Photo: Welcome to Ye.

Ye walking tour

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We have two suggested itineraries for exploring charming Ye. The first takes in the market, so is best done in the morning, and the other, a loop around the lake, is ideal for the afternoon and sunset. You could perhaps split them up over a day, with a trip up to Banana Mountain or down to the beach at Bin Le Wa in the middle of the day.

Our starting point is Ye’s principal pagoda, Shwe San Daw, located smack bang in the centre of town. Check out its various sculptures, golden chedis and giant boddhi tree, before exiting by the south gate onto Ye’s main commercial thoroughfare, May Yu Street.

North side of the moat or lake Photo taken in or around Ye walking tour, Ye, Burma_myanmar by Mark Ord.

North side of the moat or lake Photo: Mark Ord

Although lacking the stock of grand old colonial architecture of larger towns along this coast, you’ll nonetheless see several impressive old buildings dotted among the shops, cafes and bus company offices. Following the street to the west, you’ll reach a second pagoda located at the highest point of the road.

Guarded by a pair of large, pale orange-painted lions, it’s less elaborate than Shwe San Daw but does provide great views of the town and immediate surrounds. Take the first left at the bottom of the hill after the pagoda and you’ll head down to the riverfront and market area. The market does go on all day but is particularly lively in a morning with shoppers and vendors coming and going by motorbike, tuk tuk, horse and cart and boat via the adjacent jetties.

Sunset over the lake. Photo taken in or around Ye walking tour, Ye, Burma_myanmar by Mark Ord.

Sunset over the lake. Photo: Mark Ord

The emphasis is surprisingly not on fish. There is a wide array of produce and household goods on show including some unusual local food items to taste. A Ye specialty is pepper and you can pick up a bag of dried corns in the market. It’s not quite as fragrant as the famous Kampot variety in Cambodia but it does pack quite a spicy punch.

If you’re doing this as a morning walk, then heading back up to May Yu Street. Turning right will find you outside KT Food Centre, a fine spot for lunch or a coffee and bakery stop. This is the end of part one.

The riverside market. Photo taken in or around Ye walking tour, Ye, Burma_myanmar by Mark Ord.

The riverside market. Photo: Mark Ord

For the second walk — or continuation of the first — take the bridge road leading up the east side of Shwe San Daw where you began the tour, and which leads you down to the lakeside.

On reaching the lake you’ll see a small, nameless cafe on the right serving up some simple but good Thai food, which would make another great lunch spot. The bridge splits the lake into two parts so you could do a half loop or a lengthier complete circumnavigation but the left hand loop as you arrive is the most scenic. Half way across the bridge a wooden walkway stretches out to a small stilt shrine above the water. This is a popular spot for canoodling couples and kids feeding the lake’s overweight fish population.

What happens to sinners. Photo taken in or around Ye walking tour, Ye, Burma_myanmar by Mark Ord.

What happens to sinners. Photo: Mark Ord

The lake is actually an enlarged section of an old moat which protected the settlement lying to the south and east and which presumably formed three sides of the defences, with the river as the natural fourth side. Today it’s a scenic walk with a couple of conveniently placed tea shops and small pagodas providing breaks in the treeline — take your time and if you time it for late afternoon and sunset, you should get some lovely shots in.

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Location map for Ye walking tour

Popular attractions in Ye

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Ye.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Ye.
 Read up on where to eat on Ye.
 Check out our listings of other things to do in and around Ye.
 Read up on how to get to Ye.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Ye? Please read this.
 Browse tours in Burma Myanmar with Tourradar.

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