Enjoy a 50-minute ride to scenic Thanlyin—formerly Syriam—on the Bago River. Once a major port city, this French East India Company was based here, as well as the Portuguese adventurer Filipe de Brito e Nicote.
Arrive in town and climb aboard a small wooden boat. Spot turtles in the water as you ferry toward the gorgeous Ye Le Pagoda, an unusual Buddhist pagoda set on a small island in a tributary of the Yangon River. Disembark and explore the pagoda, admiring Burmese Buddha relics, paintings, and sculptures within the gilded structures.
Return to shore and spend some time strolling through the open-air, riverside market. Interact with locals and vendors peddling produce and handcrafted wares, then climb uphill to the Kyaik Khauk Pagoda. From here, you can take in a sweeping vista over the city. Check out the golden stupas and architecture of the pagoda—this impressive structure was initially built more than 2,000 years ago.
On your return trip to Yangon, make a stop at the Suthaungpyay Monastery. This school is funded by locals and run by monks to provide education for those less fortunate