Yangon (Myanmar), formerly named as Rangoon, is the biggest city in Myanmar. Although Yangon was the capital of Myanmar for little more than a hundred years before Naypyidaw was designated as the capital in 2005, its root goes back many centuries. Built on the site of the ancient Mon city of Dagon, which is thought to have been founded more than 2000 years ago, it lies along the Yangon river and is one of the country's major port. The little fishing village was given the name Yangon (meaning 'end of strife') by King Alaungpaya following his conquest of the Mon Kingdom of Bago (Pegu) in 1757, and 1866 was renamed Rangoon by the British when Myanmar was annexed as a crown colony.
The influence of the former colonial era is still to be seen in the layout: the city is organized like a chessboard, and many of the old Victorian buildings have survived in varying states of preservation. Since the country was opened up in mid 1990s, more and more modern buildings have been erected, mainly apartment blocks and shopping centers. This architecture mixture of the old and new lends the city a fascinating aura of its own.
At first sight this metropolis, with its population of 5 million, seems much more leisurely than other big cities in Asia. There are comparatively few cars, and trishaws (rickshaws) can be seen in the streets. A wide variety of cultures and religions mingle together, and the innumerable Buddhist pagodas stand side-by-side with Hindu temples, mosques and churches. Many Indians and Chinese have settled here, running businesses and living in their own quarters of the city.
Yangon is located at the convergence of the Yangon and Bago Rivers. There are three main seasons in this city. The rainy season starts from June and continues till October. Winter season in Yangon is from November to February and the dry summer season is from March till May. The winter season in Yangon is less humid and cooler than the remaining months.