As the country's former capital, Yangon is the largest and most cosmopolitan city in Myanmar, where you can find nightlife, quality international restaurants, and many of the country's Museums. The city is an amalgamation of British, Burmese, Chinese, and Indian influences, known for its colonial architecture, which although decaying, remains an almost unique example of a 19th century British colonial capital in Asia. New high-rise buildings were constructed from the 1990s as the government began to allow private investment and with the introduction of reforms in 2013 many new buildings are being constructed and refurbished in the city centre. Meanwhile, former government buildings such as the massive Secretariat Building, have been left to rot as the capital was shifted to Naypyidaw.
Yangon's former name was not the only victim of change in this country. For one, the country's name was changed. To add to the on-going identity crisis, the city has been stripped of its status as capital. The nation's capital has been relocated to a remote new site called Naypyidaw, built from scratch. The flag too has been changed, redesigned in 2010, replacing the old one which replaced another one slightly more than a decade ago.
While the government still requires foreigners to register their passports at hotels and private residences, the government no longer spends efforts to follow or otherwise monitor tourists and foreigners in Yangon. Note that it is illegal to stay in a private residence without registering with the local Township authorities.