Governor's Residence, a Belmond Hotel
35 Taw Win Road, Dagon Township
The hotel is in peaceful private grounds in the high-brow Embassy Quarter of Yangon, close to cultural hotspots such as the Shwedagon Pagoda and the National Museum.
Fly into Yangon International Airport – there are direct flights from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bangkok and Dubai. It takes around 30 minutes to drive to the hotel; transfers can be arranged for $25 each way for journeys between 6am to 10pm, or $33 each way if you'll be travelling between 10pm and 6am.
If you’ve got the nerve to tackle the congested urban roads, you can hire a car at the airport and park up at the hotel for free. Otherwise, stick to taxis and old-school trishaws for buzzing around town; for daytrips and venturing further afield, ask the hotel about hiring a private driver.
Worth getting out of bed for
Potter down to the pool and set yourself up under the shade of a cocktail-umbrella-esque parasol. Later, take a break from sun-lounging with a stroll around the wildlife-peppered tropical gardens, or an organic Burmese treatment at the spa. One morning, take a tour of the local market and select exotic ingredients, then sharpen up your cooking skills with a chef-led class in the kitchen – and devour the fruits of your labour for lunch. Every day from 2pm until 5pm, take your poolside seat at the art-lined, 1920s-styled Mindon Lounge for alfresco afternoon tea.
Hit the markets, starting with Bogyoke Aung San Market (Pabedan), where you’ll find 2,000 stalls catering to all your souvenir needs. Join the locals shopping for fresh fruit and meats at Hledan Market, or pay a visit to Mingalar Market to peruse the finest Burmese fabrics. Further afield, take a boat trip to Ye-Le Pagoda, or join excursions to Twante pottery village and the ancient seaport of Bago (ask the hotel concierge for details). For a morning jog or sunset stroll, head to tranquil Kandawgyi Lake.
Pick a pagoda, any pagoda. Sule Pagoda (Sule Pagoda Road) and Shwedagon Pagoda (Bahan Road) are the most impressive, with gilded stupas soaring into the air.
In Burmese culture, tea is a big deal – the best place to enjoy a good cuppa is Rangoon Tea House (77-79 Pansodan Street); the mohinga fish soup is a soul-warming alternative if you’re after something filling. Union Bar and Grill (42 Strand Road) is where East meets West – the menu includes Korean-style kimchi fried rice, Levantine za’atar manouche, and even a credible, crispy fish ‘n’ chips. For curry, kebabs and chapati, try Indian Tadka (Pyay Road). Book in at Seeds Restaurant & Lounge (No 63A U Tun Nyein Street) for haute cuisine concocted by Swiss chef Felix Eppisser and served up in style at a lakeside bamboo bungalow.
The impressive Sofaer Building was once a trading hub of Yangon, supplying imported goods to colonial expats – nowadays, it’s the home of Gekko (535 Merchant Street), which deals in expertly crafted cocktails, Japanese-style yakitori barbecue, and live jazz on Fridays.