The commercial capital of Myanmar is Yangon. Although the earliest establishments in Yangon were as early as 2500 years old, it was officially founded in 1755 by King Alaung Paya (1752-1760 AD), the first emperor of the Third Myanmar Empire, at the base of Shwe Dagon Pagoda and named Dagon. Yangon has a unique charm, with its tree-lined streets, bustling markets, colonial buildings, and tranquil lakes.
Most travellers spend most of their time downtown, in the grid of streets north of the Yangon River that has Sule Paya at its heart. The main reason to head out of the downtown area is Shwedagon Paya, although there a number of other attractions further north including the shady shores of Kandawgyi Lake, Hledan Market and the enormous marble Buddha at Kyauk Taw Gyi.