Walk the streets of old Yangon to see leafy lanes and byways filled with enormous timber mansions decorated in the unique Myanmar style, where British captains of industry once lived. See century-old buildings with magnificent architecture, which act as reminders of Yangon’s past. The number of colonial buildings still standing in downtown Yangon is nothing short of spectacular. Myanmar’s isolation from the rest of the world during the years after independence resulted in a level of preservation that is unique in the region. It is heartening to see that at last, some of them are being restored to their former beauty. Yangon’s colonial streets are a showcase of the best, or most ostentatious, of colonial architecture an exuberant display of wealth and designer dexterity.
The influence of Victorian and Edwardian architectural details made a deep impression on the local and Indian craftsmen, who embraced the styles wholeheartedly. Buildings developed an amazing hybrid style that resulted in an array of curlicue trims and turrets along with copulas and pergolas that adorn so many of the early buildings. Carved wood trims were also popular, all adding together to form an extraordinary architectural style unique to Myanmar. Yangon is perhaps the last authentic example of an Asian tropical city still featuring its former colonial origins, huge parks, shady trees and lakes and, of course, religious monuments. Of the latter, the most legendary, graceful and majestic of all is the Shwedagon Pagoda, built around 2,600 years ago.
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