Where to Shop in Yangon, Myanmar
Yangon – or Rangoon as it was known – the capital of Burma, is one of our favourite cities, a bustling colourful place, full of amazing sights and experiences. It is also a great place to shop – handicrafts, textiles, antiques, jewels and the beautiful lacquerware that Burma is famous for.
Here is our guide to our favourite places to go shopping in Yangon:
1. Madame Thair’s Curios Gallery
Madame Thair is somewhat of a legend and both Burmese and tourist visitors in search of beautiful antiques, ceramics and silks, seek her out. An eccentric character, her extraordinary rambling shop in Yangon is an Aladdin’s cave of treasures. Our own Karina visited her on location for a high-profile fashion shoot and was awestruck by the wonderful things Madame Thair had on show. Address: 649 Myakantha Street, 5 1/2 Mile, Pyay Road, Yangon, Burma
2. Shwedagon Pagoda
The bedazzling Shwedagon Pagoda is an absolute must-see for any visitor to Yangon, central as it is to much of the capital’s cultural and religious life. It is also a surprisingly good place to shop. Lots of small stalls line the staircases up to the pagoda selling exquisite flowers, votive offerings and religious icons, as well as other souvenirs and handmade crafts. Address: Shwedagon Pagoda, Dagon, Yangon, Burma
3. Bogyoke Aung San Market
Built in 1927 and originally known as Scott’s market, Bogyoke Aung San Market now fills two large buildings on either side of the street. Packed with all manner of stalls selling Burmese souvenirs and handicrafts, fabric and longyi (sarongs), sandals, jewellery and antiques, there are also some art galleries and clothing shops. One of our favourite outlets is Yoya May Textiles, located in Room 20 on the first floor of the main building, which specialises in tribal fabrics, both old and new, produced by weavers in the Chin state. Address: Bogyoke Aung San Rd, Pabedan Township, Yangon, Burma
4. Myanmar Gems Museum
The Myanmar Gems Museum does exactly what it says on the tin, but it also houses 82 vendors over three floors, selling high-quality raw gems and finished pieces with rubies, sapphires, pearls and jade, semi-precious stones, gold and silverware – some exquisite pieces of jewellery here, including Burmese carved jade. Address: 66 Kaba Aya Pagoda Road, Yangon, Burma
5. Myanmar Traditional Manufacturing Company
Umbrellas are ubiquitous in Burma – everywhere you look, people are using colourful ones to protect themselves from the sun or the rain. They also hold cultural and religious significance – the ornamented finial on pagodas is called Htee (Umbrella) and historically the umbrella was part of royal regalia. It still denotes high honour in Burmese monastic life. This shop is THE place to get a beautifully decorated, traditional handmade Pathein parasol. Address: 276, Strand Road, Pabedan Tsp, Yangon, Burma
We are proud of the fact that our guides keep their ears to the ground and keep us abreast of new finds and attractions. There are many secret places that we hold back from the internet. Let us know what you are interested in and we will design a journey especially for you.