Shwedagon Pagoda

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by jabela on September 25, 2006

Imagine you've been told what a poor country Myanmar is, I ask how far the city centre is from my hotel and I'm told... THAT IS THE CITY CENTRE! Oops... The buildings and roads all seem to be remnants of a bygone age, when the British ruled the world... I'm told there's a Pagoda that's worth visiting. Err, yeah ok...

So imagine my surprise when in the middle of this city is a 5 tonne Pagoda, with 1/2 a tonne of Gold in it! There's so much Gold that the whole place shines! On what would otherwise be a very dull day, every speck of light is captured in this Pagoda area.

It completely blew away my perspective of Yangon. However I was right about one thing, it isn't new... In fact it's 2500 years old! The present version largely dates back to 1774 although many parts of it are older. There are a plethora of statues of the Buddha and each is worth seeing in its own right. My favourite is one that wasn't even mentioned in the guide. (Pictured below) There is a Jade Buddha, sun-moon Buddha, Kassapa Buddha and many other golden statues. Also look out for the King Okkalapa statue, because he is credited with building it in BC600 and it is fairly well hidden in the Saturday corner. Also if you have time, have a look at the showroom and museum.

You are of course expected to remove your shoes and socks (Stockings etc) before entering the Pagoda and I'd suggest leaving them in your bus or car if you can or putting them in a bag, because it would be very easy to lose your shoes in this complex.

This is an active temple, so please act respectfully, I'd suggest wearing trousers for men and a knee length (or longer) skirt and sleeves for women. Cameras are allowed and you can take as many pictures as you like, but be careful with the use of Flash, so that you don't disturb worshippers.

If you are Buddhist and wish to worship, please remember the day of the week of your birth, because in Myanmar the temples are divided into 7 areas according to the day of the week you are born on.

There's a lot to see in the Pagoda and I'd suggest spending at least 2 hours here. It's the best attraction in Yangon, I'd have liked to have more time here and would have happily have dropped the other items in my itinerary to make that time. If I go to Yangon again, I shall be sure to drop by! They also have a Website at:
Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda Road
Yangon, Myanmar

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