Things to Do
Reasonable weather, fewer visitors, and cheaper prices for flights and hotels make May an excellent time for visiting Yangon. With less favorable weather in the coming months, do not hesitate to have some fun at the end of the “good season”.
Enjoy the Kason Bo Tree Watering Festival
The Kason Bo Tree Watering Festival is a nationwide festival during which locals enact a water-pouring ceremony at the Mahabodhi tree. The Myanmar people believe this activity can ensure the tree will not die as a result of drought during the hot summer. It has become a fixed feature of Myanmar’s Buddhist culture.
The Mahabodhi tree has strong ties with Buddha, so various Buddhist activities are related to this kind of tree. Through the Kason Bo Tree Watering Festival, locals show their respect for Buddha.
As it is a national festival and does not have a specific date, you may see some related activities while on your way to see the attractions. Ask the locals if you are interested — their reply may surprise you!.
Visit the Sule Pagoda
Located in the heart of downtown Yangon, the Sule Pagoda (around 144 feet tall) has a golden appearance and an octagonal shape, with an original Indian structure.
The pagoda was built at the time of Buddha, before the Shwedagon Pagoda, making it more than 2,500 years old. The Sule Pagoda is like a focal point for the recent history of Burmese politics, as it experienced both the 1988 uprising and the 2007 Saffron Revolution.
Most visitors are attracted by the 8 zodiac sculptures around the pagoda, which represent different days of the week. For Wednesdays there are two zodiacs, representing morning and afternoon, respectively. You can find your own zodiac from your date of birth; just ask for a blessing!
As the Sule Pagoda is in the center of Yangon, it is really easy to get there or to visit other city attractions from there. One hour is enough to spend at the pagoda and then you can explore the rest of downtown Yangon.
Location: Maha Bandoola Road 95–1, Yangon, Myanmar
Opening hours: 4 am–10 pm
Entrance fee: US$ 5
Relax at Kandawgyi Lake
Kandawgyi Lake, formerly named Royal Lake, is one of two major lakes in Yangon. It covers 150 acres, and is surrounded by the 110-acre Kandawgyi Nature Park and a 69.25-acre zoological garden, which includes a zoo, an aquarium, and an amusement park.
As the weather in May is still not very cool, such a large lake can help you relax, with its peaceful environment, fresh air, and cool breeze.
The lake is nicely located, with the Karaweik Palace, one of Yangon’s most famous attractions, at its eastern shoreline. The Shwedagon Pagoda is just 20 minutes’ walk away, and the Sule Pagoda, Yangon Chinatown, and other attractions are also nearby.
Therefore, it would be nice to spend one or two hours there after a great lunch, enjoying the peaceful environment and taking advantage of the good location to make some plans for the afternoon.
Transportation: 20 minutes’ walk from Shwedagon Pagoda
Location: Kandawgyi Park (Royal Lake), Yangon, Myanmar
Opening hours: 4 am–10 pm
Entrance fee: 2,000 kyats