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Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)

Nagar Glass Factory

The ruins of this prominent glass factory yield hidden treasures buried among the jungle floor. 

A small snarl of jungle in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) hides a trove of glass treasures. Those who visit can expect to find beautiful glass works in shades of blues, greens, whites, and reds buried beneath the mess of flora.

The Nagar Glass Factory was Myanmar’s premier glass-making enterprise for decades and the country’s first hand-blown glass-factory. Their customers included the Pan Am airline company, independence leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and even the astronaut John Glenn. But it all came to an end when Cyclone Nargis, the worst natural disaster to ever hit the country, obliterated the factory in 2008.

What remains in the jungle around the ruins of the former factory are the countless pieces of colorful glass that were in production or storage at the time. Amazingly, a large percentage of them somehow remain completely intact. It’s a bizarre, otherworldly and strangely beautiful site, even if the circumstances that led to its current state are tragic.

Today, the family that ran the factory for decades still accepts visitors. In fact, every piece of glass lying in the jungle is available for purchase. It’s up to each visitor, however, to dig for his or her own treasure among the sprawling forest.

While you’re there, be sure to take your time while scavenging through the layers of leaves that blanket the floor beneath the masses of toppled trees. You’ll be rewarded with small treasures like wine glasses, drinking glasses, and fruit bowls.

Know Before You Go

The Nagar Glass Factory is about a 20 minute walk from either Kamaryut or Thiri Myaing stations on Yangon's circular train line. It's not the easiest place to find and there are no signs along the way to point you in the right direction. Furthermore, many locals aren't even aware that it's still possible to visit. It's best to just rent a SIM card and find your way there with your smartphone.