faqs

Why can’t I find the east-west streets like Bogyoke Aung San Road and Anawrahta Road in the index?
The east-west streets do not generally have specialisations, unlike the north-south streets. They tend to be more “mixed commercial” – with fast food places, watch & clock shops (so many!), mobile phone shops, hotels etc. all intermingled. We decided to point out exceptionally interesting places on the east-west streets by marking them on their adjacent north-south streets.

Why can’t I find the streets east of Thein Phyu Road and west of Shwe Taung Tan Road in the index?
The streets east of Thein Phyu Road to Botataung Zay Road are covered as one block, called “East of Thein Phyu Road: 45th to Botataung Zay”; and the streets west of Shwe Taung Tan Road are covered in another block, called “West of Shwe Taung Tan Road: 1st to 14th streets”

Why is my favourite shop, cafe, restaurant not listed?
We are not trying to provide a guide to individual shops, cafes or restaurants – the idea is to capture the specialities of specific streets – therefore we look for clusters of similar businesses like hardware, or printing and mark those areas. We do list some cafes and shops as asterisked items – things that have caught our eye; most of these are social enterprises.

Why have you listed so many religious buildings?
Because they don’t move, and thus they provide good reference points for understanding our sometimes less-than-accurate maps.

There is a shop selling x on such-and-such a street, but it does not appear when I search. Why not?
We generally only list something if there is more than one shop selling x on the street, unless it is something that “caught our eye”. We don’t want you to traipse to a street to find one shop that has closed, but we do want you to come to a block which has many similar shops, as you are more likely to find what you need.

Why have you labelled this building wrongly?
We have labelled each building according to the name on the building itself. But we are human and make mistakes – if you think we have mislabelled or misspelled something, please let us know and we will correct it.

Why do your street names differ from those on Google?
There is a great deal of variation in the way the Bamar language is rendered in English. We have followed the YCDC spelling as seen on street signs in Yangon, and yes, that often differs from Google and other maps.

What do you mean by “everything”? I cannot find x, y or z.
Indeed, there are some things in the world you cannot find or buy in downtown Yangon, or at least that we have not found yet. We have a page here called “Things we have not found (yet)” where we will list anything somebody wants that we think MIGHT be available downtown, and perhaps some kind reader will point us and you in the right direction. So let us know what you are looking for.

I have been following your blog but nothing new is ever posted. Why don’t you ever publish any new posts?
We are a blog in name only – each street is a blog post, with a publication date that puts the posts in the right geographical order (west to east). Since there are no new streets in downtown Yangon, there are no new blog posts, only updates to existing blog posts.

Why don’t you list all the great places and hidden treasures that Bob Percival found in his 2016 book “Walking the streets of Yangon”?
We tried to find every hidden treasure mentioned by Bob Percival in his book, from Lucky Uncle on 22nd Street to the snakeskin boot maker on 31st street. Yangon is changing so fast that many of the shops and buildings he wrote about are no longer there. If we found them, we mention them, but believe me, we looked.

When will it be finished?
Never. While we hope the core information about markets and street specialisations such as stationery (for example) will remain true, we know many of the specific places we mention will move or close. And we are sure there are errors, and we hope you will point them out to us so we can correct them.

Will you print it?
Yes. Even though the print copy will not be searchable (obviously). But yes, we have printed some copies. They have rather beautiful recycled plastic covers with bamboo spines and are designed so you can easily update to later editions in the future (!). They are sold at Hla-Day on Pansodan and at Kokkoya Organics, or by contacting us directly.

What’s next?
Well, that’s a good question. Once Covid-19 hit, we hunkered down like everyone else, and planned to re-emerge like a butterfly from a chrysalis once it was all over and survey the streets of downtown again to see what had changed. Then things became more complicated.

Nevertheless, the 2022 update crew has walked all the streets of downtown again and the map has been completely updated. We haven’t been back to Bogyoke Aung San Market yet, but that is next. Do let us know if you know of something interesting that we didn’t catch before and we will go and have a look! And we hope that the map will still help you navigate downtown more easily so we can all support the small businesses in this very special place.

Have more questions? Ask them in the comments!