Yangon, also known as Rangoon which is Burmese for end of strife is the capital of Yangon region of Myanmar and a former capital of Burma. Although the capital has since 2006 been relocated to Naypyidaw, Yangon continues to be the country's largest city and its commercial hub. Below are some things you may not about the city.
1. The Burmese are a Sweet People
From the people in the street to those in restaurants and pubs, Burmese are spontaneously sweet. Everywhere you go in the city of Yangon, you will be greeted with a smile - and the smiles are not cosmetic, they are heartfelt. Be ready to get overwhelmed with kindness and warmth.
2. There are more monks in the street than in any other Asian country
Buddhism seems to be the way of life among the Burmese. You will meet so many clean shaven men wearing traditional Buddhism clothes that you will start to think it is the national style. The monks seem unperturbed by the stares they get from the tourists. Make sure you make a friend or two among the monks - you never know where this friendship may take you.
3. Be ready to visit as many Pagodas as you can
Yangon has so many stupas that you will be bored of seeing the Buddha statutes that dot the streets. What you won’t tire of is the fascinating way the Yangon residents go about their prayers. They are committed, they really believe and their religion can easily rub off on you.
4. At the beginning of the 20th century, Yangon was known as the 'the garden city of the East'
It got this tag due to the open, well-manicured parks, beautiful lakes and a mix of modern buildings and traditional wooden architecture. It is said that at the start of 20th century, Yangon had public services and infrastructure that could compare to that of London.
5. 1942 - 1945 Yangon was under the occupation of Japan
The Japanese overtook the city of Yangon during the early period of the Second Word War. This led to heavy destruction due to the bombardments by the allied forces who would take up the city in 1945.
Today, Yangon is one of the most beautiful cities in Asia and recently, it has been upgraded to a 'World Class City'. In comparison to other East Asia cities, Yangon is expensive. However, money spent here is money well spent.