If there exists a list of countries that genuinely takes pride in its heritage throughout the centuries, Myanmar is surely included in it. The Myanmar National Museum, also known as the National Museum of the Union of Burma, was inaugurated in June 1952 at the Jubilee hall Building in Shwedagon Pagoda Road.
The museum was relocated to a bigger site at 24/26 Pansodan Street in 1970 and it was moved to its current location at Pyay Road in Yangon in 1996. The five-storey Myanmar National Museum houses relics of Burmese culture, art and history.
If you want to get yourself familiarized with everything about Myanmar, head straight to the museum. It opens daily at 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and you will pay $5 for your admission. The museum displays a wide range of collections in its 14 galleries which are classified into two categories—Burmese Culture and Burmese Historic Periods.
The evolution of the Myanmar alphabet and script, Ratanapon Period artifacts, and the Lion Throne Room are on display on the three halls of the museum’s ground floor. Magnificent objects that have played important purposes in royal ceremonies of early kings can be seen in the hall of royal regalia.
The Myanmar history hall has an extensive collection of temples, monasteries, pagodas and ordination halls during the Bagan Period. Murals of the Nyaungyan, Pinya, Konbaung, Innwa and Toungoo Eras are also on exhibit. You will be delighted to see numerous fossils dating until millions of years in the hall of natural history.
Next thing to do is to head up to the museum’s second floor to get a glimpse of the country’s song, dance and music. The third floor contains three halls, two of which are dedicated for Myanmar paintings and one for ancient jewelry and decors. On the fourth floor, visitors will see images of Buddha and the ethnic culture of the people in Myanmar.
Getting to the Myanmar National Museum is as easy as one, two, three. You have a lot of options, so all you have to do is choose which one you prefer. The easiest way is by getting a taxi but be careful because many taxis are dirty and old. Another way is by riding on Yangon’s circular train for just US$1 with passport required.
You can also ride a trishaw but trishaws are rare in the city. Negotiate your fare in advance but you will pay 500 Kyats for a ten-minute ride. If you prefer riding buses, make sure to learn a little Burmese or hire a tourist guide because most locals don’t speak English and signboards are written in the Burmese language. There are also bicycles that you can rent for K2,000 a day or travel by foot for a more exciting touring experience.
People may view visiting museums as rather boring but once you get inside the Myanmar National Museum, you will never look at museums the same way ever again. Take your family and friends on this informative and educational trip not only to feed your eyes but also your minds.