Yangon’s overcrowded streets and sidewalks can at times be a bit overwhelming. If you’re in need of a respite, that doesn’t require a bus or plane, head across the Yangon River to the town of Dala. Though less than a mile from downtown Yangon, Dala is a world away in terms of its pace, attitude and amenities. To get there, catch a local commuter ferry from Nan Thida Jetty (across from the Stand Hotel). Ferries leave every 20 minutes and cost 4,000 Kyat round-trip for foreigners. Boats are always full, so prepare to squeeze once the loading signal is given. The ride is about 10 minutes each direction.
Dala’s highlights are its local fish and produce market, Shwe Sayan Pagoda and discovering the many winding streets and pathways that dissect the village. The best way to explore the town and its surroundings is by bike. Hop on a local trishaw once you reach the other side of the river, or plan before you go with Yangon-based tour operator Yangon Cycling Tours. They offer guided group tours as well as bike rentals for independent explorers.