Rangoon, the largest city in Myanmar (Burma) has two names, Rangoon and Yangon. Today, the locals call it Yangon. The Azamara Quest spent three days (two nights) docked in the river near the city.
Due to changing tide levels in the river, the cruise terminal is on the Yangon River, south of the city. Unfortunately, the drive to the city is 90+ minutes. Road construction and traffic can cause major delays. In this port of call, we were glad we took tours offered by the ship.
A large refinery is near the cruise terminal and gas transports often block both lanes of the two-lane road as they wait to fill their tankers. On our first visit to Yangon from the cruise terminal, we were stuck in a jam for more than an hour. Our return to the ship from a tour was more than two hours.
The tour of the city was fantastic! The Shwedagon Pagoda is the primary tourist site in the city – and well worth the trip. The pagoda, covered in gold leaf, is 326 feet tall and is visible from most of the city. Since it’s an active religious temple, you will need to cover your shoulders and knees – and go barefoot during the visit to the pagoda.
On the next day, our two-day tour left the ship at 4:30 AM to catch an early morning flight to Bagan to the see the 2000+ temples in the UNESCO World Heritage site that rivals Angor Wat. The temples in Old Bagan were built between the 10th and 13th centuries.
The Shwezigon Pagoda is the largest temple in the area and is like the large pagoda in Rangoon. Again, we walked the pagoda without shoes. After visiting many temples, we ended the day at the viewing tower and taking a horse-cart ride among nearby temples. After sunset, we enjoyed dinner and a show at our four-star hotel, the Aureum Palace Hotel & Resort.
Our third day in Myanmar was uneventful. A slow morning at the hotel, a flight back to Yangon, and a slow return (another traffic Jam) to our ship. After two busy days, we enjoyed a quiet afternoon on the ship.
A visit to Myanmar was high on our bucket list. It’s the reason we agreed to host the Distinctive Voyages group on this cruise. Anita, your Cruise Holidays travel expert, can give you more information about our three-day visit to Myanmar.
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