Yangon, Myanmar: Where To Eat, Stay And Explore in According To Ivan Pun
Bars & Restaurants
A picturesque world of its own, Le Planteur is located in a beautifully restored heritage house originally built in 1902. The French fine dining restaurant sits on Inya Lake and has a sprawling outdoor space that’s perfect for sundowners.
Housed in a chic, loft-like setting, Nam Su showcases flavourful, home-style Shan cuisine from Myanmar’s Inle Lake area. Dishes include warm tofu noodles and smoky grilled meats—all inspired by the owner’s time living in Lashio in Myanmar’s Shan State—and they go down well with the restaurant’s signature cocktails.
Occupying the former Bank of India Building, The Pansodan is a new Burmese Brasserie serving killer cocktails and elegantly executed dishes like laphet thoke (fermented tea salad) and Burmese-Indian classics such as keema pala ta. Much like downtown Yangon itself, it’s a colourful cross-cultural celebration.
Sarkies Bar at The Strand
The Strand once welcomed—and inspired—thirsty, travelling writers like Rudyard Kipling and George Orwell, and no place captures those bygone days like Sarkies Bar. Charming from head to toe, this hotel bar is dressed in rich, dark woods, plush textiles and subtle heritage elements, and serves some of the finest whiskies in town.
Owner U Ye Htut Win—a man everyone knows as Sharky—is a pioneer in Myanmar’s dining scene, using local ingredients to create organic, artisanal goods such as cheeses and cured meats.
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This family-owned treasure trove was established by Mr Augustine in 1978 and continues to be operated by his son, Mark. At Augustine's Antiques, you’ll find everything from vintage furniture to one-of-a-kind antiques excavated from all around Myanmar. It’s a must-visit if you’re looking to bring an authentic piece of Burmese history home with you.
You wouldn’t be faulted for mistaking Burman Barbershop for a place in London or New York. Decorated with dark greens, marble countertops and traditional barber chairs, Burman introduces the traditional, no-frills barbershop culture of “haircuts, shaves and conversation” to Yangon.
Founded by Pun + Projects, Paribawga—which literally translates to furniture in Burmese—produces high-quality bespoke furniture that celebrates local materials and craftsmanship. Visits to Paribawga are by appointment only.
Founder Mai Ni Ni Aung, who is of Chin descent, established Sone Tu to reintroduce the dying art of traditional Chin weaving to produce beautiful textiles showcasing intricate tribal patterns. The company employs some 250 weavers from the Minhya township to empower local women and their communities.
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Founded in 1971 by a group of classically trained artists who wanted to break into the post-modern movement, Lokanat is an institution and the oldest gallery in Yangon. Located in a charming old building downtown Yangon, Lokanat hosts regular exhibitions to showcase the works of local artists.
Loved by the local creative community, this contemporary gallery serves as a blank canvas for the country’s young and emerging artists. As well as being an exhibition space and a source of knowledge for curious locals and tourists (there’s an in-house reading room with an impressive library of reference materials), Myanm/art goes the extra mile by also offering art tours around the city.
Dedicated to championing local documentary photographers, photojournalists and filmmakers, Myanmar Deitta is a not-for-profit organisation that offers training, workshops and an exhibition space to support a new generation of Burmese talent.
Belmond Governor’s Residence
Formerly the home of the governor of Myanmar, this teakwood mansion built in the 1920s has since been restored by Belmond to become an intimate, secluded hideaway. The few rooms at Belmond Governor's Residence are generous in size and all come with a luxurious terrazzo bath and unique Burmese design touches such as textiles and wood furnishings. The hotel has two dining options: Mandalay, which serves traditional Burmese dishes, and Mindon Lounge, which overlooks the swimming pool and flower-filled gardens that surround the property.
The Strand is a Yangon icon. Built in 1901 along the banks of the Yangon River, this three-storey Victorian mansion remains the oldest, most atmospheric and prestigious hotel in the city, and has welcomed the likes of Prince Edward, Orson Welles and W Somerset Maugham. Following an extensive—and expensive—renovation in 2016, The Strand is as spectacular as ever while keeping true to its roots. You’ll still find soaring ceilings, teak-framed windows, rattan furniture and framed photos that tell the story of its rich heritage.
Housed in a stunning 1927 heritage building at the heart of lush, tree-lined Bank Street, the newly opened Rosewood Yangon offers contemporary comforts amid beautifully preserved elements of the building’s storied past as the New Law Courts. Rosewood Yangon has 205 lavish guestrooms, exquisite dining options, a rooftop infinity pool, fitness studio and spa.