If there is one place in Myanmar that you should not miss before leaving the country that is Bogyoke Aung San market located in Yangon’s city center. If you love shopping, then you should definitely allocate 2 days of shopping here. You can find everything from jade, rubies, sapphires and other precious stones to some hand made bamboo products to some tribal handicrafts and scarves to some Burmese textiles to teak and oak wood products. The options are endless and the products and their prices are so attractive that you will end up carrying a full bag of goodies back home.
The Bogyoke Aung San Market is located on the Bogyoke Aung San road and on the 27th and 28th streets. It is not too far from the railway station and the tall Sakura towers. If you are staying in the city center, a short walk of 10 minutes should take you here. If you are anywhere far away, a taxi would happily take you to this happening place.
The best time to visit here is from 9 AM to 11 AM. The weather is more bearable and it is also the time when you can get good prices as the people of Myanmar believe in the first customer being lucky for their entire day’s business and usually dole out good discounts. While the biggest draw of this market are its gems and precious stones, one can find other interesting work of Myanmar like local paintings, handicrafts, bags and clothes designed and woven by the different tribes of Myanmar.
Do not forget to buy a Chinlon ball made out of bamboo cane. Chinlone is the most popular sport in Myanmar and this ball in its true form or in the form a key chain make a great souvenir. A lot of tourists also like the bamboo hand bags. The jade products are one of the more fast moving and the longyis and scarves made from lotus stem threads are hugely popular too.
If you want some quality woodwork to take back to your country, the teak, oak and ebony wood products of Myanmar are not only designed well, but are also of very good quality. If your wallet allows, buy some sandalwood products and enjoy how its pleasant smell permeates into all your belongings. The paintings of Buddhist monks asking for alms is also very popular with tourists.
Apart from the gems, souvenir items and handicrafts, one can also see a lot of local products, which ensures that this market gets a lot of the local population. But, mainly this market is for the tourists. Whenever you feel you are tired or need a break from shopping, drop into any of the stalls in the market for a cold drink, a local dessert, a Chinese soup or a hot cup of Indian tea. The place offers you everything to keep shopping for souvenir till your wallet is empty or your bag is full.
The market is open all week between 9 AM and 7 PM. Some of the shops open after 10 AM. The prices are not inflated here, but if you feel like a bargain, the people of Myanmar do not mind it and are willing to give the customer a small discount. It is such a better experience to shop here than at the airport souvenir shops. Plus, the quality is much better here for a small portion of the cost. Do visit this place before you fly out of Myanmar.