Although Yangon is not the Capital City of Myanmar it does have the main international airport and is the main gateway for tourists entering the country.
Situated in the lower part of Myanmar, Yangon was formerly known as Rangoon and is the former capital of Myanmar - (Myanmar's capital is Naypyidaw). The climate is considered to be tropical monsoon - the rainy season is from May to October with temperatures of around 30 to 36 degrees Centigrade and and the dry season runs from November to April where temperatures vary from 18 to 25
degrees Centigrade. The city has the wide Yangon River coming up to the south and then the river splits into the Haing and Bago Rivers which go on north bordering the city on it's west and eastern sides respectively.
Travelling too and from Yangon - money exchange - airport taxis.
Located around 9 miles north of Downtown, the airport at Yangon handles the majority of the
country's international flights and is also the starting point for most domestic flights. There are several money-changers at Arrivals - generally speaking they are pretty similar in exchange rates and there is not a huge difference in this if money is exchange later on in the City at one of the banks. There is for some reason still a better rate given for exchanging higher demoniantion
USD notes - 100s get the best rate and 50s are not too bad - smaller notes generate a somewhat smaller number of Kyats.
One of the plentiful taxis will get you into town in around 40 minutes although allow at least another half hour if going to the airport paritcularly during the late afternoon. In 2014 the official charge by taxis was meant to be USD7 (which is how much you should be
charged if going too the airport) however from the airport they always want USD10.
Getting around and about in Yangon, Myanmar.
Yangon is a pleasant and really leafy sort of city with many of the grid-layout roads and avenues lined with beautiful trees. Motor bikes and even bicycles are not permitted within the
central city so obviously (apart from walking) the way to get around is by car, bus or taxi.
The city and of course Myanmar itself is rapidly growing with a huge increase in tourism and investment occurring - this means that the roads are getting more and more congested as residents can (and are permitted) to own their own cars. The roads around Downtown Yangon and towards the airport become terribly congested especially in the late afternoon. Generally the buses seem jam-packed all the time and it's not easy for tourists to work out
where they go (or when they get somewhere). A local railway service loops right round the city - mainly used by locals this also gets hugely congested most of the time. By far the best way to get around is by using one of the numerous taxis - which are relatively inexpensive.
Where to stay in Yangon - hotels and guesthouses plus places to eat.
One thing is for sure - Yangon hotels are quite ridiculously expensive to stay in - it is really easy during the peak tourist season to have to pay well over USD200 per night for a room which is ok but hardly 5 star. This is way more than that demanded in comparable cities such as Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Hanoi or Vientiane. The best
way to get any sort of reasonable price is to do this on the web - simply turning up at a hotel hoping for a last minute deal does not work - you may well have to pay much more. One of the problems is demand of course since there are not very many good hotels in Yangon yet. There is a price spread which goes from pretty poor quality and reasonably cheap accommodation and skips the middle bit and just
goes to very expensive.
Other destinations in the Far East which are reasonably easy to reach from Myanmar and for which we have travel and touring guides are Cambodia, Laos, China, Thailand and Vietnam - please see our above Home Page for these or visit our Resources Page