5 Heritage Sites in Yangon

From alleyways to restaurants, restoration is everywhere in Myanmar's best-kept city. Here are a few spots to check out

Tourism Burma Building

About 80 people live in this sandy yellow historic building and supported a renovation, turning it into one of the first Heritage sites in Yangon to be restored. On the ground level there are local tea shops, a hair salon and a wine seller. Up top are apartments housing Burmese families.

Secretariat Building

Myanmar, Yangon
Gil Giuglio/ Hemis.fr RM / Getty Images

The red bricked Secretariat was once the home and administrative seat of British Burma. The six-hectare estate is slowly being upgraded with new gardens, a cafe and exhibition spaces. The renovation project is currently in the hands of Yangon Heritage Trust.

Alleyway projects

Daniel Alexander Roca

Doh Eain, a social enterprise that renovates private properties and upgrades alleyways, is converting back lanes commonly filled with trash into spaces full of art and play equipment for children. Take a walk down 27th and 29th streets, or the alley between 31st and 32nd streets, to see the results. 

Burma Bistro

Burma Bistro, Yangon

Burma Bistro is a contemporary Burmese restaurant on the corner of Shwe Bon Thar and Merchant Street. It’s up a well-worn stairwell that suddenly opens to a large stately property with columns and a sweeping veranda. The owners renovated the heritage site to maintain its signature high ceilings, original floor tiles and exposed brick wall.

Burma Bistro, Yangon


Gekko, Yangon

One of Yangon’s most sophisticated restaurants, Gekko features a dimly lit bar with wooden counters and a salon upstairs, all housed in a colonial-era building. Yangon Heritage Trust named it the best example of adaptive reuse last year. With a selection of sushi and cocktails, this spot is a great stopover after a day of sightseeing.

This story was originally published in January 2019 and updated in September 2020

Gekko, Yangon
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