I’m not sure if it’s the strong smell of fish, the impressively hardworking people or the smiles at 6 o’clock in the morning, but Yangon’s San Pya Fish Market surely leaves a big colourful stamp on the memory. Take a deep breath and step right into the heart of Yangon’s fish trade. Welcome to the fish market!
The San Pya Fish Market
There’s a big chance that the delicately spiced fish you consume during your Yangon travels have passed through the San Pya Fish Market. Being a nation with a solid coastline, fish is a main stable in the Burmese kitchen. For the people of Yangon, it’s a vital ingredient in their favourite morning dish Mohinga, a fish noodle soup.
The San Pya Fish Market is the main landing and trading point for Yangon’s fish industry. All stores, hotels and restaurants come here for a pile of today’s catch. With 6 million people living in Yangon and the number growing by the day, it’s not hard to imagine that this is big business.
Being far away from the beaten track, not many travellers will make their way here and you will most likely be the only foreigner around.
Expect to be greeted by a strong fishy smell, as well as friendly smiles and curious eyes. As you enter the market a maze of stories unfolds before your eyes;
Proud workers showing you their biggest catch of the day.
Men carrying huge baskets of fish while the water runs down their shoulders.
An ice block truck, so cold in the heat that an icy haze surrounds it, adding a mystical and magical layer to the whole scenario.
The money men on top of their tiled booths, counting the money and valuing their catch.
What is the best time to visit?
The market is open 24 hours a day and there’s always something going on. At night, when the fishermen return from the ocean with piles of freshly caught seafood. In the early morning when the handling, wrapping and bargaining is going on and during midday when the heat has taken over and a solid rest is needed.
To get the best experience visit the market between 2:00 am and 8:00 am, when it’s most lively.
Visit the market with Go Beyond
The fish market is not part of the tourist trail, and to get the full experience and hear the entire story, visit the market with a guide of Go Beyond who know their way around.
You can visit the Fish Market and more local experiences on our Urban Yangon Tour.