Myanmar.

  12. Penampakan busnya beneran much better daripada Ho Chi Minh, ya. Kalau di HCMC kayak bus-bus tahun 80an 😂

    1. Kamu kapan terakhir ke HCMC? Aku tahun 2015 sih.

  13. Diiih, aku baru tahu yangon bukan lagi ibukota dari postingan ini *malu
    Kurang riset nih 🤣🤣

    Tapi emang Yangon kotanya punya magnet sendiri, walopun panasnya bikin kebakar
    Still, aku masih ga terima money changer bandara jahat bgt, ga mau nerima dollar kelipet 😭😭😭

    1. Hahaha. Aku lebih malu lagi, kak. Aku taunya itu beberapa tahun lalu (masih kuliah). Saat itu aku lagi ngajar anak SD. Nah, sampai di pelajaran soal ibukota, aku bingung kenapa nama ibukota Myanmar adalah Naypyidaw, setauku Yangon.

      Lalu aku minta anak-anak buat coret info itu di LKS dan diganti di Yangon. Beberapa waktu kemudian, aku baru tau Yangon udah bukan lagi ibukota 😀

  14. Endah Kurnia Wirawati · · Balas

    Just found out that yangon no longer the capital city through this article.
    Awesome info!!

    1. Wah ternyata banyak yang baru tau ya hehe

  15. dansontheroad · · Balas

    Great quick guide on Yangon! Are the locals friendly – would they try to help you if you asked them a question or directions?

    1. Yes, they’re helpful and trusted. I mean, scams are still rare in Myanmar.

  16. busnya kayaknya lebih bersih dan lebih bener daripada ho chi minh, ya, kak?

    1. Pengalamanku sih gitu kak

  17. How about the ATM? Do you find it better to use money changer or cash machine? Because I find it hard to trust money changer’s rate and think that Mastercard provides better exchange rate

    1. My friend tried to make a withdrawal from the ATM machine. He said he already chose English but the machine insists in Burmese language, he took a wrong amount of money 😀

  18. Thanks for your facts about Yangon, I want to invite to our country again. Our country have so beautiful places to visit.

    1. Yes, i want to go back to Yangon, there are some interesting places I haven’t visited.

  19. Thanks for your advice Mr.Matius. I want to invite you to visit our country again. Our country have so beautiful places.

  20. Hemmm..menarik, perlu juga sekali kali menjelajah destinasi yg tdk terlalu populer..

    1. Asyik lho, kak. Jadi punya kepuasan tersendiri.

  21. Well, I will subscribe this guide when I have chance to Myanmar. Masih nunggu undangan dulu *eh emang ada? hahaha

    1. Hahaha. Undangannya dari hati, bang 😀

  22. berarti bener kata rang2 kalo di sana makanan murah murah. wkwkkwkw…. oke nabung nabung….

  23. aku kepingin ke myanmar. mungkin ke yangon sebentar ya. trus pengin ke bagan atau melihat glass palace (karena baca bukunya sih yaaa)

    1. Sekalian ke Mandalay, kak. Menurutku cocok buat arsitek kayak kak Indri.

      1. Glass Palace itu di Mandalay…

      2. Oh ya, baru tau haha

  24. Berarti naik bis disana gak wajib punya kartu semacam e-money gitu ya, tetep bisa bayar cash?

    1. Tetep bisa pake cash, 200 Kyat sekali jalan

  25. wahh selain kotanya indah ternyata disana juga ada berbagai kuliner yang cukup menggugah selera… ettss jika anda ingin mengetahui tempat wisata yang ada di asia lebih banyak yoo lets go cek di website g-land.asia….

  26. […] via 15 Things You Should Know About Yangon, Myanmar — The TraveLearn […]

  27. Good Stuff. Thanks

    1. You’re welcome, Kelly

  28. […] country — your gate to this Land of Gold! Some interesting places to visit in Yangon is the iconic Sule Pagoda, the great Shwedagon Pagoda, Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, Nga Htat Gyi Pagoda, Kandawgyi Lake / Park, and […]

  29. […] me, the furthest place I visited for traveling is Yangon, Myanmar, the northernmost country in Southeast Asia. This year, I dream to set my foot in an East Asian […]

  30. […] padat atau rumah-rumah susun kaum proletar di Malaysia atau Thailand, tapi nggak selusuh rusun di Yangon. Sebagian rumah-rumah susun itu berdiri di tepi jalan raya yang lebar dan mulus. Sementara saat […]

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