Here’s some of what the Smiling Albino’s – Myanmar – All That Glitters, Asia’s Golden Land Brochure – 2014 has to say about Yangon:
“Myanmar’s biggest city, Yangon is comparatively young. It only became the capital in 1885 when the British completed their conquest of northern Myanmar, and Mandalay’s brief period as the centre of the last Burmese kingdom ended.
Despite its short history as the seat of national government, Yangon has been in existence for a long time – although as a small town for much of that time.
In 1755 King Alaungpaya conquered central Myanmar and built a new city on the site of Yangon. Yangon means ‘end of strife’: the king rather vainly hoped that with the conquest of central Myanmar, his struggles would be over. In 1756, Yangon also became an important seaport.
In 1841 the city was virtually destroyed by fire; the rebuilt town again suffered extensive damage during the Second Anglo-Burmese War in 1852. The British, the new masters, rebuilt the capital to its present plan and corrupted the city’s name to Rangoon.
In 1988 around 15% of Yangon’s city centre population – all squatters – were forced to move to seven new towns northeast of the city centre. Many of the old colonial buildings once occupied by the squatters have now been refurbished for use as offices, businesses and apartments.
The city has changed dramatically following the 1989 banishment of socialism. Starting in the early 1990s, the government began sprucing up the city’s appearance by cleaning the streets and painting many public buildings. Since 1992, when the procapitalist General Than Shwe took power, new cars and trucks have taken to city roads, mobile phones are commonly seen in the city centre and satellite dishes dot the horizon.”
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD