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Living in Yangon
A comprehensive guide about living well in Yangon
You’ll find life in Yangon is enjoyable and rewarding once you get used to the pace of things. There are great sights to see all over the city, good facilities for education for you and your children, the cost of living is pretty low, and the local people are largely cheerful and welcoming.
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Life in Yangon
Education in Yangon
Yangon generally has a good education system, although the main problem is one of money. Schools don’t receive much state funding and have to get by on donations or fees from parents, so some children from poorer neighborhoods don’t get to complete school. However, Yangon is the city that benefits most from government funding for schools.
There is a good selection of international schools for expat children, including Yangon International School, British International School Yangon, Network International School, International School of Myanmar, and International School Yangon.
There are a number of universities in the center, including Yangon University, two Universities of Medicine, University of Computer Studies, Myanmar Maritime University, and Yangon Technological University. Further universities can be found in the suburbs, such as Dagon University, University of West Yangon, and University of East Yangon.
Transportation in Yangon
Yangon center is pretty jam-packed with buses since most residents can’t afford the price of a car. There are over 300 bus lines, both public and private, running some 6,300 buses that carry over 4.4 million passengers each day.
Traffic conditions tend to be hectic and many of the roads are in a state of poor repair. Driving is on the right hand side and it shouldn’t be too noisy as beeping your horn has been illegal in Yangon since 2004, carrying a heavy penalty.
Your best bet if you’re staying within the center is to walk to most places. A slightly more sedate way of seeing the city may be to go on a river ferry; there are four main passenger jetties from which ferries cross from the waterfront downtown to Thanlyin and Dala.
Culture and Leisure in Yangon
Yangon has a rich culture dating back thousands of years, and evidence of this can be seen just by walking around. Expats living in Yangon can, for example, look forward to visiting the breathtaking Shwedagon Pagoda, an amazing Buddhist temple in gold. There’s also the Independence Monument, the Sule Pagoda — an incredible complex with a temple in the middle of a roundabout and encircled by City Hall — a Shia mosque, a Sunni mosque, Emmanuel Baptist Church, and the former colonial High Court building.
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to museums and galleries, too. There’s the National Museum with a plethora of exhibits including the last king’s Lion Throne, the home of independence icon Aung San, and the Pansodan Gallery, which displays contemporary artists. There are also numerous opportunities for expats living in Yangon to participate in sports, for example at the Yangon United Sports Complex.
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