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 of 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.
Imagine Yangon without it. Would the city have the same appeal like 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 8 strands of hair from Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.
In each of these entrances, you will notice mythological Burmese lions whose heads are golden and their bodies are white.
As you tread on the stairs going up, 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 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.
Yangon is still pretty cheap for a backpacker so 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. 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 with a reasonable fee. You can book it via Booking, TripAdvisor, HostelWorld, and Expedia.