Yangon, the largest city of Myanmar

Yangon

History of Yangon

The brothers returned home and made landfall at Pagoda Point in the south-west coast of Myanmar. They sent word to king Ukkalapa of their arrival with the sacred Hairs. The King welcomed the Hairs with great ceremony at Asitanzana, north-west of present Yangon.

The king and the brothers next sought for a man who could tell them the location of Singuttara Hill. No human knew the location but Sakka, King of the nats did, and guided them to the Hill. Singuttara Hill is known by seven names of which one is Trikhumba, meaning 'three pots' and signifying three pot-shaped hills. Tikhumba became Tikun and Dagon and later Changed to Lagun in Mon.

When the brothers asked Sakka where the Hairs should be shrined, Sakka could not tell them where the earlier relics were enshrined because they were of such antiquity and he was not that old. However, Sule Nat knew where Kakusandha Buddha's staff was enshrined, Yawhani Nat knew where Konagamana Buddha's water-dipper was enshrined. Hmawbi Nat revealed that he had been assigned to guard the sacred objects. Finally, Gautama Buddha's Hairs were enshrined and stupa consecrated on the full moon day of Tabaung (March 6,c.588 B.C.).

Along time after that, there that, there being no one to worship at the Lagun shrine, it fell into ruin and was covered with jungle.Tradition states that 200 years after Buddha's Parinirvana in 543 BC. Sona and Uttara, two monks from Sri Lanka brought King Asoka to the Pagoda. The King had the jungle cleared and the Pagoda repaired. In the fifth century A.D. King Duttabaung paid homage at the Pagoda. In the 11th century, King Anawratha of Bagan offered gold and silver umbrellas and built a pagoda near the town of Twante across the Yangon River. Dalla, which is now a town on the bank opposite Yangon, was then located on the Twante Ridge and was more important than Dagon. Dagon at that time lay in low lying often water-logged land. Sule Pagoda, now in downtown Yangon, stood on a small island in the swamp, to the west down to he Hlaing River and Yangon /River to the south .The Shwedagon (then called Kyak Lagun in Mon) was reached across a causeway.

The discovery of a votive of the Bagan period at Tadagale to the north of Yangon shows that the laterite ridge at the end of which Shwedagon lay was a scene of activity in the Bagan period and the ridge may have provided a road southwards to the Shwedagon Pagoda and Dagon Village beyond. After the collapse of Bagan in the 13th century and the rise of Mon power in the 14th with the capital at Bago, Dagon became a place of some importance, though not as a commercial port but as a centre of religious life. At onetime Dagon was reported to contain thirty-two ordination halls Binnya U (1348-83), Mon king of Bago created a pagoda of height 18 m. (60'). Dagon was also a place of refuge for princes who did not find Bago safe. Binnya U's son, Binnya Nwe, later King Rajadarit, who had a chronicle to himself, fled to Dagon when he ran away with his half-sister Talamidaw. Dagon at that time was not a walled city but a fort of logs.

Successive Mon King of the 15th century raised the height of Pagoda by encasing earlier pagoda and embellishing the new. King Binnyayan (1426-46)cut down the hill and enlarged the base to five terraces to sustain the height but before he could finish the work he died. The work was continued by his successor, Binnyawaru (1446-50) who was helped by his mother, Queen Shin Saw Bu, the only regnant queen of Myanmar. She was ably assisted by the commander of the army, soldiers, attendants and the common people. They raised the height of the Pagoda to 90.6 m(302'). Queen Shin Saw Bu was the first to gild the Pagoda. She went on the scales and let them take her weight which was a bout 40 kg.(90 lbs). She donated that weight in gold. She dedicated a vast expanse of glebe lands which virtually covered the whole of modern Yangon. Her successor King Dhammazedi created the stone inscriptions standing on Pagoda Hill. He also donated a huge bell which a Portugese adventurer took away but which fell into the river and has not been recovered. In 1539, Tabinshwehti, who had conquered Bago, placed a jewelled finial on the Pagoda. Casper de Cruz, a Dominican priest, who was the country between 1550-60 said that "the Brames (Burmese) were a great people, very rich of gold and precious stones, chiefly of rubies; a proud nation and valiant. They have very rich and gallant shippings garnished with gold which they sail in the rivers; they use vessels of gold silver; their houses are of timber and well wrought. The kingdom is very great." In 1572, Bayinnaung rebuilt the Pagoda to 360' and had it reguilded. The shrine had been reduced to rubble during an earthquake in 1564.Bayinnaung embarked from Bago in a golden barge in the form of the mythical hintha bird, surmountedby a golden spire. The barge was escorted by a large fleet of 300 golden canoes and 1000 war boats which filled the Bago River as far as the eye could see. The grand fleet floated down to Dagon. Bayinnaung repeated the trip in 1581.

By the end of the 16th century the Shwedagon Fair was attracting people not only from Myanmar but also from distance lands such as Laos and Cambodia. The Dagon Fair was one of the chief markets for overseas trade rivalling Bago and Thanlyin. The Delta was effecting yet another change. The Bago River too was silting up off Thanlyin, and sea-going vessels were finding it difficult to navigate the reaches opposite the town. Thus, Dagon was becoming the port of choice. After the founding of the Shwedagon Pagoda. Alaungpaya's conquest of lower Myanmar is the second most important event in the history of Dagon. May 1775 marks the beginning of the modern town when Alaungpaya, to commemorate his victory, changed its name from Dagon to Yangon, "Enmity Exhausted."


Getting Around

Public Transport in Yangon

Bus
There are over 250 bus lines running around Yangon. There are over 2.5 million commuters a day. Recently, CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) was introduced as new fuel for buses operating in Yangon. The bus fares starts from Ks 40 to Ks 120, depending on the distance the traveller takes.

Train
Circular Train service is available. There are 11 local trains for ciruclar services through 37 railway stations. The train fares are cheaper than the bus fares. Yangon Central Railways Station near Aung San Stadium is the main station in Yangon.

City Taxi
Taxis are plenty in Yangon. You can get any taxi easily anywhere in Yangon. The minimum cost is about Ks 1000 for a 10 minutes ride. The taxis do not have meters, so bargaining before taking the ride is the most suitable option.

Ferry Boat
For the commuters from Dala, to cross the Yangon River, takes about 10 minutes. They steam between Pansodan Warf and Dala Warf.

Domestic Transport from Yangon

Bus
There are two highway bus terminals, one known as Dagon Ayeyar Highway Bus Terminalm in Hlaing Tharyar Township, which is mainly for the buses going to the Ayeyarwaddy Division. The other terminal is Aung Mingalar Highway Bus Terminal, which is for the buses tot the cities and towns of the whole country, except the Ayeyarwaddy Division.

Boat
Boat services are available for Ayeyarwaddy Delta region. Tickets are available at Lan Thit Jetty in Seikkan Township.

Train
Myanma Railways operate 40 train-routes throughout the country. Tickets are available at Yangon Central Railway Station.

Plane
Yangon International Airport is available for both International and Domestic Flights. Domestic flight carriers are (1) Myanma Airways (2) Air Bagan (3) Air Mandalay and (4) Yangon Airways.


Food in Yangon

There are a variety of food availabel in Yangon, since Yangon is populated with many different races of people such as Myanmars, Chinese, Indians and other ethnic groups. Restaurants are available everywhere. Chinese Food is available in China Town in Latha and Lanmadaw Township. Indian food is available in Kyauktada Township. There are some European restaurants in Yangon.

Click to see the Restaurants in Yangon.
 


Shopping in Yangon

The main tourist destination in Yangon is the Bogyoke Market, where most of the Myanmmar made souvenirs are available. Traditional art & crafts such as Lacquerware, Paintings, Antiques, Tapestries, Textile, Souvenirs, Gems & Jewelries are available in this market and in downtown Yangon.


Entertainment in Yangon

Television Stations

The main TV Stations are located in Yangon. There are two local TV channels: TV Myanmar and Myawaddy with programs running from 7 am to 4 am; and from 4 pm to 11 pm. Most hotels also have satellite TV. Myawaddy was started on the 27th March, 1995. The average broadcasting hours is about 8 hours per day when it started. But now there's more, MRTV3, MRTV4 and Channel 5.

MRTV 3 - English programs are telecast for viewers in Myanmar from 9:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. The transmission hours for viewers from abroad are from 13:00 A.M. to 14:00 A.M., 18:00 P.M. to 19:00 P.M., and from 02:00 A.M. to 04:00 A.M. It is an English channel for oversea audience. It can be received from 126 countries and is transmitted from Thaicom-3 C Band Global beam. In addition, the Ministry have also broadcast the MRTV3 programs pm the Internet using web based video streaming system via the gateway of Myanma Posts and Telecommunications. It can be accessed on Internet through http://www.mrtv3.net.mm web site.

MRTV 4 - It was launched on (15-5-2004) like a streaming video via satellite. MRTV 4 contains non-formal education programs and other entertainment programs. But for receiving, it can be matched by MMBox (Myanmar Media Box). This transmission contains educational programs from Ministries, Myanmar movies, English movies with Myanmar subtitles, cartoon programs and other entertainment programs. The transmission time is from 7 am to 11pm daily. For more quality and convenience, MRTV 4 will soon be broadcasting with Digital Video Broadcasting Technology (DVBT) terrestrial system.

Channel 5 - Broadcasts movies in different languages such as English, Chinese, Indian etc ... but all the movies are subtitled in Myanmar language. There are great cartoon programs for the children too.

Newspaper

Three morning newspapers Myanmar Ah Lin and Kye mon in Myanmar and The New Light of Myanmar in English are published in Yangon and The Yadanabon News in Myanmar is published in Mandalay. Myanmar Times Journal (English Version) is distributed every Monday, and the Myanmar Version is distributed ever Friday. Both journals are published in Yangon. The locally published magazines in English; Golden Myanmar, Myanmar Chronicle, and Myanmar Perspective, are available in bookshops. Foreign newspapers such International Herald Tribune, as Singapore Straits Times. and some foreign magazines and periodicals are available at In-wa (Ava) Bookshop, No.232, Sule Pagoda Road.

Radio

Radio Myanmar broadcasts English on the following schedule: 8:30 am to 9:00am 1:30 pm to 2:00 pm; and 9:00 pm to 10:30 pm. The new City FM broadcasts from 08:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M., and from 13:00 P.M. to 17:00 P.M. daily, starting from January 1, 2002.
City FM broadcasts from 7 am in the morning till 9pm in the evening. Myanmar & English songs, Entertainment programs, Live Interviews with Movie Stars are broadcast from this Channel.

Entertainment centers

There are entertainment centers such as Cinema Halls, Theatres and Karaoke Pubs. The main Music, Video and Film productions are in downtown Yangon.

Traditional Dances

There are also Traditional Dance sections at Karaweik Hall, where locals entertain with different Myanmar dances. Sometimes, entertainment of the Myanmar Orchestra is also programmed.

Beauty Salons and Spas

Yangon is full of Beauty Salons and Spas. Beautifications of hair and body are also popular in Yangon. The Spas are mainly included in the International Hotels in Yangon.


General Information

  • Age: 2500 years

  • Area: 576 km²

  • Population: 4,082,000

  • Location: Latitude: 16°48' N, 96°9' E

  • Temperature: Min 16 'C - Max 34 'C

Formation of Yangon

Yangon is the largest city of Myanmar. There are 34 townships forming the city of Yangon. These townships in alphabetical orders are :
Ahlone, Bahan, Botahtaung, Dala, Dagon, Dagon (Seikkan), Dawbon, East Dagon, Hlaing, Hlaing Tharyar, Insein, Kyeemyindaing, Kamaryut, Latha, Lanmadaw, Mingalardon, Mingalar Taung Nyunt, Mayangone, North Dagon, North Okkalapa, Pabedan, Pazundaung, Sanchaung, South Dagon, Seik Gyi Khanaung To, Seikkan, South Okkalapa, Shwe Pyi Thar, Thingangyun, Thaketa, Thanlyin, Tarmwe, Yankin
 


Communication Services

Internet Services
Myanmar Posts and Telecommunication (MPT) sells email accounts and Internet access.

Cyber Cafe
There are some Internet Cafe in downtown Yangon. The usage charges are about 650 to 1000 Kyats per hour, depending on the Cyber Cafe.

Express Money Order
Money Order service is available in the capitals of each states and divisions in Myanmar. The maximum amount is Ks 100,000 per remittance.

Parcel Services
General Post Office in Yangon downtown is the main Parcel Service center in Yangon.

Fax Services
Yangon Telegraph Office offers fax services to 88 oversea countries. The domestic fax lines are also widely used in Yangon.

Telephone Services
Generally there are three kinds of phone services in Yangon. Conventional Phones (or) Land Phones, Mobile Phones and IP Star Phones area available. The local phone calling costs are 15 Ks per minute for the conventional phones and 25 Ks per minute for Mobile Phones.
Oversea calls are available but quite expensive, depending on the distance of the country.






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