Offering fascinating insights into the diversity of produce, heritage and culture of the country, Myanmar night markets are must-visit places for your Myanmar travel.
Mandalay night market
Zaycho or Zegyo market is the largest and oldest one in Mandalay since the time of kingdom Mindon (1853). The name Zaycho in Burmese means “cheap price” or “sweet price”; but nowadays it is difficult to answer whether the prices are cheap or not.
On the other hand, this market has a wide range of products from all over Myanmar as well as nearby countries such as India, China and Thailand. Here, you can meet young people come to buy the latest style fashion or buy and exchange language books. Those who want to get something typical from Burmese people can be satisfied at some stalls selling Myanmar traditional clothes – Longyi. In the 1990s, the government demolished the old market buildings and replaced with 8 market buildings from four story buildings to six stories.
As mentioned above, Zegyo is a wholesale market as well as a retail market so you can pretty much get everything there from silk, jade, handicrafts, jewelry to electronics. Instead of finding something to buy, you can seek for something to eat. Local street food sold here are said to be the most excellent ones you can find in Mandalay. From a bowl of mohinga, pork skewers to a sweet glutinous rice cake and an iced yogurt drink, everything is mouthwatering. Just sit down on a plastic kid’s stool. Enjoy any kinds of food on the stick you like with fresh chili, garlic and a couple of tasty dipping sauce; then see the stall owner prepare meat for the new skewer batch.
Yadanarpon night market
Apart from that, the Yadanarpon night market nearby is an excellent place for local street food; such as Mont Di (thick rice noodles with chicken pea flour), BBQ sticks, Kyae Oh (pork noodles), Bow See (steamed buns) and Mohinga (rice noodles with fish soup).
Yangon night market
Anawrahta Road Night Market
Yangon is famous for its friendly yet overcrowded streets, jammed with its local vendors. One of the busiest areas of the downtown Yangon is this central night market – the Anawrahta Road Night market. Being the most central market in Yangon, Anawrahta Road has unique atmosphere; because the fresh products and the poor lighting range from a dim fluorescent lights to a few candles.
It is such a sensory adventure to hop with activities and a spectacle of ready to eat cuisine under the dim light that you might not be able to exactly see what you are buying. It is such a fun spot to go shopping and a one-of-a-kind shopping experience! The market opens before the sunset when Burmese return home from work and spills out onto the road behind. Sold right on the roadsides are a lot of kinds of flowers and fresh fruits lining the streets; such as durians and jack fruits, colorful piles of vegetables, the rows of delicious fried foods, fish, chicken and pork, bright wares; as well as exotic sweets that beckon to all travelers.
The most temptations, especially for food and adventure lovers are many piles of salted fish and fried items skewered on a stick including crickets and any edible animal parts. Dine out here and see how brave you are! Just enjoy and finally, pay for the number of skewers you have gobbled up. If food adventure is not your thing, just simply stop for a while to watch the way the local vendors cook these dishes right in front of you; or try coconut jelly. The Anawrahta Road might be one of the most impressive night markets you will see in Burma as well as Southeast Asia.
Bogyoke Aung San Market (Scott Market)
Bogyoke Aung San Market or Scott Market is a 90-year-old market; which was built in 1926 at the central of Yangon. It was named after the Municipal Commissioner of the time, Mr. Gavin Scott and renamed after General Bogyoke (General) Aung San, after Burmese independence in 1948.
Similar to Zegyo market, the ground floor and the first floor of the market have small antique shops selling medals, bank-notes, old coins and postage stamps; while jewels, Burmese jade, rubies and other valuable stones are sold in the middle. Beside that, there are also art galleries, handicraft shops; such as shoulder bags, puppets as well as clothing stores and restaurants. Interestingly, the market is also known for its black market money changers; with jewelry merchants typically able to change the largest notes at the best rates.
Theingyi Zay Market
Theingyi Zay is the largest local market in Yangon and and arguably one of the most unique markets in Asia. The market was built in 1905 with roughly 1,100 shops and stalls that sell anything from fishery products to dry commodities and textiles. Beside the outstanding food, there are Burmese traditional cosmetics Thanaka; or the traditional herbal shampoo made by boiling the bark of the Tayaw shrub with big black kin pun (acacia pods) which is the secret of Burmese women’s smooth and glossy hair.
Surprisingly, there is also a China Town which takes from 18th Street to 24th Street in Yangon. Especially, 19th Street is known as a drink street at night time due to many drinking establishments. Its nightlife is really popular to both travelers and locals. Apart from cheap beer drinking (less than US$2 for one Myanmar beer), you can find plenty of snacks that sizzle and local street food for only US$2-6 for a full meal per person.
Suggested Myanmar tour package
Finally, during your Myanmar tours, these Myanmar night markets are great places for you to interact with the local people as well as explore their culture and enjoy all the traditional food.
Tung Nguyen – Travel Specialist