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    Reviews and Media

    Reviews and media

    • “This sumptuous, evocative book captures the energies of a city in the midst of rapid change. At the same time it is suffused with traces of Yangon’s complex, often troubled, past. I enjoyed the mix of architectural commentary, urban geography, and excellent photography that the authors bring to the book. It will be essential reading for anyone interested in Yangon and Myanmar; it works equally well as a guide for first-time visitors, and as an invitation to those who know the city to see it through fresh eyes.”
      – Sunil Amrith, Professor of South Asian History at Harvard University
    • “This is an excellent book that has something for everyone. Those new to Yangon will appreciate the depth and background of sites and their histories, as well as the fact that the book extends to neighborhoods not usually covered in guidebooks. As someone who has lived in the city for long stretches of time, I loved learning new things about places I regularly passed but never thought twice about. The writing on architectural styles was also very accessible for a non-specialist, just enough to make you feel that you’d learned something meaningful, but not too dense and mostly focused on contextualizing buildings within the city’s rich and diverse history.”
      – Matthew Walton, Aung San Suu Kyi Senior Research Fellow at Oxford University
    • “The book is refreshingly different – in its presentation of history, architecture, photography and current challenges. Its beauty lies in the fact that it is difficult to categorize it as any particular genre. It is poetic and lyrical, as well as gripping. It gives us an idea about the endless creative ways in which one can present a city and opens our hearts and minds into appreciating the latent stories embedded in colossal structures. The book inspires us in not only getting to know our cultural heritage but also involving ourselves in rejuvenating the same with sensibility and sensitivity.”
      – Reshmi Banerjee, Oxford University’s Tea Circle blog (read the whole review here)
    • German architectural magazine Bauwelt has reviewed the book here. A post with some translated passages is here.
    • Coconuts Yangon has also reviewed the book and interviewed Elliott here. “The city that emerges in the Architectural Guide is both living and changing.”
    • We had some coverage in architectural publications such as Curbed and Uncube.
    • Elliott wrote an article about the book for Quartz on the eve of Myanmar’s historic elections in 2015.

    You can buy the guide on Amazon (US, UK, Germany, France, Japan), or directly from the publisher.

    The back cover text reads:

    Architectural Guide Yangon presents around one hundred memorable buildings from Myanmar’s historical capital. Following decades of international isolation, the city’s vast heritage remains largely, surprisingly and spectacularly intact. Rangoon – as it was known under the British – was a melting pot of British India. Vivid traces of this legacy are everywhere, especially in the city’s Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim houses of worship that often stand side by side, down town, in Yangon’s tightly-gridded streets. Since the country’s independence from the British in 1948, successive authoritarian regimes have also stamped the cityscape with their legacies. Today Yangon is a bustling and busy city in flux, at the frontier of Myanmar’s rapid opening to the wider world. Yangon’s urban fabric deserves a systematic guide that nourishes every visitor and resident’s shared fascination for the city and its history, offering countless anecdotes and notes on architectural detail.

    Buy The Book

    The paper copy of the Architectural Guide: Yangon is available through most book outlets internationally. We would love to see you asking your local bookshop to fill your order, first. However, you can also order the book yourself directly from our publisher or from online retailers such as Amazon.



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    Authors and Contributors

    Ben Bansal

    — 1981, Berlin

    is an economist with degrees from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London and Cambridge University. Ben has worked in finance for most of his career, as an economist, fund manager and banker. Since going freelance a few years ago, several of his assignments have dealt with Myanmar’s economic transition, bringing him to Yangon and piquing his interest in the city. His academic research interests include the economic history of post-war Tokyo and contemporary urban development issues in South and Southeast Asia.

    Elliott Fox

    — 1987, Paris

    is a media adviser in the humanitarian and human rights sectors. He studied politics and communications at SOAS, the London School of Economics and City University’s Graduate School of Journalism. He started working on Myanmar issues while interning at the United Nations in 2008. Since then he has traveled to Myanmar regularly: as a press officer for visiting former heads of state and Nobel Peace Prize laureates, as a tourist and, of course, to write this book.

    Manuel Oka

    — 1983, Munich

    is an architect and freelance photographer. Manuel graduated in architecture from Vienna Technical University and went on to study in Yoshiharu Tsukamoto’s graduate studio at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. He worked for architectural firms Fumihiko Maki and KMDW in Tokyo before moving to Munich where he is currently working. Manuel spent several months researching the book and shooting in Myanmar. His photos can be found at

    Special Thanks

    In memory of Bob Percival.

    Above all, we would like to thank Franz Xaver Augustin and the Yangon Goethe-Institut for their enthusiasm and generous support. Kecia Fong provided patient mentorship and invaluable help with heritage related questions. Heinz Schütte generously read the entire manuscript and provided valuable feedback. Zaw Lin Myat supported the project from the start and helped wherever he could. In U Hpone Thant (Harry) we found a most helpful resource to answer many of our particular questions about Yangon’s post-independence history, and where it unfolded. In Yangon, many people helped us with their expertise, during interviews: U Tun Than, Daw Moe Moe Lwin, Dr. Kyaw Lat, U Sun Oo, Maki Morikawa, Masahiko Suzuki, Amelie Chai and Stephen Zawmoe Shwe deserve a special mention. Special gratitude must also go to U Kin Maun Lwin for taking the time to take us around Yangon University. U Soe Lin provided valuable insights into Burmese architecture in Washington, D.C. Patrick Robert encouraged this project from the beginning and unlocked usually off-limits buildings for the authors, connecting them with many other individuals along the way. We are indebted to Graham and Charmaine Lewis for kindly translating and paraphrasing a Burmese article about the Martyrs’ Memorial. Bob Percival has been a great supporter and friend of the authors, enlivening their time in Yangon with wisdom and good humour. Takashi Kamiyama’s logistical help was greatly appreciated. Sarah Rooney, Melissa Cate Christ, Petr Kozma, Susmit Banerjee, Laetitia Millois, Ilaria Benini, Ben White, Bram Steenhuisen, U Thurein Aung, Ben Wolford, Stewart Traill, Elizabeth Rhoads and Oliver von Braun-Dams provided valuable feedback or helped with individual research-related questions. Special thanks to Kasita Rochanakorn for copy-editing the manuscript. The usual caveats apply.

    Kasita Rochanakorn

    Mariangela Palazzi-Williams

    Final corrections
    Clarice Knowles

    Manuel Oka

    Katrin Soschinski

    QR codes
    Christoph Gößmann

    Image Processing
    Tiger Printing (Hong Kong) Co., Ltd.

    Spindulio Spaustuvė, Kaunas