Perhaps better known as Rangoon, the Port of Yangon is a fascinating and exotic travel destination. A mix of British, Indian, Chinese, and Burmese influences, it is a unique thought decaying example of a British colonial capital from the 19th Century. It is also full of new high-rise buildings.
When traveling in the Port of Yangon, visitors should be aware of and sensitive to local customs. When giving or receiving an item, use your right hand. Take off your shoes and footwear when entering religious buildings like pagodas or monasteries. Always show respect for images of Buddha, and treat monks, nuns, and novices with utmost respect. Avoid overt affection. Do not kiss in public. Because locals consider their heads to be a noble body part, avoid touching people’s heads. For the hot humid climate, wear cotton fabrics, and remember to bring hats, sun glasses, and sunscreen at the beach. For the cultural climate, women should not wear pants, mini-skirts, or clothing that exposes the body.
Legend says that the Shwedagon Pagoda was built when Buddha lived and that the area surrounding the Pagoda has been settled since that time. Facts establish that a Mon village called Dagon was on the site since the 6th Century. Also known as the Golden Pagoda, this 90-meter stupa is gilded and glows in the sunlight, dominating the Port of Yangon skyline. This Port of Yangon Pagoda is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar, and relics from four past Buddhas are enshrined there, including eight hairs from Gautama, the historic Buddha.
The Port of Yangon’s Zoological Gardens were opened by the British in 1906, and they contain the largest collection of wild animals in Myanmar. Covering almost 70 acres, the gardens are home to about 300 species of trees, 59 species of mammals, 60 species of birds, and 18 species of reptiles. Visitors will find elephant, tapir, camel, rhinoceros, tiger, lion, many species of monkeys, snake, crocodile, turtles, and a wide range of birds.
The Mahabandoola Garden in the Port of Yangon is famous for its rose gardens and the Independence Monument they surround. The gardens are a wonderful place to reflect and to view the City Hall and British colonial buildings from old Rangoon.
Travelers who want to visit the Port of Yangon by sea can find a list of scheduled cruises on the Cruise Compete website.