The most valued items to buy in Myanmar are wood artefacts, jewellery and gems, silk and textiles. There is a traditional richness in all of these products, most of which originate in the northern part of the country.
If you are travelling to the north, then perhaps it’s better to wait to buy these items when you get to Mandalay or even to look when visiting villages. However, Yangon does have a good range of shops in and around the centre, selling art and artefacts.
The main shopping streets in the centre of town are Mahamdoola Road and Sule Pagoda Road.Scott/Bogyoke Aung San Market is open all day, and anything and everything can be bought here. You can usually get a better deal here than out on the streets when buying your souvenirs.
On and around the entrance steps to Shwedagon Pagoda are hundreds of souvenir shops with items of varying quality. In this religiously orientated market, articles having to do with Buddhism can be purchased.
For gems, the best choice is the Gems Museum, Kaba Aye Pagoda Road, Mayangone Township, Yangon, tel: +95 1 550105 .
There are fewer shopping malls to investigate in comparison to the other major Asian cities, which is something of a change. It does mean there is less of a ‘global market’ feel to shopping in Yangon.
If your heart desires a more Western style shopping centre, there is one situated out of town on the way to the airport, at North Point Shopping Centre, Pyay Rd, Yangon.
The 70+ yr old Bogyoke Aung San zei, which is well known for it’s variety of handicrafts is not to be missed if shopping is on your list. Shopping at the markets (zei) can be fun, educational and a chance to interact with the locals. Theingyi Zei is the biggest market in Yangon, good for locals who finds Bogyoke Aung San zei a little too pricey.