15 Best Places to Shop in Myanmar


Fodor's choice

Pomelo supports nonprofits in Myanmar that work with disadvantaged groups, including families in poverty, those with HIV, the mentally and physically disabled, and the homeless. The goods at this fair-trade boutique are made by those with whom the NGOs work, and the results are fantastic. Sein Na Garr Glass Factory, for example, makes its beautiful vases with recycled glass bought from Yangon's garbage collectors. Lovely beaded jewelry comes from the children at Hlaing Thar Yar Disability Centre. Action for Public works with women and children with HIV, and the sweet stuffed animals and chic wallets and ornaments that dot Pomelo were expertly sewn by them. This is one of Yangon's loveliest shops and a great place to pick up meaningful souvenirs.

Bagan House

This upmarket workshop accepts credit cards (plus 5% surcharge) if you spend more than $100. Bagan House sells a huge array of products fit for a [Burmese] king or queen, from chic coasters to lamps.

9 Jasmin Rd., 1 block south of Thiri Marlar St., Nyaung-U, Myanmar

Bogyoke Market

This market, which opened in 1926, is enormous, well-organized, and—despite sweltering temperatures outside—not an oven. Come here on your first day in Yangon to peruse the offerings, and pick up a longyi (sarong) for temple visits. Shops here sell stone and wood carvings; jade, silver, and gold jewelry; lacquerware; paintings by local artists; and a smattering of cosmetics and toiletries. The finest and most authentic hill tribe handicrafts can be found upstairs in the main front building Yoyamay (shop #20) and nearby Myanmar Folk Art (#24), where you’ll find vintage, antique, and new textiles produced by weavers in the Chin, Kayin, and Kayah States.

27th St. and Bogyoke Aung San Rd., Yangon (Rangoon), Myanmar

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City Mart

This citywide chain of small supermarkets offers the best selection of edible souvenirs. Among the many options in the grocery section of the store are the makings for pickled tea-leaf salad (leaves and fried beans), which is served across the country, and all manner of candy ranging from ginger chews to chocolates. You’ll also find local teas, beers, and spirits. The Chinatown branch is particularly handy.

Corner of Phonegyi and Maharbandoola Rds., Yangon (Rangoon), Myanmar

Gold Pounders' District

Local worshippers will often put gold leaf onto images of the Buddha, and this is where the bits are made, each pounded between heavy blocks by muscular craftsmen. At Golden Rose (36th Street between 78th and 79th Streets) and King Galon (36th Street between 77th and 78th Streets), you can observe the craftsmen as the English-speaking staff explain the production process. The information is not a sales pitch, but the most popular thing to buy here is sheets of gold leaf (10 for K2,500).

36th St. from 77th to 79th Sts., Mandalay, Myanmar

Golden Cuckoo

The owners here have a workshop where visitors can see the lacquerware being made alongside a slew of vases, bowls, cups, and jewelry for sale. The family-run shop has been open since 1975, and the owner speaks English.

Bagan-Chauk Rd., behind Manuha Temple, Myinkaba, Myanmar

Jade Market

A warren of worktables, this jam-packed market is filled with jade traders inspecting uncut pieces and then having them cut, shaped, and polished to their specifications. The trading floor could give Wall Street a run for its money, with buyers and sellers bent over tables, intently discussing business. Outside, on the eastern side of the market, the cutting and polishing continues. If you do want to buy jade, it's best to come here with a reputable guide.

South of 38th St., near 87th St., Mandalay, Myanmar
no phone
Shopping Details
Rate Includes: $1, not always enforced

Jasmine Family Lacquerware Workshop

This small, family-run business makes everything on-site and then sells its wares both directly to customers and to larger lacquerware shops. Prices here are at least 20% cheaper than the more tourist-focused workshops, and the family themselves are quite lovely. Expect to pay around $25 for a 14-layer vase (the more layers, the higher the quality).

Mani-Sithu Market

Locals do their produce shopping at this market, where the array of colorful fruits, vegetables, and flowers is simply gorgeous. This is also a fantastic one-stop spot to shop for gifts and souvenirs, with countless stalls selling beautiful handicrafts, lacquerware, and textiles, including longyis. The market runs 6 am to 5 pm, but is at its most lively before noon.

Anawrahta Rd. at Bagan-Nyaung-U Rd., Nyaung-U, Myanmar
Shopping Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun.

Mingala Market

Mornings see this market packed with locals doing their shopping. What's on offer can be divided into three categories—groceries (fresh fish, produce), home goods (fishing supplies, bowls, the occasional knife), and handicrafts, which are sold at a few stalls. The market isn't too chaotic except every five days, when Inle's regular rotating market sets up shop here. Your hotel will be able to tell you when this is.

Yone Gyi Rd. near Mong Li Chuang, Yawnghwe, Myanmar

Shwe War Thein Handicrafts Shop

Old Bagan

You'll find all manner of trinkets at this shop. Peruse faux antiques, wood carvings, carved stone pieces, wind chimes, and leogryph figurines as well as puppets and assorted jewelry.

Soe Moe

For impressive embroidered tapestries, bronze sculptures, and carved wood and stone pieces, visit Soe Moe, where the staff can arrange for your purchases to be shipped to Yangon.

36th St. between 77th and 78th Sts., Mandalay, Myanmar


In the same building as vegetarian restaurant Marie Min, Sunflower sells attractive bronze and wood carvings.

27th St. between 75th and 74th Sts., Mandalay, Myanmar
no phone


This is where to come if you're keen to purchase souvenirs. Ywama was the first of Inle Lake's many small villages to get a big tourism push and, as such, its waterways are more packed than the others. Ywama is still charming and has retained its authenticity—certainly families still live here and you'll see giggling kids running around—but there are also lots of tchotchke peddlers. Every five days, a floating market is held, when even more hawkers convene on Ywama. Thrown into the mix are a handful of farmers who continue selling vegetables to locals.

REVIEW LISTINGS per JIRA - Inle Lake, Myanmar

Zegyo Market

Mandalay's oldest market dates back to King Mindon (father of Thebaw, the last king of Burma). The original structure has been replaced by a Chinese-style mall, but the hive of activity outside is more interesting than the household goods sold within. A wide array of produce is available here, neatly grouped in colorful piles, and locals come out in full force to do their marketing. Dried shrimp and fish paste make good, nonperishable souvenirs.

84th St. at 26th St., Mandalay, Myanmar