I love the energy of big cities – but I also need some peace & quiet to get away from the crowds. Yangon has a lot of parks and lakes in the city area to get away from the noise and my favorite place is Kandawgyi Lake. With a boardwalk around the peaceful lake, great views of the Shwedagon Pagoda and Karaweik Palace and some nice restaurant, it makes for a great getaway from busy downtown.
Yangon is a bustling city, noisy and crowded and especially the downtown area can be overwhelming. Kandawgyi Lake is a whole different experience. It’s walking distance from Shwedagon Pagoda, the most popular sight in Yangon and only a few minutes drive from downtown. It’s a large lake with trees all around it. Karaweik Palace, shaped like a royal barge, sits in the middle of the lake and makes for a great photo opportunity as it often reflects beautifully in the quiet lake surface. And so does Shwedagon Pagoda looming over the lake to the West! All of this is easily accessible via the wooden boardwalk that has been constructed on the Southern side of the lake, with an entrance near the Shwedagon Pagoda in the West and near the Esperado Hotel in the East.
It is especially popular in the early morning, when it is still quiet and during sunset in the evening, when many locals come out for a stroll along the lake. It’s great people watching, too, giving you a chance to watch locals on their evening jog, young couples on a date or families on an outing!
If you enjoyed the walk and want to spend a little more time near the lake, the Garden Bistro sits on the lake shore with nice views and good food! Or, plan to stay near the lake and enjoy the views from your hotel. I have stayed at the Esperado Hotel and the more upscale Kandawgyi Palace and enjoyed both of them!
TravelTips: Kandawgyi Lake is at its best in the early morning and evening – it can get very hot during midday as the boardwalk is exposed to the sun.
I recommend sneakers or shoes – the boardwalk has fallen into disrepair and the wooden planks are well worn in parts with some nails and sharp edges sticking out. It was undergoing repairs during my last visit and should be in better shape soon!