Venue: Lim Chin Tsong Palace, Completed 1918
Address: Kabar Aye Pagoda Rd, Yangon.
Open: Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (closed Saturday and Sunday)
Quick note: Everyone in our group found it difficult to find the entry to the palace.
Tell your taxi driver that the palace entry is directly off Kabar Ave Pagoda Road. As you are coming along Kabar Ave Pagoda Road go down the underpass about 200 meters and turn left. You should see the Palace from the road.
Once, years ago access to the palace was from a bridge that now comes off a side street. That access has been closed off, but Google maps may direct you there.
Access Ease: There are a few stairs at the entrance.
The second floor of the building which is worth viewing but there is no lift.
If you need to pick up a taxi when leaving there is a short but manageable walk from the building to the main gate. However, the road leading away from the entrance is dangerous, with a very narrow footpath.
Cafes: There is no cafe on the grounds but you can wander to the Reno Hotel a short walk from the Palace.
Challenges: The Palace is relatively dark and given the run down nature of the building, care is advised.
Bathroom: There was a visible bathroom but I wouldn’t recommend relying on it.
Number of visitors in the Building: There were no other tourists visiting we noticed. However the building is also the home of the Myanmar Fine Arts School so young ones are around.
Title Review: Lim Chin Tsong Palace: Spooks, Murder And Art
Lim Chin Tsong vast wealth was built on the trade of oil, rich and rubber. With a passion for art and Chinese architecture he reinvested much of that wealth into building his five storey Palace that sits on the hill overlooking the Shwedagon Pagoda and across Inle Lake.
History tells the story that underneath the expansive building Lim Chin Tsong built a network of tunnels to transport the murdered souls of the dead from the palace to be dumped in the Hliang River.
With a fast and furious life Lim Chin Tsong harbour a passion art, but for gambling. It was a toxic combination, and after a number of investments went wrong his creditors began to circle.
Defying debt Lim Chi Tsong continued his business ventures. Yet five years after the construction of his Palace, Lim Chi Tsong was believed to have been murdered by a spy, a woman, and his wife, Tan Guat Team.
Soon after his death, Tan Guat Team, began to throw lavish parties until the Palace fell into the hands of those her husband was indebted to. Years later, Tan Guat Team died in poverty, a tragic end to the lady who once worked for the British Police passing on information about her husband’s counterfeit and other business dealings.
Truth or rumours, the walls of this great palace whisper only one. As his wealth crumbled so too, has his majestic home.
That hasn’t been the end of the building’s history. During WWII during the Japanese occupation the Palace was utilized as the All Burma Broadcasting Station.
Today what’s left is the hollow lonely manor, one of Yangon’s most majestic buildings, the Lim Chin Tsong Palace.
The web of intrigue surrounding it’s owner is the glory of visiting the mansion. The Chinese architecture is truly stunning, the intricate detail carved into the glorious stairs, the stunning stain glass windows, the broken tiles are telling of the Lim Chin Tsong determination to create a beautiful space for himself and his family.
In 2015 the Myanmar government announced that the Palace would be turned into a cultural and tourist centre. That is yet to happen although as you stumble around the second floor you can hear the clatter of little pens as students enrolled in the Fine Arts school sit in makeshift classrooms.
Only a fraction of the palace is open to wander around. The tower that rises into the sky, lavish with Chinese architecture has been blocked internally.