Downtown Yangon Living History Walks: Tour

Chinatown Tour

Chinatown, to the west of Central Yangon is associated with buzzing street markets and boozy, barbecued fuelled nights on 19th Street. 

But there is much more to know; there are many layers of history, tradition and culture that are unique to the thriving Chinese-Burmese community.

In intimate groups of no more than 12, go with our expert guides to explore Chinatown’s charming and bustling streets. Hear stories about the local community and residents,  go behind the facades of its interesting architecture, to learn about its cultural events, cuisine and urban design.

This tour will show you unique urban characteristics of Yangon in terms of its planning and design and social dynamics. We will explore one of the hidden alleyways of downtown, where Doh Eain is working with diverse communities to transform former waste dumps to vibrant places where people can meet and play; and helps to tackle the growing waste management challenges. Next to that you will visit a renovated heritage building and hear how we help preserving the city’s historical and cultural assets.

Yangon is a city filled with incredible history, colonial-era architecture and culture. If you are looking for a unique way to engage with and experience this city – this tour is for you. At the same time, you support our mission because all proceeds of this tour will go towards upkeep of the alleyways and other projects, while the attention will support ownership and pride in the alleyway neighborhoods and home owners we work with. 

Our capacity building officers will lead the walks. We guarantee you a memorable experience!

Book now by sending an inquiry to contact@doheain.com

Details

  • Tour Start: 15:00 every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
  • Tour Duration: 2hrs
  • Tour Price: US $20 per international traveler, 10,000 kyats per Myanmar citizen (payment in cash to guides at the end of the tour)
  • Starting Point: Kheng Hock Khong Temple (Corner of Strand Road and Sin O Dan Street)
  • End Point: Chinese National Library
  • What to Bring: sun protection, full water bottle
  • How to book: Contact - walks@doheain.com

Tour Highlights

  1. Kheng Hock Khong Temple.
  2. Along Sin O Dan Street
  3. 17th Street
  4. U Naw Memorial Church
  5. Christ Methodist Church
  6. 19th Street: Bars & Barbeque
  7. 20th Street: Chinese Street food stalls
  8. Summit Plastic Shop / Cantonese Secret Clanhouse
  9. Guan Yin Temple
  10. Latha Street
  11. Summit Plastic Shop (Secret Clan House)
  12. Chinese National Library

The Tour

The walk will begin with the Kheng Hock Khong Temple, known as the jewel of Chinatown. This temple is where the Sino-Burmese community celebrates Chinese New Year and mid autumn festival as well as other smaller holidays.

Walking along Sin O Dan street, you’ll not only see the mixture of old and new buildings but also witness first hand the newest threats to this urban fabric: the demolition of historic structures. We’ll spend time talking about the details of the street.Then, we will have a peek into the wet market where you’ll see how many residents do their daily shopping as well as the numerous cottage industries of 17th Street. We’ll then explore U Naw’s Memorial Church (which commemorates Mr. Naw who was the first Baptist convert in 1819) as well as the many beautiful former Chinese clan houses which are nowadays transformed into pubs and bars on the lively 19th Street.Then we will visit a charming  at the corner of Latha Street, before moving on to see a big, secret, clan house. The walk will end with a visit to the Chinese National Library of Myanmar to see how this vibrant ethnic community continues to preserve their fusion culture.

Why Tour with Doh Eain?

We know there are many options for taking a tour, we’re biased but we think we offer a unique option to understand how Yangon really ticks. You’ll not only learn about the city as it is today but you’ll also see how history informs the present and glimpse what the future holds. We’re a group of passionate experts who understand that it’s the people who make this city so special. We’re working hard to build on the amazing assets that already exist. With us you’ll have fun, learn the big picture,  and see the small quirks. Then the proceeds from the tour will be used to support our impactful capacity building and placemaking work throughout the city.

Bogalayzay Street tour

Bogalazay street looks out over the iconic Secretariat, the building complex that was once the political heart of Yangon and the site of many important moments in Myanmar’s history. But the street is more than it’s view.  It is one of the rare blocks in Yangon in which many of the colonial buildings are still standing. Today it is home to a range of family stores, hip restaurants and community spaces. In short, it’s the perfect backdrop to tell the story of this ever changing city and its unique street life.

In intimate groups of no more than 12, you’ll explore this charming street and its surrounding history with our expert guides. We’ll take you behind-the-scenes to visit hidden alleyways and heritage sites, and uncover not just one street but the whole neighbourhood’s unique assets. You’ll hear the  stories of the local community and see Yangon’s transformation first hand. The walk will take around 2 hrs.

Details

  • Tour Start: 09:00 every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
  • Tour Duration: 2 hrs
  • Tour Price: US $20 per international traveler, 10,000 kyats per Myanmar citizen (payment in cash to guides at the end of the tour)
  • Starting Point: Doh Eain office, 112 41 Street (between merchant road and maha bandula road)
  • End Point: Doh Eain office
  • What to Bring: sun protection, full water bottle
  • How to book: Contact - walks@doheain.com

Tour highlights

  1. Doh Eain office
  2. Recycling shop on 41 street
  3. Multiple Alley Gardens
  4. The Secretariat
  5. H.A. Soorty Mansion
  6. Tea Shop
  7. Heritage apartment
  8. YWCA
  9.  Police Station
  10. Street vendors
  11. Ga Mone Pwint
  12. Bogalazay Market

The Tour

Our tour begins at our office on 41st street. Here we will introduce you to our story and work. On our way to the first Alley Garden, we peek into the local recycling shop, where trash becomes treasure.

The tour will then move to one of the most iconic public buildings, the Secretariat, where General Aung San was assassinated in 1947. It’s a great opportunity to join the debate of how and for what uses heritage sites should be utilized today.

Walking along Bogalazay Street, your guide will introduce you to its history, local stories and future, and how Doh Eain and others are working to preserve heritage buildings.

Next we will visit the market that gave the Bogalazay Street its name, here you’ll get to experience how most Yangon families still shop every day for food, clothes and everything in between. This will lead us to one of the more hidden spaces in downtown: the alleyways. We’ll visit one of Doh Eain’s early Alley Gardens which has been transformed from a neglected space to one full of murals, and a place to play and meet. We end the tour at our office in 41 street.

Along the way our guide will point out what is already great in Yangon like small scale economies, close-knit communities, beautiful human scale buildings and carefully thought out urban fabric, informal recycling, affordable fresh food, beautiful historic trees.

Doh Eain (“Our Home”) is a multi-discipline restoration and placemaking social enterprise based in Yangon, Myanmar. In a world of rapid urbanisation, we endeavor to ensure that our cities are places with cultural identity, and that they are livable, inclusive and sustainable. In this regard, we specialize in preserving heritage, improving public spaces, and organising cultural and social activities that connect people to places.  www.doheain.com

Disclaimer: All of Doh Eain’s impact days, walks and site visits involve the visit of public spaces which are in active use. Participating in Doh Eain’s activities in these spaces is at your own risk. Doh Eain conducts safety checks on sites prior to activities and also conducts safety briefings at the start of any activity. Nonetheless, Doh Eain can not be held liable for damage of personal belongings and/or personal injury resulting from joining our activities.

Contact Us
Doh Eain
No.112, 41 street, Botahtaung Tsp., Yangon
(between Maha Bandula Road and Merchant Road)
Email – contact@doheain.com
Website- www.doheain.com
Contact Name – Zay Bo Bo (+95 979560912)