The Secretariat, famous for its grandeur and tragic past, has been reopened since January. Although some structures are still closed for ongoing renovation works, much of it is open to the visitors both locals and foreigners alike. Here’s a quick rundown on what to do at The Secretariat.
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. The 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:
Fees for foreigners
Adult: US$10 / Ks15,000
Child: $5 / Ks8,000
Fees for locals
Open Daily: From 9am To 5pm
Morning Tours slot:10:30 & 11:30
Evening Tours slot: 1:30 & 3:30
Although phone cameras are allowed on the building premise and the tours, DSLR cameras are not. If you want to arrange a professional photoshoot, they have two packages: a $200 pack for two hours and a $300 for three. They offer a 40% discount until next month. For more info, contact 09 45111 8212.
The east wing and south wing have souvenir shops where you can find handicrafts and sculptures that reflect Burmese culture. The shops open 9am – 5pm on weekdays.
Food and drinks
If you are hungry touring the building, a few restaurants are there to serve you.
Lumbini Tea Room
Lumbini is a premium tea shop experience that serves both local and international food. The menu is heavy with classic Burmese breakfast meals such as Nan Gyi Thoke, Mohinga and Pratha and some international dishes like toast. Dim Sum is also available until 2 pm. The restaurant operates 7am – 5pm.
TOM N TOMS
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. It opens daily from 9am – 5pm.
KFC and Krispy Kreme chains are also present. You may find them if you enter the compound through the gate on Anawratha Road.
During my last visit, I saw a new restaurant going through decorations. I learnt that it would be serving Kye Oh and healthy food. So, follow us on Facebook to keep in touch with everything going on in Yangon!