Shwedagon Pagoda in the morning is a must-thing to do when you are in Yangon. Out of the many tourist attractions in the city, this is the only one worth getting up early before dawn. You’ve got to experience the absolute serenity of this sacred place before the crowd starts trickling in.
I took so many photos in here, and if only I could share them all, I would. This post is the second blog post about Shwedagon. If you want to see more photos, take a peek at the first part here.
Shwedagon Pagoda dominates the skyline of the city of Yangon, Myanmar’s capital. When I landed at 10 in the evening, I could see the glistening golden stupa from my window seat. Man, I was so excited and couldn’t wait to see it in front of me.
The Golden Pagoda is, perhaps, Myanmar’s most iconic tourist attraction.
Imagine Yangon without it. Would the city have the same appeal as Bagan? Nah, I don’t think so.
You might not notice it, but the golden stupa is actually a little bit gilded.
The stupa stands at 99 meters and has a diamond-studded spire whose reflections blink like a bolt of soft lightning.
As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the pagoda is believed to have kept eight strands of hair from Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.
Visitors can enter in four covered steps leading to the hill where the main temple stands.
In each of these entrances, you will notice mythological Burmese lions whose heads are golden and whose bodies are white.
As you climb the stairs, take your time, and enjoy the climb. With all the lavish decorative ornaments from the walls to the roof, you’d feel like you’re royalty.
Once you get into the main complex, you will be amazed at the artistry of the smaller pagodas.
Each temple/pagoda has a statue/s of a Buddha in various positions of meditation.
I think the best way to experience this is to sit wherever you are comfortable and observe.
By just sitting in the corner, you’ll be able to witness the old-age traditions and rituals the devotees do in the morning.
The sound of the bells, the smell of incense, the sprinkling of water, the reverence to the monks, and the offerings to the gods come alive in front of you.
Where to stay in Yangon
I stayed in two places: a hotel and a hostel. Hotel G Yangon has views of the city you’ll love if you book the right room! It’s close to Sule Pagoda, a downtown market, and a train station. Backpacker Bed and Breakfast is your budget-friendly hostel near Sule Pagoda in the old district. Their rooftop is a good place to chill in the afternoon and eat breakfast.