A small fishing village in Myanmar, Dala is a perfect spot for a day trip from Yangon. A trip to Dala village gave us a quick snapshot of life in a small Burmese village. A visit to Dala village is perfect for those who want to take a quick look at simple Burmese village life and need a change of scenery from Myanmar’s touristy spots.
Where is Dala Village
Dalla or Dala is a small village across the river from Yangon. There are many things to do in Yangon and a day trip to Dallah village from the main city was a lovely experience.
How to reach Dala Village from Yangon
This village is a 10-minute ferry ride away from Pansodan Pier in downtown Yangon. Pansodan Pier is very close to downtown Yangon and Sule Pagoda. You can easily reach this pier by walking by using Google maps or by just asking the locals to point you in the right direction.
Like most of the things in Myanmar, the cost of this ferry is different for locals and international tourists. When we reached Pansodan Pier, things were a little confusing. Being the only tourists there, we were spotted by a government officer who pointed us to the ticket window for tourists that had no queue. We paid USD 4 per person for a return ticket.
Ferry from Yangon to Dala village
A visit to Dala village is surely interesting but the ferry ride is literally as interesting as the village itself.
The ferry irself was like a mini floating market and had a lot of interesting sights. Many locals brought their bicycles on board and some of them got their little shops too. In this brief ferry ride, we saw many people (mostly women) selling different things – clothes, cigarettes, combs, mirrors, bird eggs, fresh fruit and so much more.
One the decks of Dala ferry (or Dallah ferry as some call it), we also saw plastic chairs for rent. Just like Yangon’s tea shops, these plastic chairs were tiny and in reality are for children. These are the same chairs that my father used to rent for my birthday party when I was a little girl. The seats on the upper deck are for free.
Our Day Trip to Dala Village
A trip to Dala gave us a quick snapshot of life in a small Burmese village. We saw fish markets, bamboo houses, teashops, and many farm animals that wandered about freely. The common mode of transport appeared to be tricycles but we avoided them at the Dala village pier since we had read about a few scams.
Right next to the pier where the boat dropped us, we enjoyed a nice lunch at a roadside shop. This place had a few local men inside who were chatting and drinking beer. The menu was in Burmese and one of the staff members spoke English. We ordered a random thing on the menu and crossed our fingers.
Our meal ended up being very interesting because it was a simple noodle soup with loads of veggies and tiny bird eggs. It was not as spicy as normal Burmese food. I don’t remember the exact cost but our meal was even cheaper than our ferry ticket, so around $1 – $2 in total.
Suggested: Shwe Dagon Pagoda, Yangon
After our meal, we explored this village on foot and visited a lovely monastery and golden pagoda. The monastery was very close to the pier and was interesting to explore.
There were no people around and we walked from one section to another and ended up reaching an elderly Monk’s room by mistake.
We didn’t mean to intrude and were about to leave but he gestured us to stay. He was sitting on his chair by the window and did not look in the best of health. His room had many framed pictures of his younger self. We pointed at the pictures and at him and he nodded, letting us know that those were indeed his.
We eventually left his side and went out of this monastery to explore the rest of this village. After walking straight for a few more minutes, we reached another big pagoda. Soon a bunch of Burmese schoolboys surrounded us for a picture.
After spending a few hours in this village, I tried to look for a toilet here but couldn’t find one. As a blessing in disguise, a helpful tricycle pusher took us to his hut so that I could relieve myself.
He proudly showed us around his lovely hit and made us meet his family. We eventually ended up exploring a Dala green village on his tricycle. He did not speak English but a word here and there and gestures helped us hold a conversation.
Our visit to Dala Village was definitely short but is an experience we will remember for life.
Suggested: Travel tips for Myanmar
Dala Village Scam
There are many reports of tourists getting scammed while trying to go to Dala village from Yangon. In some cases, locals have tried to sell a day trip package to Dala village, which is 10 times the actual cost of visiting, eating and exploring.
In other cases, some tricycle pushers have scammed international visitors at the pier. Most of them will quote 5 times the actual cost to show people around. A few of them also pretended their tricycle stopped working because of their customer and demand an exorbitant payment.
One lady posted on Lonely planet forum about being guilt tripped by their tour guide into buying sacks of rice for poor villagers.
Don’t let these incidents discourage you from visiting Dala village. It is easy to avoid these scams when you do this trip on your own and don’t buy a package. Be firm and don’t say yes for a tricycle ride as soon as you arrive in this village. It is easy to explore this village on foot because it is small. San and I were not scammed and had a lovely experience with a tricycle pusher who showed us around and did not even ask for money. We had to literally force him to take money from us.
Final Thoughts about Dala Village
You can make a day trip to this village or cover it in just a few hours. You can come back in time to catch the sunset at Pansodan Pier. In my experience, the best view is from the pedestrian bridge that goes over the road.
If you’re heading to Myanmar, can check iVisa for info about how to get your eVisa, requirements, info and more details.
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Nice Village Dala. There are many reports of tourists getting scammed while trying to go to Dala village from Yangon. This is the very interesting place.
Hi there, yes it is true that several tourists get scammed in Dalla village when they try to hire rickshaws at the pier, but it can be avoided. Dala village was one of the most memorable place that we visited in Myanmar and we think it is one of the best day trips from Yangon 🙂
We visited the Dala village and took a yuk yuk with a driver. We were taken to the fishing village and then to a pagoda. Finally to Bamboo village. This was a place that brought huge tears. The poverty at this small bamboo ( tsunami in 2008 wiped out their homes and the now live in tarp shacks ) was appalling. Children chewing beatle nut and the parents gambling the little money they had. A sweet little girl maybe 6 years of age grabbed my hand and smiled. At this point we had to leave as my tears were uncontrollable, our driver then took us to a food storage house where hundreds of bags of rice laid behind locked gates. Our visit to Dala was not a highlight but is something I will never forget. The little girl in the green dress and her beautiful smile and her warm hand.
Great article, thanks for the tips! With the spectacular temples of Bagan, stunning Mandalay with lakes, pagodas, and palaces, lively markets and a delicious street food scene, Myanmar is a joy to visit. However, with the rise of tourism, cases of tourist targeted scams have risen as well.
Do be wary of the shoe guardians, friendship tour scam, restaurants without set prices, coin collectors, fake entrance tickets, pickpocketing, snatch thefts and many more!
I love your writing style – it is informative and easy to understand. Thanks for your website. Most of the population in Myanmar are poor and are not into scams – but a few greedy touts ruin it for everyone. Many Burmese are curious about foreigners and would love to practice their English.