Myanmar (formerly Burma) is a Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 ethnic groups, bordering India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand. Yangon (formerly Rangoon), the country's largest city, is home to bustling markets, numerous parks and lakes, and the towering, gilded Shwedagon Pagoda, which contains Buddhist relics and dates to the 6th century.
Yangon offers a whole range of sights and experiences. There are of course hundreds of pagodas – Botahtaung, Sule and Chaukhtatgyi among the more famous – as well as Hindu temples, Islamic mosques and Christian churches. The National Museum displays relics from the days of the ancient kingdoms, while the Gems Museum holds collections of uncut rubies as big as bricks as well as the world’s largest piece of jade. The park around Kandawgyi Lake can be explored on foot, as can the city’s numerous markets.The most popular among visitors is Bogyoke Aung San Market in the downtown area, with its hundreds of stalls selling everything rubies to lacquerware to silk.For those in need of refreshment, Yangon hosts a wide choice of restaurants. Options include elegant continental cuisine; Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Thai and other Asian dishes; and of course local Myanmar fare.