Lifestyle

Yangon’s property market is the most expensive in the country and beyond the reach of most Yangonites. Most rent outside downtown and few can afford to rent downtown area apartments.

Most men of all ages (and some women) spend their time at ubiquitous tea-shops, found in any corner or street of the city. Watching European football (mostly English Premier League with occasional La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga) matches while sipping tea is a popular pastime among many Yangonites, rich and poor alike. The average person stays close to his or her neighbourhood haunts. The well-to-do tend to visit shopping malls and parks on weekends. Some leave the city on weekends for Chaungtha and Ngwesaung beach resorts in Ayeyarwady Division.

Yangon is also home to many paya pwes (pagoda festivals), held during dry-season months (November – March). The most famous of all, the Shwedagon Pagoda Festival in March, attracts thousands of pilgrims from around the country.

Yangon's museums are the domain of tourists and rarely visited by the locals.

Most of Yangon's larger hotels offer some kind of nightlife entertainment, geared towards tourists and the well-to-do Burmese. Some hotels offer traditional Burmese performing arts shows complete with a traditional Burmese orchestra. The pub scene in larger hotels is more or less the same as elsewhere in Asia. Other options include karaoke bars and pub restaurants in Yangon Chinatown.

Due to the problems of high inflation, the lack of high denomination notes, and the fact that many of the population do not have access to checks, or credit or debit cards, it is common to see citizens carrying a considerable amount of cash. The highest denomination of Burmese currency kyat is 5000 (~US$5.)) Credit cards are only rarely used in the city, chiefly in the more lavish hotels.
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