Local residents walk in Kandawgyi Natural
Pic: Hein Latt Aung
YANGON’S reputation as a garden city is well deserved,
with the metropolitan area beautified by scores of parks where
residents and visitors can relax or exercise and at some venues,
It is the entertainment venues which are attracting increasing
numbers of visitors to some parks, said U Nyunt Pe, the head of
the Yangon City Development Committee’s Playgrounds, Parks
and Gardens Department.
Visitors to entertainment venues have doubled in recent years
and there has also been a noticeable increase in the number of
people who exercise in the parks in the mornings, said U Nyunt
The department is responsible for 59 parks and playgrounds throughout
Yangon, many of which charge admission fees.
“We collect the fees to cover the cost of maintaining
the parks,” U Nyunt Pe said.
Kandawgyi Natural Park, which reopened in 2005 after an extensive
upgrade of its features and facilities, is one of the most popular
destinations for those wanting to use its exercise equipment,
be entertained or simply to relax and unwind in its leafy glades.
Two of the zones at the park under the YCDC’s department
are the Shwe Tadar Oo Yin (Golden Bridge Garden) and the Thit
Taw (forest) zone, which are favoured by visitors attracted to
their leafy retreats.
A regular visitor is Maung Pyayt Thet Aung, 19, a second-year
botany major student at Dagon University, who likes to spend time
in the zones early in the morning on weekends.
“I love the peace and quiet in the parks where I can enjoy
moments of solitude surrounded by nature,” he said.
An education zone at Kandawgyi Natural Park is jointly operated
by the YCDC and the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation. The
ministry also runs an area off Natmauk Road where shops sell a
range of plants.
The eastern end of the park features two popular leisure and
entertainment venues, both of which are managed by the Zaykabar
They are the Karaweik Oo Yin Kabar funfair area, which features
a mini-zoo and playgrounds, and the Myaw Sin Kyune entertainment
area on an island in Kandawgyi Lake, where a stage in an attractively
landscaped amphitheatre is used for concerts and free shows. The
area can accommodate up to 3000 people.
“It’s convenient for concert goers because we can
relax in the park and enjoy the entertainment at the same time,”
said Maung Sanay Htoo, a supermarket employee, who often attends
shows at Myaw Sin Kyune.
The shores of Inya Lake are also graced by parks, including
two run by the private sector: Seinn Lan So Pyay Park, on Inya
Road, which opened in 2004 and Mya Kyune Thar Park and Playground,
on Kaba Aye Pagoda Road, opposite the Sedona hotel.
Seinn Lan So Pyay Park, run by the Seinn Lan Kabar company,
features a large children’s playground, secluded gazebos
and two restaurants, one of which is built over the lake.
A member of the park’s management team, Maung Tun Ko Ko,
said it had become so popular among people of all ages since it
opened that plans were underway to increase its size.
Attractions at the Mya Kyune Thar Park and Playground, managed
by the Gayhar company, include a Ferris wheel, bumper cars and
“Our objective is to make sure our visitors have a lot of
fun,” said the park’s manager, U Myint Oo.
For parents with children at school, the city’s parks
and playgrounds provide welcome retreats for leisure and recreation
where the pressures of study can be temporarily forgotten.
“We usually take our two children to playgrounds at the
weekends because leisure time is important for them,” said
Daw Yin May. “Most children are under a lot of pressure
to perform well at school because of the expectations of their
teachers and parents and they need time to relax; they are so
happy while they are playing,” she said.
While the opportunity to relax in pleasant surroundings is clearly
appreciated by visitors to parks and playgrounds, some say the
prices at the restaurants within their grounds are beyond their
“My family cannot afford to eat at the restaurants in
parks, so when we visit them we take some snacks whith us,”
said U Kyaw Swar Lin, a retired public servant.