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Why Maha Bandoola Garden is special ?
This recently revamped park offers pleasant strolling in the heart of the downtown area and views of surrounding heritage buildings including City Hall , the High Court and the old Rowe & Co department store.
The park's most notable feature is the Independence Monument , a 165ft white obelisk surrounded by two concentric circles of chinthe (half-lion, half-dragon deity). There's also a good children's playground.
When laid out by the British in 1868, the park was called Fytche Sq after Sir Albert Fytche, chief commissioner at the time. Later it was renamed Victoria Park to commemorate the queen whose statue used to stand where the Independence Monument is today.
After Independence, the park was renamed to honour General Thado Mahabandoola, a Burmese hero who conquered Assam and died in action in the First Anglo-Burmese War in 1824.
For a year or two following the 1988–90 prodemocracy uprisings, the park was occupied by soldiers; many of the more violent events of the time took place nearby.
What to explore at Maha Bandoola Garden?
When the British drew up a plan for the city’s streets, they put Sule Paya at the heart; today its golden central stupa, 45m tall, is still one of the most striking landmarks in downtown Yangon. The pagoda is surrounded by a ring of shops and forms a busy roundabout, which buses hurtle around throughout the day, but is surprisingly calm inside. You’ll be pestered by unlicensed moneychangers around here, but don’t be tempted – they’re notorious for scamming the unwary.
Just southeast of Sule Paya is Mahabandoola Garden, a bit scruffy but another good place to escape the downtown bustle. Its statue of Queen Victoria is long gone, and today it contains an austere independence monument placed there in 1950. Fortune-tellers ply their trade outside the garden’s railings.
How to get to Maha Bandoola Garden?
Taxis cost from K1,500 for short journeys in the downtown area to K3000 for longer trips within the city (up to K5,000 for the airport). Most – though not all – Yangon taxi drivers speak some English. To find out more, go to getting around Myanmar by taxi and car.
- A public park in city centre
- Nice for a rest
- Best place to relax at night
- Ok park in great downtown location
- Lovely Park at the Heart of the City
Yangon Myanmar (Burma)
Tips for you
This is not a tourist trap as there are no charges to visit, so we were pleased about that. There isn't a great deal to look at aside from the Independence monument and the trees but we found it very relaxing and spent a bit of time chilling out on the steps and also on the verge of the grass. It's well maintained and right beside Sule Pagoda and various shops and restaurants
Independence Monument is in the garden. I heard that many improvements are made than the last time I went there in September '13