South and west of Yangon is the Ayeyarwady Delta (ဧရာဝတီ), a stunning patchwork of greenery floating on rivers, tributaries and lakes that stretches to the Bay of Bengal. A key rice-growing area, the delta is also home to historic towns such as Pathein, which makes the best base for exploring the region, and Thanlyin. In the far west of the delta are the beach resorts of Chaung Tha and Ngwe Saung, long-time favourite sea-and-sand escapes for Yangonites.
A couple of hours east of Yangon is Bago (ပဲခူး), once the capital of southern Myanmar and home to many historic pagodas, monasteries and palaces that date back over a thousand years. Bago can be visited as a day trip from Yangon, or it makes an easy first stop as you set out on your tour of the country.