Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is Pure Bliss in the Morning

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is pure bliss in the morning. Its serenity and the murmuring whispers of prayers are calming to the soul. At least that’s how I felt because I arrived there at 4:15 in the morning – earlier than most Buddhist worshippers. And way too earlier than most tourists, too. I highly recommend that you go early in the morning, for an obvious reason: it’s not crowded.

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon Myanmar Morning
Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is Pure Bliss in the Morning

Your visit to Myanmar’s capital city won’t be entirely complete without getting a glimpse of this golden pagoda.

Golden Pagoda Myanmar Yangon
The Golden Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar

Shwedagon is the most iconic landmark of the country that used to called Burma under British rule.

The Golden Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar
You’ve never been to Yangon if you’ve never been to Dagon.

This is also the country’s holiest pagoda which contains Buddha’s hair strand and other religious relics. Unfortunately, these relics are nowhere to see. They certainly aren’t for public viewing.

Morning at Dagon Myanmar Yangon
I highly recommend an early morning visit to Shwedagon.

The locals call it Dagon or the Golden Pagoda for brevity.

Morning Shwedagon Temple Buddha
Morning at Shwedagon Temple in Yangon, Myanmar.

This 2,500-year old pagoda is the most sacred of all Buddhist temples and pagodas in Myanmar.

Buddhist Temple pagoda Myanmar

Or maybe, the most sacred in Asia.

Rangon Burma Temple

I’ve never seen a pagoda as grandiose and magnificent as this.

Shwedagon stupa gold diamonds
The Shwedagon temple shines through night and day (Yangon, Myanmar).

Looking up and down the pagodas and stupas, I was speechless, admiring the enormous religious structure.

White pagoda inside Dagon
You have to remove your shoes when visiting pagodas or temples in Myanmar.

And yes, there’s gold in there!

Rangoon Burma Buddhism

In fact, the pagoda is bathed in hundreds of gold plates.

Dagon Pagoda Temple Yangon Myanmar

Look closely on the topmost of the 99-meter stupa and you’ll notice its flickering embers.

Buddhist temple pagoda in Yangon Myanmar
The Shwedagon temple shines through night and day (Yangon, Myanmar).

That’s because there are 4,531 diamonds encrusted around it. The largest diamond weighs around 72 carats! Goodness, 72 carats!

Monks Shwedagon temple shines through night and day (Yangon, Myanmar).
The Shwedagon temple shines through night and day (Yangon, Myanmar).

It also contains topaz, sapphires, rubies another gem stones.

Golden pagoda Rangon Burma

There’s no wonder then, why Shwedagon is the “Crown of Myanmar.”

The Crown of Myanmar Yangon

Inside, you will find a bustle of activities from Buddhist devotees.

Golden Pagon Rangon Burma

They’re meditating, offering money and flowers, and washing statues.

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is Pure Bliss in the Morning
Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is Pure Bliss in the Morning

A monk I talked to asked me if I remember the day I was born, but I couldn’t give him an exact answer. Apparently, there’s a small temple where you can go based on the day you were born. You can do your worship and give your offering there. (See pic below)

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is Pure Bliss in the Morning
Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is Pure Bliss in the Morning

When the sun finally shone behind the stupas, the Golden Pagoda was incredibly magnificent!

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is Pure Bliss in the Morning
Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is Pure Bliss in the Morning

I held my breath as I joined the devotees admiring the calming beauty in front of us and our surroundings. It took me 45 minutes, sitting with them before I decided to go around once again – and left.

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is Pure Bliss in the Morning
Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is Pure Bliss in the Morning

Where to Stay in Yangon

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.

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