Bogyoke Aung San market

This beautiful covered market was built in 1926, and was originally called Scott Market after the Municipal Commissioner of the time, Mr. Gavin Scott. It was renamed Bogyoke Aung San Market, after the 5th Premier of British Burma, in 1948.

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Sunday 9:00 – 17:30
(although many retailers do not open
until 10 and close by 17:00)
Closed Mondays and public holidays

What you can find in the market
The market has many, many jewellery shops selling gold, silver, gemstones, amber, jade and pearls, and there are some silversmiths and goldsmiths who can do custom work, as well as laboratories to authenticate your purchases.
You can also find artwork, handicrafts and souvenirs, antiques, wood carvings, local and imported fabric, and more prosaic things such as shoes, underwear and beauty accessories.
In the old days, Yangon people did most of their shopping here – now there are so many other places, including the huge Thein Gyi market and the New Bogyoke market on the other side of the road, not to mention the big malls like Junction City. But Bogyoke Aung San Market is well worth exploring, and you always find something interesting. 

The Central Hall
The Central Hall is the most famous part of the market – a long, wide, covered hall, currently painted green, with stalls on the left and right. The blocks for the shops were originally divided into four , with a different shop on each corner.  Although some have now combined, in this hall alone you have well over 140 shops.
The majority sell gold, silver, gems, including jade, amber and pearls, and jewellery. There are a sprinkling of handicraft shops, especially on the west side, a great rattan shop selling the fantastic frog waste paper baskets mid-way on the east side, and some shops selling old Myanmar antiques, lacquerware and other treasures at the north end.

The Front Wings
A cornucopia of delights – from undergarments to art work to fabulous Chin textiles and more. The ground floor front shops specialise in that Bogyoke market mix of jade, gems, souvenirs, and art-shops, whereas the inner market shops of the west wing specialise in shoes, and the east wing in fabrics.
The upper west Front wing features clothes and an array of imported fabrics, including fake fur – and  a gem and jade shop selling jade “thermos” flasks – which are certainly beautiful, if not entirely functional.
And make sure you visit the upper east Front wing, where you can find Yoyamay and Chin Chili – both specialising in lovely handwoven Chin textiles; Dacco-Myanmar, selling traditional handicrafts from all over Myanmar; the high-end Taw Win Gallery (there are 5 in the market – this is the pricy one!); and a great coffee shop. 

The Alphabet blocks, East and West, A-D
If you are going to lose your way in the market it is usually because you have dived into one of the alphabet blocks that are to the left and right of the shops in the central hall. The stalls here were originally in a grid pattern,  with four stalls in each square of the grid, like the central hall – but the alleys are much narrower and some are blocked as stalls have spread. The blocks are named clearly though, so as you step into the cobbled avenues that separate them, look up and you will know where you are! The best way to find out what each block sells is to walk through the central alleys, which are all linked – see the dotted line on the map.
Among all the fabric and clothes shops you can find some extraordinary places – fantastic wigs, traditional wedding hats and outfits, fake flowers and tiaras, and much more!

Nawarat Hall, the Diamond Empire, Diamond Mart, and Super World
Here you find jewellery and gemstones in abundance. Nawarat Hall also has a few antique and souvenir shops upstairs near the bridge to the north wing. And the Diamond Mart top floor (just opposite the stairs) is the place to go to have your jewellery gold or platinum plated for a very reasonable price.
In Nawarat Hall on the ground floor, near the corridor to the West “D” block, look out for U Naing Naing Oo of Heyday gems and jewellery shop, a very enthusiastic and reliable jade dealer.

The North Wing
is mostly jade, amber and pearls, with some wood carving shops to the west, and with a few laboratories on the top floor. And the top floor is also a good place to get an overview of the layout of the market.

The West Wing
The front section of the west wing has clothes, costume jewellery, a couple of music shops, and some traditional medicine shops. As you head towards the back of the market, you come to the wood section, selling carvings and bowls and all things wooden. 

The Food Hall is all tea shops and food stalls on the ground floor, except around the staircase where you can find some fabrics, souvenirs and a Mooney Moon coffee shop. Upstairs is a different story – here are tailors to sew your fabric, and silver and gold smiths who can both create and repair jewellery. 

“Hna T’aq Youn ,which means ‘two-storey office’, (even though it is not the only two-storey building, everyone knows which one this is!)’ has a lot of fantastic handicraft shops on the ground floor, and a disguising* of tailors on the upper floor.
*disguising is the collective noun for tailors, apparently, and we are encouraging its use.

The East Wing
The East wing has a famous souvenir shop at the front of the market, some interesting fabric shops, a couple of art supply shops, and then the usual jewellery and clothing shops.

The East Inner block and “Than Phyu Youn” (meaning ‘the metal hall’ as its sides used to be clad in metal sheets) sell fabric – in every possible colour and style.

Looking for something in particular?
Stalls move all the time in the market. If we want to find something in particular, we ask the young women who roam the market selling fans and postcards to visitors. They know everything – show them a picture of what you want and off you go – if you don’t like where they take you, or that shop does not have what you want, ask to go somewhere else. And at the end, give them a tip.