Photo series: The 2 biggest cities of Myanmar

The two biggest cities of Myanmar are Yangon (the former capital) and the 2nd largest one Mandalay. Amazing culture those Burmese / Myanmarese(?). It feels like a mix of China, South East Asian and Indian. Two Cities north vs south with 2 distinguished own cultures.


Yangon also known as Rangoon is the former capital. The Myanmar government decide to move the capital to the middle of the country to the very unknown Nyi Pi Taw (you pass this city if you travel the express highway between Yangon and Mandalay). Yangon is what everything has what you expect in a (former) capital the biggest airport, the most people and yes also traffic jams (because the local government do not allow motorcycles on the streets). To have culture shock immediately go to Yangon. Street food everywhere with more Indian influences but pagodas in every corner of the narrow street. Very interesting is the Sulu and Shwedagon Pagoda. Both pagodas are according to historians the oldest pagodas in Myanmar (over 2500 years old). If you spend one more day in Mandalay go hang around in the busy streets and enjoy every day life. And take the circular train. An urban rail takes you 3 hours in the outskirts of Yangon and back to the main train station of Yangon. Very interesting micro life on the train.


The 2nd largest city of Myanmar is Mandalay. A huge difference with Yangon. While I had the feeling Yangon is more an Indian ‘light’ city. Mandalay feels like proper South East Asia with its motorbikes. Mandalay is known of the its 3 ancient cities: Sagaing, Ava, & Amarapura. Former capitals of the small kingdoms in the region. Especially Sagaing is very beautiful if you take the bridge to the other side of the river and see the 700 golden pagodas and temples on the hills. Very impressive sight. Don’t forget go early in the morning with sunrise or with sunset to the U Bein bridge. This bridge is the longest teak bridge in the world and especially with the sunlight make it very special. In the morning when the buddhist monks walk over the bridge from the ‘island’ to the ‘mainland’.

Yangon / Rangoon - former capital of Myanmar / Birma
Photography, Art Direction
View Project
Mandalay - Myanmar
Photography, Art Direction
View Project








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