Things to Do
June is still a good month to travel in Yangon, due to its reasonable weather and declining visitor numbers.
Most beach resorts, however, close by mid-June, in preparation for the unfavorable weather in the coming months, so people who want to have some fun on the beach should probably avoid June. It is still a good idea to visit downtown Yangon during June.
Visit Saint Mary’s Cathedral
Completed in 1899 when Lower Myanmar was still a province of British India, it is a miracle that Saint Mary’s Cathedral has remained intact for almost 120 years, despite the 1930 Rangoon earthquake, a Japanese invasion during World War II, and the Allied invasion of Rangoon.
Saint Mary’s is the largest and most attractive cathedral in Myanmar, with a red brick exterior, and spires and a bell tower on top of the building. The interior is magnificently colored. The cathedral shows a different side of Yangon, some of the legacy of European culture.
Many local people and visitors attend masses or go there to pray every day. No matter what your religion is, St Mary’s is a really good place for feeling calm and relaxed, experiencing peace, praying for your family, and enjoying the gorgeous surroundings.
Location: Bo Aung Kyaw Street, Botahtaung Township, Yangon
Enjoy Taking the Circular Train
The Yangon Circular Railway was built by the British during colonial times. As the cheapest method of transportation in Yangon with a 28.5-mile and 39-station loop system, it takes about 3 hours to complete an entire loop, which is slower than most underground railways or subways in other countries.
Although it takes longer to travel by the circular train than other countries’ trains, it is a perfect way for visitors to relax and see Yangon from a totally different perspective.
It is a also good way to experience the real Yangon as the circular train is the main form of public transportation for locals. You can take the train with locals who are commuting and even have a chat with them.
Along the train route, you can see farmlands, villages, and farmers who are working hard in a country lifestyle that is very different from the urban environment. This is the way most Myanmar people live. It is the real world and the prism through which most Myanmar people see life.
Location: Bogyoke Aung San Street, Kyauktada Township (train station)
Service hours: 3:45am–10:15pm
Ticket fee: 200 kyats per 15 miles
Average speed: 15.3 kph
Learn About Buddhism in Chaukhtatgyi Temple
Chaukhtatgyi Temple is one of the best-known Buddhist temples in Yangon.
The reclining Buddha image in the temple is the most revered and one of the largest in the country, at 66 meters (217 feet) in length. There are 108 segments in red and gold colors on the soles of the feet, which represent 108 characteristics of Buddha.
The temple was first sponsored by a wealthy Burmese Buddhist in 1899, though the image was completed by others in 1907. In the 1950s, however, the old Buddha was demolished because of its disproportionate and aggressive expression. A new statue replaced the old Buddha at that time.
When visiting, you may see various locals around the Buddha. Some are worshippers praying for something, while others are just gathered around to escape the heat of the day, or to talk about their day's events.
In a country like Myanmar, about 85% of the population is Buddhist and you can see how devout the locals are. Stay in the temple for an hour or so, and enjoy the peaceful moments.
Location: Shwegondine Road, Bahan Township, Yangon
Opening hours: 6am–8pm
Ticket fee: US$5
Transportation: half an hour’s walk from Shwedagon Pagoda; take a bus from Bandarpin or Chaukhtatgyi