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Internet access in Yangon, which has the best telecommunication infrastructure in the country, is slow and erratic at best, and the Burmese government implements one of the world's most restrictive regimes of Internet control.

Common facilities taken for granted elsewhere are luxury prized items in Yangon and Burma. The price of a GSM mobile phone was about K1.

Although Internet access was available in 42 cities across the country, the number of users outside the two main cities was just over 10, Yangon's property market is the most expensive in the country and beyond the reach of most Yangonites.

Most rent outside the centre and few can afford to rent such apartments. The average person stays close to his or her residential neighborhood.

The well-to-do tend to visit shopping malls and parks on weekends. Some leave the city on weekends for Chaungtha and Ngwesaung beach resorts in Ayeyarwady Division.

Yangon is also home to many pagoda festivals paya pwe , held during dry-season months November — March. The most famous of all, the Shwedagon Pagoda Festival in March, attracts thousands of pilgrims from around the country.

Yangon's museums are the domain of tourists and rarely visited by the locals. Most of Yangon's larger hotels offer some kind of nightlife entertainment, geared towards tourists and the well-to-do Burmese.

Some hotels offer traditional Burmese performing arts shows complete with a traditional Burmese orchestra. The pub scene in larger hotels is more or less the same as elsewhere in Asia.

Other options include karaoke bars and pub restaurants in Yangon Chinatown. Due to the problems of high inflation, the lack of high denomination notes, and the fact that many of the population do not have access to checks, or credit or debit cards, it is common to see citizens carrying a considerable amount of cash.

Credit cards are only rarely used in the city, chiefly in the more lavish hotels. Credit cards are also accepted in the major supermarket and convenience store chains.

As the city has the best sporting facilities in the country, most national-level annual sporting tournaments such as track and field, football, volleyball, tennis and swimming are held in Yangon.

The 40,seat Aung San Stadium and the 32,seat Thuwunna Stadium are the main venues for the highly popular annual State and Division football tournament.

Until April , the now-defunct Myanmar Premier League , consisted of 16 Yangon-based clubs, [81] played all its matches in Yangon stadiums, and attracted little interest from the general public or commercial success despite the enormous popularity of football in Burma.

Most Yangonites prefer watching European football on satellite TV. It remains to be seen whether the Myanmar National League , the country's first professional football league, and its Yangon-based club Yangon United FC will attract a sufficient following in the country's most important media market.

Yangon is also home to annual the Myanmar Open golf tournament, and the Myanmar Open tennis tournament. The city hosted the and South East Asian Games.

During colonial times, cricket was played mostly by British officials in the city. First-class cricket was played in the city in January when the touring Marylebone Cricket Club played Burma and the Rangoon Gymkhana.

After independence cricket all but died out in the country. Yangon has a growing population of skateboarders, as documented in the films Altered Focus: Burma and Youth of Yangon.

German non-profit organization Make Life Skate Life has received permission from the Yangon City Development Committee to construct a concrete skatepark at Thakin Mya park in downtown, and plans to complete the park in November Yangon is the country's main centre for trade, industry, real estate, media, entertainment and tourism.

The city represents about one fifth of the national economy. According to official statistics for FY —, the size of the economy of Yangon Region was 8.

The city is Lower Burma's main trading hub for all kinds of merchandise — from basic foodstuffs to used cars although commerce continues to be hampered by the city's severely underdeveloped banking industry and communication infrastructure.

Bayinnaung Market is the largest wholesale center in the country for rice, beans and pulses , and other agricultural commodities.

There is also a great deal of informal trade, especially in street markets that exist alongside street platforms of Downtown Yangon's townships.

Manufacturing accounts for a sizeable share of employment. At least 14 light industrial zones ring Yangon, [89] directly employing over , workers in 4, factories in early More than 80 percent of factory workers in Yangon work on a day-to-day basis.

Most are young women between 15 and 27 years of age who come from the countryside in search of a better life. In , Yangon's factories alone needed about MW of power; [92] yet, the entire city received only about MW of the MW needed.

Construction is a major source of employment. The construction industry has been negatively affected by the move of state apparatus and civil servants to Naypyidaw, [95] new regulations introduced in August requiring builders to provide at least 12 parking spaces in every new high-rise building, and the general poor business climate.

As of January , the number of new high-rise building starts approved in — was only , compared to in — Tourism represents a major source of foreign currency for the city although by south-east Asian standards the number of foreign visitors to Yangon has always been quite low—about , before the Saffron Revolution in September The number of visitors dipped even further following the Saffron Revolution and Cyclone Nargis.

Between , and , visitors that went through Yangon International in However, after years of underinvestment, Yangon's modest hotel infrastructure—only of the total hotel rooms in Yangon are "suitable for tourists"—is already bursting at seams, and will need to be expanded to handle additional visitors.

Yangon educational facilities has a very high number of qualified teachers but the state spending on education is among the lowest of the world.

With little or no state support forthcoming, schools have to rely on forced "donations" and various fees from parents for nearly everything — school maintenance to teachers' salaries, [] forcing many poor students to drop out.

While many students in poor districts fail to reach high school , a handful of Yangon high schools in wealthier districts such as Dagon 1 , Sanchaung 2 , Kamayut 2 , Bahan 2 , Latha 2 , and TTC provide the majority of students admitted to the most selective universities in the country, highlighting the extreme shallowness of talent pool in the country.

There are over 20 universities and colleges in the city. While Yangon University remains the best known its main campus is a part of popular Burmese culture e.

Following the nationwide uprising, the military government has repeatedly closed universities, and has dispersed most of the undergraduate student population to new universities in the suburbs such as Dagon University , the University of East Yangon and the University of West Yangon.

Nonetheless, many of the country's most selective universities are still in Yangon. Students from around the country still have to come to study in Yangon as some subjects are offered only at its universities.

The general state of health care in Yangon is poor. According to a estimate, the military government spends 0. Public hospitals including the flagship Yangon General Hospital lack many of the basic facilities and equipment.

Wealthier Yangonites still have access to country's best medical facilities and internationally qualified doctors.

Only Yangon and Mandalay have any sizeable number of doctors left as many Burmese doctors have emigrated.

In and , a spate of high-profile deaths [] brought out the severity of the problem, even for the relatively well off Yangonites.

The wealthy do not rely on domestic hospitals and travel abroad, usually Bangkok or Singapore, for treatment. The following are healthcare facilities in Yangon in — Yangon is a member of the Asian Network of Major Cities From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

For other uses, see Rangoon disambiguation. Metropolitan City in Yangon Region, Myanmar. List of ethnicities. List of religions.

See also: Timeline of Yangon and List of name changes in Yangon. See also: List of tallest buildings in Yangon.

See also: List of universities and colleges in Yangon. See also: List of hospitals in Yangon. Singapore: Ministry of Transport, Myanmar.

The Myanmar Population and Housing Census. Naypyitaw: Ministry of Immigration and Population. May BBC News. Retrieved 3 August Retrieved 22 May Retrieved 8 April Vivian 11 March Myanmar Now.

Legendary History of Burma and Arakan. The Government Press. Razadarit Ayedawbon in Burmese 8th printing, ed. Yangon: Armanthit Sarpay.

Richard Cary ; Converse, S. A new universal gazetteer, or geographical dictionary. University of California Libraries.

New Haven, S. History of Burma: from the earliest times to March Imperial gazetteer of India. Megacity yangon: transformation processes and modern developments.

Berlin: Lit Verlag. Retrieved 27 July The Hindu. Retrieved 17 April Hong Kong: Periplus. Institute of south-east Asian Studies. Archived from the original on 22 January Retrieved 1 January The Irrawaddy.

The Myanmar Times. Retrieved 7 September Earth Syst. Norwegian Meteorological Institute. Archived from the original PDF on 8 October Retrieved 8 October World Meteorological Organization.

Archived from the original on 19 December Retrieved 8 May Baseline climate means — from stations all over the world in German.

Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 26 April Climate Data for Selected Stations — in Danish. Danish Meteorological Institute. Archived from the original PDF on 27 April Retrieved 23 February Government of Myanmar.

Archived from the original on 27 September Its corridors reeked of cigarette smoke, alcohol and cheap perfume. Scantily dressed women lounged beyond open doorways, waiting for customers.

I was reminded of similar scenes from foreign movies. Soliciting for prostitution is illegal in Burma and the sex trade can also get customers into trouble.

To my alarm, he invited them in, sat them down and, after some pleasantries, he handed them a large envelope, clearly containing money.

The policemen smiled and left. The money buys advanced warnings from the local police if a raid is planned by superior officers.

They ply a risky trade, constantly on the watch for patrolling police. Karaokes often serve as fronts for prostitution.

US sanctions resulted in the closure of many garment factories and young women like Min Min turned to the sex trade and the entertainment scene for alternative employment.

The hands she hoped would be applauding her performance were otherwise occupied. If I refuse, they will find another girl. Linn Linn worked in a Rangoon brothel until a police crackdown on prostitution.

Since then she has been employed by a string of karaoke bars, conceding that sex as well as songs are on the menu. Linn Linn escaped arrest, but she admits it might be only a matter of time before the next police raid puts her out of work.

Everything is so expensive now and the cost of living just rises and rises. Some ceasefire groups were also involved in the business, Ko Naing claims.

Add to them the growing number of greedy officials who also wanted some of the action and the karaoke scene becomes very murky indeed.

For the next hour or so we talked about her life and her job. The other two are my mother and younger brother. My father passed away a long time ago.

My mother is bedridden and my brother is also sick. Sure, they would touch me, but I had to tolerate that.

But what Aye actually sells is sex so that her year-old son, a Grade 7 student, can finish his education. She has three other older children, all of whom are married.

Her year-old friend Pan Phyu, also a sex worker, has a greater burden. After her husband died, she takes care of three children — apart from her mother and uncle.

There are fewer opportunities available for Aye and Phyu in the nightclubs in downtown Rangoon, but they found a place near the highway in the city outskirts.

Their clients vary, ranging from college students, policemen, business people, taxi drivers or trishaw drivers.

Aye earns from 2, to 5, kyat 2 to 5 U. She worries about earning enough money, and what will happen to her son if she does not.

It could probably be worth about 7, kyat 7 dollars. Many clients think that they can easily abuse commercial sex workers because they have little clout in an illegal area of work.

To keep from being harassed by the police, Aye and Phyu say they have to either give money or sex. We need to make friends with them.

Aye spent a month in a Rangoon jail after paying a bribe. Phyu could not afford to pay, so she spent one year in jail. Aye recalls that two years ago, she suspected that she might have HIV.

But her clients are stubborn and refuse to use any protection, she said. Htay, a doctor who asked that his full name not be disclosed, says he has heard a similar story from a sex worker who comes to see him.

The reason she sex worker patient gave me was that her clients did not want to use a condom. Intravenous drug use formerly was a problem mainly in the northeast among ethnic minorities, but in the s drug use spread to the lowlands and the urban areas inhabited by the Burmese majority.

The HIV rate among prostitutes in Myanmar leapt from 4 percent in to 18 percent in Sex workers generally do not have access to condoms and basic medical care.

HIV-positive sex workers are a hidden reality in Burma. At a fashion show at a bar in Mandalay, men in the audience pass flowers to the women they want.

Some regard these events as thinly veiled prostitute markets. Similar things go on in Yangon and perhaps other cities too.

An old elevator door creaks open and seven women walk through the rooftop restaurant cum nightclub on a wet Friday night in Rangoon. A few wear long shiny red raincoats and sunglasses, others have fedoras tilted to hide their eyes, and some walk with children by their side.

The men in the crowd clap, cheer and ogle as the ladies strut in tight-fitting slinky black and white bell-bottomed outfits.

Then the lights go out. Everyone is used to it. The men sip their beer patiently in the dark, the women regroup, the waiters rush for candles, and it seems like the only light in the city is the far-off glow of Shwedagon Pagoda.

After a few minutes, the backup generators kick-in and the show rolls on. Known to many as "fashion shows", this peculiar merging of club act and beauty pageant is a popular nighttime diversion for the wealthy and well-connected.

In notoriously inhibited Burma, a land where kissing is seldom seen on film, these fashion shows are exceptionally risqu?. But they have fast become part of life here in downtown Rangoon.

As one advertising executive in the capital put it, the shows have become almost as ubiquitous as Buddhism. Much like the geishas of Japan, men pay for their company.

The women are adept at laughing at the jokes of their patrons, and usually have the choice of taking the relationship further later in the night.

But some dancers say they are pressured by their managers to bring in a certain amount of money every night and this, more often than not, means having sex with men for cash.

The scene at the Zero Zone nightclub on the roof of Theingyi Market would have been almost unimaginable just seven years ago. With strict curfews, and a ban on nightclubs and performances, people looking to party or go out on the town in Rangoon had few alternatives beyond roadside teashops and private get-togethers.

In , the curfew was lifted and the ban on nighttime entertainment was rolled back. Groups of women move from nightclub to nightclub to parade the catwalk to the Western pop tunes of Christina Aguilera and Pink.

Wealthy men with business and military connections jeer the performers on, and aside from those on stage, there are virtually no women to be seen.

The seven dancers in bell-bottoms are first on the bill at Zero Zone. Their routine is half music-video choreography, half basketball drill.

With an all-too-common slouch, the kind that every fashion model from New York to Paris has refined, the women put their hands on their hips and make eye contact with as many men as possible.

The models turn their shoulders, snap their heads and strut back to the line-up. As the men in the crowd warm to the act, they call on waiters to give the women wreaths of fake flowers to hang around their necks.

Some of the women are crowned with tiaras or wrapped in pageant banners that read "love you" and "kissing" and "beauty. They scan the room for their suitor and smile with satisfaction when the garlands come.

For the price of a chain of plastic flowers—as little as one dollar and as much as ten—men can buy the brief company of any one of the women on stage.

After the act, which lasts for about four songs, the ladies span out and sit next to the men who selected them. The groups themselves operate like dance companies with their own choreographers, seamstresses and managers.

Work at the fashion shows is the least stressful and the most lucrative option, she says. My manager always tells me to smile more, to be more aggressive so we can make more money," she says.

The Zero Zone is considered one of the nicer spots in town and the fashion show troupes move on to other dingier clubs during the night. Several sources in Rangoon say there has been an increase in the number of women who work as prostitutes throughout the country.

Across the street sit Emperor and Shanghai, two indoor clubs which teem with women who moonlight as prostitutes to earn extra money.

Below, we highlight several destinations where you can enjoy this fantastic treatment. The Parami Hotel has become widely known among the local people and foreign tourists with its full massage treatments using herbal oil with mind, body, and soul spa package.

Address: No. Located in downtown Yangon, the Minoli Beauty Spa is quite new and thus its facilities and service are all good. In addition to the flexible service, you can also talk with the girl who gives you the massage service.

Massage price: kyats for 1 hour and kyats for 2 hours. Address: No 59, 44th street lower block , Botahtaung Township, Yangon.

Situated on the 6th floor in RGN City Lorge, My Time Spa is highly recommended for gentlemen to get the high-quality service experienced with masseur girls.

This hotel delivers you with both traditional and oil massage with high-quality service in a clean and tidy room. However, the oil price is quite expensive with MMK for each session.

Address: Shwegondaing Rd, Yangon, Myanmar. If you love to have a close space to relax with not too many people, Karaoke in Myanmar is an ideal choice.

Myanmar Karaoke will always treat you as if you are the king and provide you with the best service.

Over the past few years, karaoke has developed and quickly become an industry of Myanmar. Hence, karaoke bars can be found in many cities in Myanmar.

However, you should notice that no prostitution or drug is permitted in any karaokes in Myanmar. Emperor club and KTV is considered one of the most upper-class prostitution venues in Yangon where is popular with not only local people but also travelers from Yangon tours.

The entry fee is kyats let you enjoy fashion shows. Like the conception of Emperor, JJ Entertainment Center also organizes a fashion show full of young girls for all customers to watch.

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Yangon suffers from deeply inadequate infrastructure , especially compared to other major cities in Southeast Asia. Though many historic residential and commercial buildings have been renovated throughout central Yangon, most satellite towns that ring the city continue to be profoundly impoverished and lack basic infrastructure.

This word combination is commonly translated as 'End of Strife'. Yangon was founded as Dagon in the early 11th century c.

Notable governors of Dagon included Princess Maha Dewi , who ruled the town from to , [9] and her grandniece, Shin Saw Pu , who later became the only female queen regnant in Burmese history.

Queen Saw Pu built a palace next to the Shwedagon Pagoda in the town in and spent her semi-retired life at that palace until her death in In , King Alaungpaya , the founder of the Konbaung Dynasty captured Dagon, added settlements around it, and called the enlarged town "Yangon".

In the s, the East India Company opened a factory in Yangon. The estimated population of Yangon in was about 30, The city was destroyed by a fire in Alexander Fraser, the British constructed a new city on a grid plan on delta land, bounded to the east by the Pazundaung Creek and to the south and west by the Yangon River.

By the s Yangon's increasing population and commerce gave birth to prosperous residential suburbs to the north of Royal Lake Kandawgyi and Inya Lake.

Colonial Yangon, with its spacious parks and lakes and mix of modern buildings and traditional wooden architecture, was known as "the garden city of the East.

Karens , the Chinese , the Anglo-Burmese and others made up the rest. After World War I , Yangon became the center of the Burmese independence movement, with leftist Rangoon University students leading the way.

Three nationwide strikes against the British Empire in , , and all began in Yangon. The city was retaken by the Allies in May Yangon became the capital of the Union of Burma on 4 January when the country regained independence from the British Empire.

Soon after Burma's independence in , many colonial names of streets and parks were changed to more nationalistic Burmese names.

In , the current military junta changed the city's English name to "Yangon", along with many other changes in English transliteration of Burmese names.

The changes have not been accepted by many Burmese who consider the junta unfit to make such changes, nor by many publications and news bureaus, including, most notably, the BBC and foreign nations including the United Kingdom and the United States.

Since independence, Yangon has expanded outwards. Successive governments have built satellite towns such as Thaketa , North Okkalapa and South Okkalapa in the s to Hlaingthaya , Shwepyitha and South Dagon in the s.

During Ne Win 's isolationist rule —88 , Yangon's infrastructure deteriorated through poor maintenance and did not keep up with its increasing population.

In the s, the current military government's more open market policies attracted domestic and foreign investment, bringing a modicum of modernity to the city's infrastructure.

Some inner city residents were forcibly relocated to new satellite towns. Many colonial-period buildings were demolished to make way for high-rise hotels, office buildings, and shopping malls, [21] leading the city government to place about notable colonial-period buildings under the Yangon City Heritage List in Yangon has become much more indigenous Burmese in its ethnic make-up since independence.

After independence, many South Asians and Anglo-Burmese left. Many more South Asians were forced to leave during the s by Ne Win's xenophobic government.

The Anglo-Burmese have effectively disappeared, having left the country or intermarried with other Burmese groups. Yangon was the centre of major anti-government protests in , and The Uprising resulted in the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands of Burmese civilians, many in Yangoon where hundreds of thousands of people flooded into the streets of the then capital city.

The Saffron Revolution saw mass shootings and the use of crematoria in Yangoon by the Burmese government to erase evidence of their crimes against monks, unarmed protesters, journalists and students.

In May , Cyclone Nargis hit Yangon. At any rate, Yangon remains the largest city and the most important commercial center of Myanmar.

On 7 May , a series of coordinated bombings occurred in the city of Yangon, Myanmar. Eleven people were killed in the attack, and one of the people that were injured was a member of the LCMS mission team to Myanmar.

This is related to the Lutheran Church in Malaysia. Yangon has a tropical monsoon climate under the Köppen climate classification system.

It is primarily due to the heavy rainfall received during the rainy season that Yangon falls under the tropical monsoon climate category.

Until the mids, Yangon remained largely constrained to its traditional peninsula setting between the Bago , Yangon and Hlaing Rivers.

People moved in, but little of the city moved out. Maps from show little development north of Inya Lake and areas that are now layered in cement and stacked with houses were then virtual backwaters.

Since the late s, however, the city began a rapid spread north to where Yangon International Airport now stands. But the result is a stretching tail on the city, with the downtown area well removed from its geographic centre.

The former High Court , the former Secretariat buildings , the former St. Most downtown buildings from this era are four-story mix-use residential and commercial buildings with foot 4.

Despite their less-than-perfect conditions, the buildings remain highly sought after and most expensive in the city's property market.

In , the Yangon City Development Committee created a Yangon City Heritage List of old buildings and structures in the city that cannot be modified or torn down without approval.

A latter-day hallmark of Yangon is the eight-story apartment building. In Yangon parlance, a building with no elevators lifts is called an apartment building and one with elevators is called a condominium.

Found throughout the city in various forms, eight-story apartment buildings provide relatively inexpensive housing for many Yangonites.

Although most apartment buildings were built only within the last 20 years, they look much older and rundown due to shoddy construction and lack of proper maintenance.

Unlike other major Asian cities, Yangon does not have any skyscrapers. Aside from a few high-rise hotels and office towers, most high-rise buildings usually 10 stories and up are "condos" scattered across prosperous neighborhoods north of downtown such as Bahan , Dagon , Kamayut and Mayangon.

Older satellite towns such as Thaketa , North Okkalapa , and South Okkalapa are lined mostly with one to two-story detached houses with access to the city's electricity grid.

Newer satellite towns such as North Dagon and South Dagon are in a grid layout. The satellite towns—old or new—receive little or no municipal services.

Downtown Yangon 's road layout follows a grid pattern, based on four types of roads:. This order is repeated from west to east. The narrow streets are numbered; the medium and broad roads are named.

The largest and best maintained parks in Yangon are located around Shwedagon Pagoda. To the south-east of the gilded stupa is the most popular recreational area in the city — Kandawgyi Lake.

The acre ha lake is surrounded by the acre ha Kandawgyi Nature Park , [43] and the Hlawga National Park and Allied War Memorial at the outskirts of the city are popular day-trip destinations with the well-to-do and tourists.

YCDC also coordinates urban planning. Yangon Region is divided into four districts, which overlap with the city's jurisdiction.

Each township is administered by a Township Development Committee, [48] alongside local leaders who make decisions regarding city beautification and infrastructure.

Myo-thit lit. Yangon is a member of Asian Network of Major Cities The airport has three terminals, known as T1, T2 and T3 which is also known as Domestic.

Although domestic airlines offer service to about forty domestic locations, most flights are to tourist destinations such as Bagan , Mandalay , Heho and Ngapali , and to the capital Naypyidaw.

Yangon Circular Railway operates a The system is heavily used by the local populace, selling about , tickets daily. The Yangon Urban Mass Rapid Transit is a proposed rapid transit system, due to begin construction in and be complete by Many of the roads are in poor condition and not wide enough to accommodate an increasing number of cars.

Over public and private bus lines operate about 6, crowded buses around the city, carrying over 4. Motor transportation in Yangon is highly expensive for most of its citizens.

As the government allows only a few thousand cars to be imported each year in a country with over 50 million people, [58] car prices in Yangon and in Burma are among the highest in the world.

Nonetheless, car usage in Yangon is on the rise, a sign of rising incomes for some, and already causes much traffic congestion in highway-less Yangon's streets.

In , Yangon had about , registered motor vehicles in addition to an unknown number of unregistered ones. Since , cars have been driven on the right side of the road in Burma, as part of a military decree.

Japanese used cars, which make up most of the country's imports, still arrive with RHD and are never converted to LHD. As a result, Burmese drivers have to rely on their passengers when passing other cars.

Within Yangon city limits, it is illegal to drive trishaws , bicycles, and motorcycles. Since February , pick-up truck bus lines have been forbidden to run in 6 townships of central Yangon, namely Latha , Lanmadaw , Pabedan , Kyauktada , Botahtaung and Pazundaung Townships.

Yangon's four main passenger jetties, all located on or near downtown waterfront, mainly serve local ferries across the river to Dala and Thanlyin , and regional ferries to the Irrawaddy delta.

While passenger ferries to the delta are still used, those to Upper Burma via the Irrawaddy river are now limited mostly to tourist river cruises. Yangon is the most populous city by far in Myanmar.

According to the census, the city had a population of 5. Immigrants have founded their regional associations such as Mandalay Association, Mawlamyaing Association, etc.

The government's decision to move the nation's administrative capital to Naypyidaw has drained an unknown number of civil servants away from Yangon.

Yangon is the most ethnically diverse city in the country. While Indians formed the slight majority prior to World War II, [18] today, the majority of the population is of indigenous Bamar Burman descent.

A large number of Rakhine and Karen also live in the city. Burmese is the principal language of the city. English is by far the preferred second language of the educated class.

In recent years, however, the prospect of overseas job opportunities has enticed some to study other languages: Mandarin Chinese is most popular, followed by Japanese, and French.

Shwedagon Pagoda is a famous religious landmark in the city. Yangon is the country's hub for the movie, music, advertising, newspaper, and book publishing industries.

All media is heavily regulated by the military government. Television broadcasting is off-limits to the private sector. All media content must first be approved by the government's media censor board, Press Scrutiny and Registration Division.

Most television channels in the country are broadcast from Yangon. Yangon has three radio stations. Myanmar Radio National Service is the national radio service and broadcasts mostly in Burmese and in English during specific times.

Nearly all print media and industries are based out of Yangon. Semi-governmental The Myanmar Times weekly, published in Burmese and in English, is mainly geared for Yangon's expatriate community.

Over twenty special interest journals and magazines covering sports, fashion, finance, crime, literature but never politics vie for the readership of the general populace.

Access to foreign media is extremely difficult. Satellite television in Yangon, and in Burma, is very expensive as the government imposes an annual registration fee of one million kyats.

Internet access in Yangon, which has the best telecommunication infrastructure in the country, is slow and erratic at best, and the Burmese government implements one of the world's most restrictive regimes of Internet control.

Common facilities taken for granted elsewhere are luxury prized items in Yangon and Burma. The price of a GSM mobile phone was about K1.

Although Internet access was available in 42 cities across the country, the number of users outside the two main cities was just over 10, Yangon's property market is the most expensive in the country and beyond the reach of most Yangonites.

Most rent outside the centre and few can afford to rent such apartments. The average person stays close to his or her residential neighborhood.

The well-to-do tend to visit shopping malls and parks on weekends. Some leave the city on weekends for Chaungtha and Ngwesaung beach resorts in Ayeyarwady Division.

Yangon is also home to many pagoda festivals paya pwe , held during dry-season months November — March. The most famous of all, the Shwedagon Pagoda Festival in March, attracts thousands of pilgrims from around the country.

Yangon's museums are the domain of tourists and rarely visited by the locals. Most of Yangon's larger hotels offer some kind of nightlife entertainment, geared towards tourists and the well-to-do Burmese.

Some hotels offer traditional Burmese performing arts shows complete with a traditional Burmese orchestra. The pub scene in larger hotels is more or less the same as elsewhere in Asia.

Other options include karaoke bars and pub restaurants in Yangon Chinatown. Due to the problems of high inflation, the lack of high denomination notes, and the fact that many of the population do not have access to checks, or credit or debit cards, it is common to see citizens carrying a considerable amount of cash.

Credit cards are only rarely used in the city, chiefly in the more lavish hotels. Credit cards are also accepted in the major supermarket and convenience store chains.

As the city has the best sporting facilities in the country, most national-level annual sporting tournaments such as track and field, football, volleyball, tennis and swimming are held in Yangon.

The 40,seat Aung San Stadium and the 32,seat Thuwunna Stadium are the main venues for the highly popular annual State and Division football tournament.

Until April , the now-defunct Myanmar Premier League , consisted of 16 Yangon-based clubs, [81] played all its matches in Yangon stadiums, and attracted little interest from the general public or commercial success despite the enormous popularity of football in Burma.

Most Yangonites prefer watching European football on satellite TV. It remains to be seen whether the Myanmar National League , the country's first professional football league, and its Yangon-based club Yangon United FC will attract a sufficient following in the country's most important media market.

Yangon is also home to annual the Myanmar Open golf tournament, and the Myanmar Open tennis tournament.

The city hosted the and South East Asian Games. During colonial times, cricket was played mostly by British officials in the city.

First-class cricket was played in the city in January when the touring Marylebone Cricket Club played Burma and the Rangoon Gymkhana. After independence cricket all but died out in the country.

Yangon has a growing population of skateboarders, as documented in the films Altered Focus: Burma and Youth of Yangon. German non-profit organization Make Life Skate Life has received permission from the Yangon City Development Committee to construct a concrete skatepark at Thakin Mya park in downtown, and plans to complete the park in November Yangon is the country's main centre for trade, industry, real estate, media, entertainment and tourism.

The city represents about one fifth of the national economy. According to official statistics for FY —, the size of the economy of Yangon Region was 8.

The city is Lower Burma's main trading hub for all kinds of merchandise — from basic foodstuffs to used cars although commerce continues to be hampered by the city's severely underdeveloped banking industry and communication infrastructure.

Bayinnaung Market is the largest wholesale center in the country for rice, beans and pulses , and other agricultural commodities.

There is also a great deal of informal trade, especially in street markets that exist alongside street platforms of Downtown Yangon's townships.

Manufacturing accounts for a sizeable share of employment. At least 14 light industrial zones ring Yangon, [89] directly employing over , workers in 4, factories in early More than 80 percent of factory workers in Yangon work on a day-to-day basis.

Most are young women between 15 and 27 years of age who come from the countryside in search of a better life. In , Yangon's factories alone needed about MW of power; [92] yet, the entire city received only about MW of the MW needed.

Construction is a major source of employment. The construction industry has been negatively affected by the move of state apparatus and civil servants to Naypyidaw, [95] new regulations introduced in August requiring builders to provide at least 12 parking spaces in every new high-rise building, and the general poor business climate.

As of January , the number of new high-rise building starts approved in — was only , compared to in — Tourism represents a major source of foreign currency for the city although by south-east Asian standards the number of foreign visitors to Yangon has always been quite low—about , before the Saffron Revolution in September The number of visitors dipped even further following the Saffron Revolution and Cyclone Nargis.

Between , and , visitors that went through Yangon International in However, after years of underinvestment, Yangon's modest hotel infrastructure—only of the total hotel rooms in Yangon are "suitable for tourists"—is already bursting at seams, and will need to be expanded to handle additional visitors.

Yangon educational facilities has a very high number of qualified teachers but the state spending on education is among the lowest of the world.

With little or no state support forthcoming, schools have to rely on forced "donations" and various fees from parents for nearly everything — school maintenance to teachers' salaries, [] forcing many poor students to drop out.

While many students in poor districts fail to reach high school , a handful of Yangon high schools in wealthier districts such as Dagon 1 , Sanchaung 2 , Kamayut 2 , Bahan 2 , Latha 2 , and TTC provide the majority of students admitted to the most selective universities in the country, highlighting the extreme shallowness of talent pool in the country.

There are over 20 universities and colleges in the city. While Yangon University remains the best known its main campus is a part of popular Burmese culture e.

Following the nationwide uprising, the military government has repeatedly closed universities, and has dispersed most of the undergraduate student population to new universities in the suburbs such as Dagon University , the University of East Yangon and the University of West Yangon.

Nonetheless, many of the country's most selective universities are still in Yangon. Students from around the country still have to come to study in Yangon as some subjects are offered only at its universities.

The general state of health care in Yangon is poor. According to a estimate, the military government spends 0. Public hospitals including the flagship Yangon General Hospital lack many of the basic facilities and equipment.

Wealthier Yangonites still have access to country's best medical facilities and internationally qualified doctors. Only Yangon and Mandalay have any sizeable number of doctors left as many Burmese doctors have emigrated.

In and , a spate of high-profile deaths [] brought out the severity of the problem, even for the relatively well off Yangonites. The wealthy do not rely on domestic hospitals and travel abroad, usually Bangkok or Singapore, for treatment.

The following are healthcare facilities in Yangon in — Yangon is a member of the Asian Network of Major Cities From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

For other uses, see Rangoon disambiguation. Metropolitan City in Yangon Region, Myanmar. List of ethnicities. List of religions.

See also: Timeline of Yangon and List of name changes in Yangon. See also: List of tallest buildings in Yangon.

Fashion shows are the only way they know how. Occasionally, the truck drivers encounter a flash of torchlight ahead in the darkness.

They know this means one of two things: either the police have set up a roadblock to hustle them out of a few kyat, or a sex worker is waiting for a truck driver to pick her up.

We hit the road at sunset and headed out of Mandalay. Within no time it was dark, and the city was far behind us. The landscape was flat and dotted with trees, bushes and small hamlets.

Suddenly, like a firefly twinkling in the night, I saw a torchlight flashing at us from the roadside about meters ahead. She looked young. Her face was thick with make-up.

He looked at me as if I had just asked a stupid question, then smiled. He told me that drivers who take sex workers signal to other drivers with their headlights if they have a girl going in the opposite direction.

They pass the girls on from truck to truck this way all through the night. These days, more and more university students are working the highway to make enough to pay for their studies.

The driver said the number of roadside sex workers has increased considerably over the past few years. The girls are afraid that if they refuse they will be arrested.

It was late, but one restaurant was open. We went in and ordered something to eat. There was no roof except the stars in the sky.

He called to a girl sleeping on a wooden bed, using her longyi as a blanket. She woke up and looked at us. Although she was obviously dead tired, she immediately got up and combed her hair.

She put a wide smear of lipstick on her mouth. Her bright red lips contrasted sharply with her ragged appearance and the dull, pungent room. My friend and I looked at the girl, not knowing what to say.

We apologized and sheepishly retreated out the door. As we walked away, I looked back at the house. Through the gaping holes in the brick wall I saw the girl lie down on the bed and pull her longyi up to her chin.

Then she curled up and went back to sleep. Feingold, there are as many as 30, Burmese commercial sex workers in Thailand, a number believed to be "growing by some 10, per year.

Many are confined to their brothels, with little power to insist that customers use condoms, even if they are aware of the risks of unprotected sex.

Still others, she adds, incur a further debt to pay for a police "escort" to take them to one of the major sex centers in Chiang Mai, Bangkok or Pattaya, where earnings are greater.

Since then, however, sex workers say they are better treated. She later tried to escape, only to be recaptured in Kawthaung and sold to another brothel in Ranong.

Elsewhere, condom use varies significantly according to nationality and ethnicity. In Mae Sot, opposite Karen State, 90 percent of Thai customers use condoms, compared to just 30 percent of Karens from inside Burma, and 70 percent of Karens residing in Thailand.

Crackdowns on Burmese migrants in Thailand have pushed many women into the flesh trade. Kevin R. With six younger siblings and her parents struggling to make ends meet in Rangoon, making money is her main priority.

Since factory wages for illegal Burmese migrants average roughly 2, baht per month, saving such a sum on her sewing wages would have taken months.

When her friend suggested they leave the factory for the more lucrative brothel, Sandar Kyaw agreed. Since she retains half her hourly fee, just one customer a day can net her three times her factory wage.

Manning, The Irrawaddy, December 6, ]. Tachilek, a border town in the Burmese sector of the Golden Triangle, has a reputation for many things, few of them good.

Most recently in the media spotlight as the center of a pitched battle between Thai, Burmese and ethnic insurgent forces that has claimed lives on both sides of the border, Tachilek is best known as a major conduit for opium and methamphetamines flowing out of Burma.

It also has a Thai-owned casino and a thriving black market in everything from pirated VCDs to tiger skins and Burmese antiques.

The consequences of this high level of mobility—greatly facilitated by an extensive human trafficking network that relies heavily on the cooperation of corrupt officials on both sides of the border—have added immeasurably to the ravages of decades of poverty and endemic conflict in military-run Burma.

In , ten years after the country emerged from decades of economic isolation, the ruling military regime tacitly acknowledged this growth by introducing stiffer sentences for convicted offenders of the Suppression of Prostitution Act.

Given the growing value of this trade, efforts to stem the flow of women destined for the international sex market have been predictably ineffectual: In a rare move, the regime decided in to limit the number of passports issued to female citizens after a troupe of cultural performers with connections to leading generals were duped into working as bar girls in Japan.

Drawn by dreams of jobs, many Burmese women end up selling sex and doing drugs on the Chinese border. There are more than 20 brothels in this otherwise unremarkable border town, and most of the sex workers are from Burma.

They come to find work in factories and restaurants or as maids, but soon discover that well-paid jobs are few and far between.

In order to pay off debts and support themselves, many have little choice but to take up prostitution. Although Burmese citizens can get three-month residency permits to live in Chinese towns along the border, prostitution is illegal in China, and sex workers live in constant fear of arrest.

Their parents expect them to send money, too. The sex workers generally come from families who can barely afford to feed their children, much less send them to school.

In border areas, where armed conflict has long been a fact of life, the situation is even worse. Scoring in Jiegao is no problem, because the Sino-Burmese border is a hotspot in the global narcotics trade.

Addiction takes hold, and more and more of her income disappears in clouds of ya ba smoke. She stops sending money back to her family—her only connection to a normal life—and she becomes lost in a downward spiral.

Same-sex relations are criminalised under the nation's colonial penal code, and although it is not strictly enforced, activists say the law is still used by authorities to discriminate and extort.

According to AFP: Totalitarian politics along with conservative religious and social values have conspired to encourage many gay people to keep their sexuality hidden in Myanmar.

Attitudes contrast markedly from neighbouring Thailand, where a lively gay and transsexual scene is a largely accepted part of society, which - like Myanmar - is mainly Buddhist.

Calling on the government to repeal laws criminalising gay sex, Aung Myo Min said taking part in an international event would empower Myanmar's gay population.

Richard M. Its spirit practitioners, known as nat ka daws, are almost always of ambiguous gender, and are thought to be married to a particular spirit or nat.

Despite their physical appearance and costume, however, they may be heterosexual with a wife and family, heterosexual transvestites, or homosexual.

Being a shaman is most often a well-respected profession because the shaman performs the functions of both a doctor and a minister, is often paid in gold or cash, and is often unmarried with the time and money to care for their aging parents.

Shamans who combine their profession with prostitution lose the respect of their clients - a universal conflict and outcome. The reputation of Burmese nat-ka-daws has been generally damaged by this conflict.

I stop near a small village called Thar Yar Gone to witness a nat-pwe, or spirit festival. Inside a large thatch hut, musicians play loud, frenetic music before a crowd of rowdy onlookers.

On the opposite end of the hut, on a raised stage, sit several wooden statues: nat, or spirit, effigies. I pass through the crowd and enter a space underneath the stage, where a beautiful woman introduces herself as Phyo Thet Pine.

She is a nat-kadaw, literally a "spirit's wife"—a performer who is part psychic, part shaman. Only she isn't a woman—she is a he, a transvestite wearing bright red lipstick, expertly applied black eyeliner, and delicate puffs of powder on each cheek.

Having traveled to the village by oxcart, smears of dirt covering my sweaty arms and face, I feel self-conscious before Pine's painstakingly created femininity.

I smooth my hair and smile in apology at my appearance, shaking Pine's delicate, well-manicured hand. Each has an entirely different personality, requiring a change in costume, decorations, and props.

Some of the spirits might be female, for whom the male nat-kadaw dons women's clothing; others, warriors or kings, require uniforms and weapons.

To most Burmese, being born female rather than male is karmic punishment indicating grave transgressions in former lifetimes.

Many Burmese women, when leaving offerings at temples, pray to be reincarnated as men. But to be born gay—that is viewed as the lowest form of human incarnation.

Where this leaves Myanmar's gay men, psychologically, I can only imagine. It perhaps explains why so many become nat-kadaws.

It allows them to assume a position of power and prestige in a society that would otherwise scorn them. His trunks are full of make-up and colorful costumes, making the space under the stage look like a movie star's dressing room.

He became an official nat-kadaw, he says, when he was only He spent his teenage years traveling around villages, performing.

He went to Yangon's University of Culture, learning each of the dances of the 37 spirits. It took him nearly 20 years to master his craft. Now, at age 33, he commands his own troupe and makes dollars for a two-day festival—a small fortune by Burmese standards.

It is the notorious gambling, drinking, fornicating spirit. The crowd, juiced on grain alcohol, hoots and shouts for Ko Gyi Kyaw to show himself.

A male nat-kadaw in a tight green dress begins serenading the spirit. The musicians create a cacophony of sound.

All at once, from beneath a corner of the stage, a wily-looking man with a mustache bursts out, wearing a white silk shirt and smoking a cigarette.

The crowd roars its approval. There is a controlled urgency to his movements, as if, at any moment, he might break into a frenzy.

When he talks to the crowd in a deep bass voice, it sounds nothing like the man with whom I just spoke.

People dive for the bills, a great mass of bodies pushing and tearing at each other. The melee ends as quickly as it had erupted, torn pieces of money lying like confetti on the ground.

Ko Gyi Kyaw is gone. The music reaches a feverish pitch when several performers emerge to announce the actual spirit possession ceremony.

This time Pine seizes two women from the crowd—the wife of the hut's owner, Zaw, and her sister. He hands them a rope attached to a pole, ordering them to tug it.

As the frightened women comply, they bare the whites of their eyes and begin shaking. Shocked as if with a jolt of energy, they start a panicked dance, twirling and colliding into members of the crowd.

The women, seemingly oblivious to what they are doing, stomp to the spirit altar, each seizing a machete. Just as I am considering my quickest route of escape, they collapse, sobbing and gasping.

The nat-kadaws run to their aid, cradling them, and the women gaze with bewilderment at the crowd. Zaw's wife looks as if she had just woken from a dream.

She says she doesn't remember what just happened. Her face looks haggard, her body lifeless. Someone leads her away. Pine explains that the women were possessed by two spirits, ancestral guardians who will now provide the household with protection in the future.

Zaw, as the house owner, brings out two of his children to "offer" to the spirits, and Pine says a prayer for their happiness. The ceremony ends with an entreaty to the Buddha.

The drunken crowd mocks him with catcalls, but Pine looks unfazed. I wonder who pities whom. The next day he and his dancers will have left Thar Yar Gone, a small fortune in their pockets.

Meanwhile, the people in this village will be back to finding ways to survive along the river. Around people packed into the ballroom of a Yangon hotel for an evening of performances, speeches and music to mark the International Day against Homophobia and Trans-phobia, an AFP reporter said.

We've been preparing to hold this event for a long time

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