The must see temples in Yangon, Myanmar – ultimate guide

Myanmar is well know for its beautiful temples and incredible culture. Burmese people are incredibly spiritual and if you want to dig in the culture and traditions, you’ll have to visit a few temples.

If you are planning to spend a few days in Yangon, I’ve put together a list of the  best temples to visit in Yangon. Apart from their beauty and importance in the local community, each of these temples has unique characteristics.

Best Yangon Temples - Shwedagon Pagoda

Burmese woman praying at Shwedagon Pagoda

While you’re still in Yangon, take a ride with the Yangon circular train and discover the daily lives of local people. Read more here.

1. Sule Pagoda

Sule Pagoda or Sule Paya is a Burmese Stupa located right in the heart of Yangon. According to the legend, this pagoda was built 2600 years ago, before the Shwedagon Pagoda, during the time of the Gautama Buddha. Also, this stupa is believed to enshrine a Buddha hair.

The legend states that the actual site of Shwedagon Pagoda was asked to be revealed by an old nat (spirit worshiped in Myanmar) who resided in the same place where Sule Pagoda is nowadays. The pagoda received its name after this old nat – Sule Nat.

Best Yangon Temples - Sule Pagoda

Yangon Sule Pagoda is 44 m high and it is topped with a hti (an ornamental element shaped as an umbrella). The pagoda is surrounded by a circular building with shops where services of astrology and palmistry are offered.

Sule Paya is one of the most beautiful temples in Yangon and one of the most important attractions in the city. I really loved getting lost in the neighborhoods near Sule Pagoda and I would definitely recommend exploring the area around it.

Sule Pagoda entrance fee: $3

Sule Pagoda opening hours: 6am – 10pm

2. Shwedagon Pagoda

Probably one of the most famous temples in Southeast Asia, Shwedagon Pagoda is a true wonder. This 99m tall pagoda, situated on Singuttara Hill impresses through its height and beauty. Shwedagon Pagoda is considered to be the most sacred Buddhist pagodas in Myanmar since it includes relics of 4 previous Buddhas.

Best Yangon Temples - Shwedagon Pagoda

Best Yangon Temples - Shwedagon Pagoda

The Shwedagon Pagoda’s architecture is quite impressive. The top of the pagoda is decorated with 5,448 diamonds and 2,317 rubies. The very top of the pagoda is tipped with a 76 karat (15 grams) diamond and the pagoda itself is all covered with golden plates.

The pagoda consists of hundreds of other colorful temples, stupas and statues, all with incredible details. Just take your time (I would recommend spending at leat 2 hours here) and admire its incredible beauty.

Shwedagon Pagoda is definitely Yangon’s most beautiful temple.

Best Yangon Temples - Shwedagon Pagoda

We were approached by so many locals who wanted to take photos with us

Tip: It is customary to walk clockwise when visiting the Shwedagon Pagoda. 

Shwedagon Pagoda entrance fee: $6.5

Shwedagon Pagoda opening hours: 4am – 10pm

3. Maha Wizaya Pagoda

The Maha Wizaya Pagoda in Yangon is a beautiful structure on top of Dhammarakhita Hill, opposite to Swedagon Pagoda. The pagoda was completed in 1980 and it has a mix of traditional and contemporary elements.

Best Yangon Temples - Maha Wizaya Pagoda

A unique feature is Maha Wizaya’s main stupa. Unlike other Burmese stupas which are closed to visitors, this stupa is open. Inside it there is a round room where Burmese people gather to pray. Take a walk around the circular room and admire the murals on the ceiling which depict various animals.

The Maha Wizaya Pagoda is one of the must see temples in Yangon, Myanmar due to its unique architecture.

Maha Wizaya Pagoda entrance fee: free

Maha Wizaya Pagoda opening hours: 6am – 10pm

4. Nga Htat Gyi Pagoda

Nga Htat Gyi Pagoda is home to the famous 14 meter tall, Five Storey Buddha. This huge seated image of Buddha sits on a pedestal and it was built in 1900.

Unfortunately, when we visited Nga Htat Gyi Pagoda, the Buddha image was under renovation and we couldn’t see much of it. However, we couldn’t help but notice the statue’s incredible details and golden robe.

Best Yangon Temples - Nga Htat Gyi Pagoda interior

The Buddha image is different in style from the ones you can find around Myanmar. This is why visiting Nga Htat Gyi Pagoda should be on your list when in Yangon.

Also, not many tourists visit this pagoda. Nga Htat Gyi Pagoda is a great place to explore Myanmar’s culture and traditions without bumping into hundreds of tourists.

Nga Htat Gyi Pagoda entrance fee: $3

Nga Htat Gyi Pagoda opening hours: 6am – 8pm

5. Chauk Htat Kyi Pagoda

Chauk Htat Kyi Pagoda is home to one of the biggest reclining Buddhas in the world and the biggest one in Yangon. The 65m long Reclining Buddha image is highly revered in Myanmar and it was originally completed in 1907. In 1966, during the renovation, another 6 meters were added to the original structure.

Best Yangon Temples - Chauk Htat Kyi Pagoda

Buddhist people come to Chauk Htat Kyi Pagoda to pay their respects while burning incense and offering flowers. Around the statue there are shrines dedicated to each day of the week where Buddhists come and pray.

This pagoda is situated just across the street from Nga Htat Gyi Pagoda. If you are in the area, make sure to visit both. Each of these Yangon temples is unique and special in its own way.

Chauk Htat Kyi Pagoda entrance fee: free

Chauk Htat Kyi Pagoda opening hours: 6am – 8pm

6. Tooth Relic Pagoda (Swe Taw Myat Pagoda)

As the name says, this pagoda was built to enshrine a sacred Buddha tooth relic which was brought from China in 1994. The interesting part is that here, at Swe Taw Myat Pagoda, you can see the ivory copy of the Buddha tooth relic.

Best Yangon Temples - Tooth Relic Pagoda

The pagoda impresses through its unique shape and symmetry.

Tooth Relic Pagoda entrance fee: free, $0.20 photography fee

Tooth Relic Pagoda opening hours: 6am – 6pm

 

These 6 temples in Yangon, Burma are among the most beautiful ones in the whole country. If you have enough time to spend in Yangon, I would recommend visiting all 6 of them. However, if you have limited time, then make sure to visit at least the Shwedagon Pagoda and Sule Pagoda.

May the travel bug bite you!

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Best Yangon Temples - Shwedagon Pagoda

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