Yangon’s Grand Boulevard
The Strand Boulevard
Until the early 20th century Strand Boulevard was right at the waterfront. Traders and goods would arrive by ship from all over Asia here at the jetty. Much like The Bund in Shanghai, architects designed to impress and this is where you find the city’s most stately buildings and hotels. Although the connection with the original waterfront is gone, it’s not difficult to imagine the power and wealth accumulated in the offices of merchants, bankers and government officials.
The Strand Boulevard was the first area to be developed by the British when they laid out the grid for Yangon. The planners, under the supervision of Lieutenant Alexander Fraser, who also designed Singapore’s layout, kept the riverside open and drew the street pattern on a 90-degree angle to the river to allow the sea breeze to work its magic and provide optimum air circulation in the crowded streets.
Catch the tram
If you’re lucky, you might catch the commuter tram along Strand Road, it runs four miles from Linsadaung to Wardan Street!It’s a trial project and the service is a bit irregular, (there are only 14 trains a day) but tickets are only 100 Kyat and it’s a great local experience.