Maha Wizaya Pagoda at night is magically golden. It really looks like that of a palace that you heard about or read in books about the Far East. I never planned to come here – it was just an accidental discovery.
While I was close to Dagon, I passed by Maha Wizaya Pagoda. It was dark at the gate so I was very hesitant to go inside.
However, its golden stupa on the hill looked so mesmerizing. So, I decided to enter the dark gate, crossed the bridge, and walked up the steps.
Luckily, there were no tourists! I had the place all to myself!
I circled the pagoda before I went inside. From its wall to the topmost tip of the dome – everything was covered gold. Of course, I don’t mean like it’s real gold but the color gives me that impression.
Do you see this umbrella-like on top of the dome? Even if I was a bit far down, I could see its incredible craftsmanship!
The shallow dome itself is garnished with wondrous details.
Then as you scan down to its walls and windows, you’d definitely sigh and say, “Wow!”
And oh – the door? Boy! I wish my portal at home looks like this. 🙂
Completed in 1980, Maha Wizaya Pagoda fuses modern and traditional features.
The pagoda was funded by donations collected all over the country. But the hti (umbrella-shaped on the dome) was bestowed by a former military leader, Ne Win.
Inside, you will walk through a circular hallway with murals of Buddha in different states of his life.
In the middle of the pagoda, you’ll find a small temple that contains Buddhist relics presented by the King of Nepal.
If you look up, you’ll see that the central dome is bedecked with a mural of various animals, tools, and emblems.
While Maha Wizaya Pagoda is wonderful to visit at any time, I think the best time to go is in the evening. The photos you’ve just seen above should convince you why.
Where to Stay: Cheap Hotel in Old Yangon
Yangon is still pretty cheap for a backpacker. I treated myself by staying in a cheap hotel with basic necessities. I stayed at Yangon Urban Hotel which is smacked right at the center of the old downtown. The room was spacious and they clean it daily. The staff members are nice and they will try to help and answer your questions. There are many restaurants and grocery shops nearby. Breakfast was nice, too. From here, Sule Pagoda is just 7 minutes walk and 28 minutes to Botataung Pagoda/Paya. They also offer an airport pick-up at a reasonable fee. You can book it via Booking, HostelWorld, and Expedia.