When the British took over all of Myanmar in 1886 the monarchy collapsed and they moved the capital city from Mandalay to Yangon (Rangoon): this remains today as the main gateway to Myanmar although the capital has now moved to Naypyidaw (Pyinmana) The city still hasn't lost its charm despite a mini-boom in the early 1990's which led to the construction of many high-rise buildings and five-star hotels. By South-East Asian standards Yangon retains much of its old world charm and yet is still a bustling city with many diverse cultures.
The city dates back over 2,500 years and was formerly called Dagon: around 1755AD King Alaungmintaya renamed the city Yangon (meaning "The Ending of Strife").
See the magnificent golden Shwedagon Pagoda in which is enshrined the sacred relics of three Buddhas and eight hair relics of the Supreme Self-enlightened Buddha, who attained Nirvana over 2,500 years ago. The Pagoda is 326 feet high and 1,420 feet round and the pinnacle is studded with priceless gems. The "hti" or umbrella was replaced in 1999 but one can still see the original housed on the main concourse. See the famous bell which the British and many other "trouser people" have tried unsuccessfully to remove from Myanmar - listen to the story and follow the pictures!
Visit the Gems Museum and amaze at the priceless rubies, sapphires and jade and see the world's largest pearl which was discovered in 2001; then visit the Cultural Museum where the regalia of the last Myanmar King and Imperial Throne are housed...
July 07 2016