Celebrating its 100th year anniversary, the Chin Tsong Palace located on Kabar Aye Pagoda Road just south of Inya Lake is one of a kind in Yangon — a unique and elaborate piece of architecture composing of elements in both Chinese and western styles.
This five story building – two for the main structure, and another three in the intricate dome that sits atop — was named for a Chinese immigrant, businessman and member of the Order of the British Empire, Lim Chin Tsong, who began construction in 1915 and finished four years later, reportedly at a cost of 2.2 million rupees.
Before constructing the palace, Lim Chin Tsong graduated from Rangoon College and would later inherit his father’s rice trading business after he died in 1888. Lim Chin Tsong’s father migrated to Burma from China in 1861.
Currently, the large structure is home to an arts school that is subsidized by the Ministry of Culture, though plans are in the works to renovate the largely empty building into a cultural center complete with displays of painting, sculptures, handicrafts and jewelry on the ground floor.
Under Japanese rule from 1941 to 1945, the Chin Tsong Palace was occupied by the All Burma Broadcasting Station and in 1951 was transformed into Kanbawza Yeiktha hotel. The hand-crafted upper dome area, which offers a veranda with a breathtaking 360-degree view of the city, was later taken over by the Ministry of Culture.