Modern Yangon is many visitors' introduction to Burma, and its welcoming people, glittering pagodas and fading colonial architecture make it a microcosm of the country's appeal.
“With sun-warmed marble tiles beneath your bare feet, surrounded by all sides of Burma's sacred and human life, the Shwedagon, in the heart of Yangon, is as exotic and intoxicating today as it was in Kipling's day.”
Tom Weston, Sales Director
Yangon is one of Asia's greenest and most engaging cities, and with the great golden Shwedagon Pagoda at its heart and more colonial buildings than anywhere else in Southeast Asia, there is no better place to begin your Burmese adventure.
The city now known as Yangon was founded as Dagon in the 11th century by the Mon people, who lived across southern Burma at that time. Even as early as this, an early form of Shwedagon Pagoda formed the heart of the settlement - which at that time was nothing more than a small fishing village. In 1755 Dagon was conquered by King Alaungpaya and renamed Yangon, which would develop to become a significant trading port for many years.
In 1852, following the second Anglo-Burmese war, the British moved their colonial capital to Yangon from the southern city of Moulmein (now Mawlamyine), introducing the name Rangoon. The city was to remain the nation's capital through the transition to independence until 2005, when the military government moved the capital and all functions of the civil service to the newly constructed town of Naypyidaw (AKA Nay Pyi Taw).
Though it may now have lost the nominal title of capital, Yangon remains the economic and diplomatic centre of Myanmar, and a key destination for international visitors. Shwedagon Pagoda, the one constant to have survived throughout this chequered history, provides the city's crowning glory - the "winking wonder" described by Rudyard Kipling on his brief visit to Burma in 1889.
Recommended Accommodation in Yangon
The following are our favourites from among the western-style hotels and Burmese-style inns of Yangon.
Experiences in Yangon
Yangon offers a wealth of exciting experiences that will help you get beneath the surface of Burma's fascinating culture. See below for a few of our favourites
Weather in Yangon
The Climate Guide for Yangon is perfect for planning your holiday. Monthly weather averages give the best indication of what the weather is usually like for every month of the year including figures for temperature, rainfall and sunshine.
|Max Daytime Temperature (°C)||32||35||36||37||33||30||30||30||30||32||32||31|
|Min Night-time Temperature (°C)||18||19||22||24||25||24||24||24||24||24||22||19|
|Hours of Sunshine (Daily)||9||10||10||9||6||4||4||4||5||6||7||9|
|Hours of Daylight (Daily)||11||12||12||12||13||13||13||13||12||12||11||11|
|Heat and Humidity Discomfort||High||Very High||Very High||Extreme||Very High||Very High||High||High||Very High||Very High||Very High||High|
|Days with some Rainfall||0||1||1||2||17||28||31||30||24||12||4||1|
|Monthly Rainfall (mm)||5||2||6||17||307||567||577||624||381||206||62||7|
|UV Index (Maximum)||9||11||11+||11+||11+||11+||11+||11+||11+||11||9||8|
Featured trips including Yangon
- Inle Lake
Best of Burma explores the country's key destinations in a fast-paced introduction to Burma's fascinating history and glorious scenery.
8 nights: from US$1553 pp (twin share) Read more >
- Htee Thein
- Inle Lake
Our Burmese Family Adventure is proof that travelling with children in Burma opens doors to unforgettable experiences for all members of the family.
13 nights: from US$2730 pp (twin share) Read more >
- Myeik Archipelago
This itinerary will introduce you to one of the world's last truly unspoilt corners of paradise: the Myeik (Mergui) Archipelago.
9 nights: from US$4790 pp (twin share) Read more >