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Yangon

Brief
Yangon, the capital city of Myanmar, is so evergreen and cool with lush tropical trees, shady parks and beautiful lakes it has earned the name of "The Garden City of the East". Though with the atmosphere of a typical Asian city, It stands out in contrast as it is not yet overwhelmed with the global trends of modernity and is making its own progress at its own pace, in its own calm, civic culture. Being the main entrance to the country and principle seaport, it is the hub of business activities and government offices as well as non-governmental organizations. 

Reasons to visit
The city represents a mixture of diverse communities and cultures, with respect to people, religion, business, and settlement. Yangon was founded by King Alaungpaya on the site of a small town called Dagon when he conquered lower Myanmar in 1755. He changed its name to Yangon, which means "End of Strife", but was anglicized as Rangoon by the British when they annexed Myanmar in 1885. The present day Yangon covers an area of 350 sq. km with a population of over 5 million. 

The Shwedagon Pagoda    
Towering to a height of 326 feet on Theingottara hill, dominates Yangon. Visitors to Myanmar are awe-struck on seeing the magnificence and splendor of this golden shrine. Ralph Fitch, the first Englishman to arrive in Myanmar's in 1558, comment: " it is called Dagon and is of a wonderful bigness, and all gilded from the foot to the topped - it is the fairest place, as I suppose, that is in the world." Rudyard Kipling inscribed "this most famous of all Myanmar shrines as a golden mystery lofty on the horizon, a beautiful wonder that blazed in the sun," in his letters from the east published in 1889. In his Gentleman in the Parlor, Somerset Maugham, at his first sight of the Pagoda was inspired to write that the superb, glistening, golden Shwedagon rising superbly upwards, was ". Like a sudden hope in the dark night of the soul. The great golden Shwedagon Pagoda is the prominent landmark visible from miles around, where the holy hair relics of the Buddha were enshrined more than 2,500 years ago. It is one of the wonders of the world and the most venerable pagoda in Southeast Asia.   

Karaweik Hall      
Karaweik Hall is one of the landmarks of Yangon, standing in the Kandawgyi Lake(Royal Lake ). This modern architecture is built in the shape of the mythical creature Karaweik bird. It has 3 floors including a ceremonial hall. This wholly gilded building is about 20 years old.  

Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda    
Located 10 minutes away from downtown, and 5 minutes from the famous Shwedagon Pagoda, the 72 meters long reclining Buddha image is the biggest colossal reclining Buddha image in Myanmar. Originally built in 1907, it has suffered damage due to climate over the years. In 1957, it was demolished and rebuilt to this structure and completed in 1966. The uniqueness of the image is the glass mosaic on the sole of its feet representing the 108 special characteristics of the Buddha.

Botahtaung Pagoda  
It is a shrine with hollow passages inside to walk through. The name Botahtaung means "a thousand military leaders". This pagoda was named after the 1,000 military leaders who escorted the sacred hair relics of Buddha, brought from India over two thousand ago. Inside the pagoda, there are glass showcases containing many ancient relics and donated artifacts sealed but visible inside the shrine. The original shrine was destroyed during the World war II bombing. Present day structure is built over the old original one. Above this interesting interior, the golden pagoda spire rises to 132 feet (40 meters). 

Htaukkyant war cemetery    
Located at Htaukkyant, about 32 km from Yangon on the road to Bago, there is a memorial cemetery of Allied soldiers who died in the Burma Campaign during World War II. The cemetery's beautifully kept compound has 27,000 tombstones of fallen Common Wealth and Allied soldiers.

Hlawga Wildlife Park   
Hlawga Park is about 45 minutes drive from downtown. The park covers 1,650 acres of land including the Hlawga Lake , which is a home for over 70 kinds of herbivorous animals and 90 species of birds. It has a museum of the replica of Myanmar traditional buildings and a small zoo with rock garden. Flocks of migratory birds frequently visit the park. It is an ideal place for picnickers, naturalists, botanists and bird-watchers. Visitor can also enjoy elephant rides, boating and fishing in the park.   

Sule Pagoda   
The landmark at the Yangon City center and symbol of downtown Yangon is situated right at the heart of the city. The Sule Pagoda is said to be over 2,000 years old, enshrining a hair relics of the Buddha. The golden pagoda is unusual in that its octagonal shape continues right up to the top terrace. It stands 46 meters (152 feet) high and is surrounded by small shops of all the familiar non-religious services such as astrologers, palmists, photo studios and watch repair. From there, you may observe the atmosphere of the Yangon center with crowed people from all walks of life in various trades, and busy traffic.  

Kyauktawgyi Pagoda   
Lawka Chanthar Arbayar Laba Muni Buddha Image craved from the one piece of white is marble rock was done in year 2000 CE, which is flawless and of hight quality measuring 37 feet long, 24 feet wide and 11 feet thick was found at Sakyin Hill, Madaya Township, Mandalay Division. This huge Image is now at Mindhamma Hill, Insein Township, Yangon Division. This Buddha Image will be the highest and biggest of all in the world.   

Shopping
Stalls sell stones, jewellery, handicrafts, ropes of pearls and antiques.

Festive celebrations
Thingyan Water Festival,The Kason Festival,The Waso Festival,Thadingyut Festival (Festival of Lights),Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda Festival,Elephant Dance Festival,Tazaungdaing Festival.