June 2013


-For visas & generic Myanmar information click here

-Taxi to Savoy Hotel from airport $10 USD

-About 2500 Kyat per taxi ride around town

-Bottle of water about 250k

-Busy city but it is so nice that you aren’t hassled with every step.  Often times when someone is speaking english to you away from the main attractions they may just want to practice the language and aren’t looking for a buck.

-1 USD = 949 Kyat (prono: Chat)


 Shwedagon Paya:

IMG_4501 $5 USD entrance $10 english guide (was worth it)

You have to take your shoes off before entering & expect to pay a donation at the stall. Warning the tiles can get extremely hot & when raining slippery. There are 18,000 Buddhas. It’s easy to spend a day here. You can buy a gold leaf for 300 Kyat and add it to a Buddah for good luck. Worth going here at least twice, the feel is completely different at night.

Circular Train:

$1 USD for a 3 hour trip around the area. Yellow car is the “special class” We were removed from the local car even though that’s the one I preferred. The difference was minimal. Wood floors hard basic plastic benches. The special class had backs to theIMG_4032 bench and fans hanging from the ceiling, it isn’t crowded. The trip is about an hour too long so you may want to jump off along the way to take in some sights and cab it back to the city.  One can jog faster than the train moves.

Sule Pagoda:

$2 entrance plus shoe stall donation. It’s probably the most beautiful round-about in the world. Once you dodge traffic to get in, it’s nice and peaceful inside.

IMG_1592National Museum:

$5 USD to get in, you can easily spend hours here. It’s a fine place to spend a rainy day. The exhibits gives you a good look at various periods in Myanmar history and culture. There’s 5 floors, the rooms are dark and at times I wished I had a flashlight.

Scott’s Market:

Takes up a few blocks. You can buy just about anything here from gems to flip-flops.

Football Stadium: IMG_4447

It’s across from the train station and if you’re lucky you will catch a game, or be invited to watch the national volleyball team practice in the adjacent gym.

Other Religions:

Just blocks from the Sule you can visit Myanmar’s only Synagogue & a Sunni Muslim Temple  (they’re both located on the street selling paints) A couple of churches are also in the area.


Sakura Tower/Sky Bar: The tallest building in Myanmar with the Sky Bar on the 20th floor. Unfortunately you can’t go outside but it does have  a nice overview of the city below. (from the train station exit to the right and its 2 blocks away) The food is good but  expensive,  you may just want to come for a drink. A plate of noodles is 8000 kyat not including service & tax.

Strand Hotel: Colonial hotel where famous guests like George Orwell have stayed.  We visited the bar and my husband  told me just to write, “yes, yes, yes.” The apps in the bar were 7 USD each for big portions. The chicken skewers & bruschetta ( melted cheese on top) was amazing. They have a pool table.

Le Planteur: For a meal that will likely be more than your hotel, unless you are staying at the Strand, go to this place with dishes of Michelin starred chef Felix Eppisser.  For lunch they offer a 3 course business menu for $30 USD. The full fixed menu is $78 USD for 2 apps, main course, cheese plate, desert and for some reason they also serve, courtesy of the chef, a plate of canapés,  another app (tuna tartar) & a desert sampler. The food is excellent, as it should be for the price, this has been called the finest restaurant in the country. (We walked from the Savoy Hotel)

Good Street Food/Aung Thu Kha: If you want to try the local street food in a recommended setting this is the place to go. (It’s a half block from Savoy Hotel) The place is packed with locals. You can choose from different pots of curry and all bowls come with white rice, soup, dish of veggies & leaves. We had a huge meal for 2 with  2 diet cokes for 6400 Kyat (about $7 bucks)


Savoy: We went upscale to the only privately owned hotel in the city. This small colonial style hotel is quaint and comfortable. The library area is the original house, the bar and rooms are add ons, not that you would know unless you happen to run into the owner’s fiancé. The staff is top notch helpful kind and english speaking. It was $200 USD a night w/an amazing  breakfast (fried noodles were my favorite) and WIFI. The rooms are basic but they have a/c, safe, robes, TV (didn’t turn it on I assume satellite) . The courtyard pool is small but nice. It’s away from downtown and a charming quiet respite from the city. You can walk to a bunch of restaurants  (Aung Tha Kha for a true Burmese experience) and the Shwedagon Paya. (taxi is 1500k) Hotel charges $25 USD for airport p/u so take a taxi outside the terminal for  $10 USD.  If your budget allows I  highly recommend it.

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