On a walk through the city centre of Yangon and to the riverbank, you will see many notable sites from the colonial and religious past of this garden city. Old Rangoon was built based on designs by Dr William Montgomerie. He was a senior military physician who learnt about construction planning from Sir Stanford Raffles in Singapore.
All culturally significant buildings in Yangon are listed as historic monuments. You’ll visit the Sule Pagoda, which dates back over 2000 years, pass by the town hall designed by U Tin in 1925, and then stroll through Maha Bandula Park, where you’ll see its independence monument before continuing onto the Supreme Court which was built in 1911 and is an extravagant redbrick architectural masterpiece designed by architect John Ransome.
Next up on the tour is the red‐brick Custom House which was built in 1902 for the Port Authority and is housed in a large building on the corner of Strand Road and Pansodan Street. You’ll then enjoy ‘high tea’ at the Strand Hotel which was built in 1896 and was formerly known as the ‘the finest hostelry East of Suez’, and climb the steps up to the word‐famous Shwedagon Pagoda, which Somerset Maugham described as follows: “The Shwedagon rose superb, glistening with its gold, like a sudden hope in the dark night of the soul of which the mystics write, glistening against the fog and smoke of the thriving city”. This massive, bell‐shaped stupa rises 100 metres above its hilltop surroundings.
Wander through this magnificent structure and its courtyards, stupas, bells, temples and Buddha images and observe religious and secular visitors from all over the world. Shwedagon has become the symbol of Myanmar. Enjoy the sunset over the pagoda.