Yangon, the former capital City, is the main gateway to Myanmar. Evergreen and cool with lush tropical trees, shady parks and beauti- ful lakes, Yangon has earned the name of "the Garden City of the East". Relatively simple city without skyscrapers, neon-lit clamour, crowded squalor and the pace of modern life, Yangon is attractive in its own special way. Yangon was founded by "King Alaung Paya" on the site of a small settlement called "Dagon" when he conquered Lower Myanmar in 1755. The name "Yan- gon" means "End of Strife" which was anglicized to "Rangoon" after British annexed Myanmar in 1885. At present, "Yangon" covers about 600 sq.km and has a population of over 6 million. There are many famous markets in Yangon and the Bogyoke Market on the Bogyoke road is the one stop place for shopping where clothes, various kinds of materials are available and usually very popular and crowded. It is situated in an old colonial building. Other well known markets are Thiri-Mingalar Green Grocery Market, lo- cated on the Bayint-Naung road, Bayint-Naung Market, where car spare parts and accessories are mainly sold, Thein-Gyi Market and Mingalar market, where all hardware, groceries and various merchandise are available.
Yangon International Airport is the main gateway into Yangon and there are daily flights operating to and fro from Singapore and Bangkok. Domestic airlines, Myanma Airways and Yangon Airways fly to Mandalay, Bagan, Heho, Kyaing Tong, Tachileik, Thandwe, Kawthaung and other touristic attraction destinations.Chartered flights and cruises for leisure tours are granted permission for entry and visa with prior ar- rangement and reservations. Restrictions are imposed on honking of horns and usage of mobile phones while driving. The main landmark of Yangon is the Shwedagon Pagoda, one of 7 wonders of the world. Other famous pagodas are Sule, Kaba Aye, Ko Htat Gyi and Chauk Htat Gyi.