2. Unusual Places to Shop in Yangon
Nagar Glass Factory
Address: Hlaing Mahasi Road, Yangon, Myanmar
Pomelo for Myanmar
Address: 89, Thein Phyu Rd, Yangon, Myanmar
Phone number: +95 1 295 358
Opening hours: 9:30 to 9:30pm daily
Address: No 62, Shan Gone Street, Sanchaung Tsp
Phone number: +95 9 952 255153
Opening hours: 10:00 to 8:00pm daily
Treasure hunters, take note! Nagar Glass Factory, or what’s left of it after the damage wrought by Cyclone Nargis in 2008, is a treasure trove of colourful glassware. Be warned though: You’ll have to bash through a section of jungle until you start seeing landfills of glass or other inquisitive tourists bent earth-wards – whichever comes first.
Sadly, most of the pieces are broken. However, you might chance upon some exquisite handmade glass bottles, vases and cups on a lucky day. If you have the good fortune of meeting the owners of the factory, they might regale you with the stories surrounding this once-famous, but ill-fated, glass factory. (Aung San Suu Kyi was even once its customer!)
Chase Chisolm, author of Involuntary Joy, describes the glass-hunting experience: "You’ll need several hours to explore what’s left of the glass factory. Don’t rush through your experience. Bring a friend, dig for gems, and then sip some tea while waiting for your finds to be cleaned and polished."
The glassware varies in price. Some may be more expensive than you’d imagined, but think of it as supporting a family and a participation fee for a treasure-hunt adventure that you’d never get elsewhere. Plus, you’ll get to bring home some of the most unique gifts from Yangon.
Tip: Don covered shoes/socks, and long-sleeved shirts and pants. You will also need a strong insect repellent.
Pomelo for Myanmar is a not-for-profit fair trade outlet in Yangon designated for local artisans to hone their crafts. Look out for handcrafted jewellery under the label of Amazing Grace; these are made by a group of women with disabilities living on the outskirts of Yangon.
The store, just a 10-minute ride from PARKROYAL Yangon, also stocks a range of artisan coffees, all locally made, and recycled glassware of all shapes and sizes.
Yangoods is another pioneer on Myanmar’s retail scene that is a forerunner of Burmese design. The retail store offers unique gifts, lifestyle items, fashion staples, and souvenirs that appear to straddle both past and present.
From handmade souvenirs, functional scarves, to locally designed handicrafts, there is always something for everyone at Yangoods.
To nab other Myanmar gifts and memorabilia, be sure to read about these best shopping places in Yangon.
Get directions to Nagar Glass Factory
Get directions to Pomelo
Get directions to Yangoods