Do you know that The Secretariat has opened to the public from 9 am to 5 pm every day from December. Tours and shopping souvenirs were the only options before, then they have bidden the franchised restaurants to this historical building to make it alive as one of the landmarks of Yangon. This article will guide you through Yangon’s most iconic historic building.
During the colonial era, the British government assigned Henry Hoyne-Fox, executive engineer at the government’s public works to design a sprawling new Victorian-style complex on 16 acres in the heart of Yangon. Design and construction of the complex began in 1889. The central building was completed in 1902, and the eastern and western wings in 1905.
The place is where eight pre-independence political leaders, including General Aung San, and a bodyguard were gunned down on 19 July 1947. You can learn more about the building’s historical and architectural importance through guided tours.
The tours are available every hour starting at 9:30 am and the final tour will depart at 4:30 pm. The prices are US$10 (Ks 15,000) per adult and $5 (Ks 8,000)/child for foreigners and Ks 3,000/adult and Ks 1,000/child for locals. The Ks 3,000 camera fee is inclusive.
The tour begins at the East Wing located on the Theinbyu Road and lasts for 45 minutes and is available only in English. It’s advised to call in advance if you’re planning to visit during public holidays.
Both locals and expats can have a free, limited access to the building. If you want to roam beyond the free zone, the charges are Ks 3,000 for locals and $10 for foreigners.
Contact: (95) 9 427 273 018, (95) 1 839 8420
Email: [email protected]
The Secretariat Souvenir Shop offers bags, hats and garments. You can also find name card holders and thumb drives made of wood and engraved with the building’s image. Bags made by Vestige Myanmar are on one shelf; teak chopstick holders are on another. The shop is located on the opposite side of Tom N Toms Café and opens during the building’s operating hours.
For jewellery shopping, AA NAN offers jade and ember wears. If you’re thinking about fancy gifts for Christmas, there are paintings and artificial flowers made of jade pieces. The shop is open from 9 am to 5 pm and you can reach through Tom N Toms.
Right next to it is ARTISAN where you can find premium items like silk scarves and Havaianas flip flops. From handbags to pillow cases, the designs are influenced by Myanmar traditional arts and patterns. There is also a small collection of lacquerware. It opens from 9 am to 6 pm and closes on Monday.
Food & Drinks
If you’d enter the building from the gate on the Anawrahta Road, you will find:
The US fried chicken chain is one of the most thriving foreign franchises in Yangon with shops scattered from the Yangon International Airport to the 76 miles on the Yangon-Mandalay highway. Their latest shop at The Secretariat is open from 9 am to 10 pm.
The dessert and cafeteria is beside KFC. Satisfy your sugar cravings with their limited holiday special doughnut, Christmas Tree! The opening hours are from 8 am to 10 pm.
If you come from the Theinbyu gate, you will reach the East Wing of the complex to find Tom N Toms Café. This is where you can take instagrammable photos with the staircase and the roof. Be warned that if you bring professional DSLR cameras, you will be charged Ks 3,000. The café operates from 8:30 am to 5 pm.
Arts & Events
The Asia Art Connect exhibition is open to the public on the first floor of the East Wing from 9 am to 5 pm. Experience the paintings of Myanmar’s scenery and colourful ethnic people. Events take place occasionally and at the time of writing this article, the Pursuing Arts in Research Festival is happening from 30 Nov to 3 Dec. Follow its Facebook page @thesecretariatyangon or check the website thesecretariatyangon.com for more info.
Address: Theinbyu Road (middle block), Botahtaung Township, Yangon
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 09 45688 3044
Hours: 9 am – 5 pm