Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Oldest Buddhist Stupa in the World – Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

Shwedagon Pagoda is one of the top highlight in Yangon or even in whole Myanmar. The Golden pagoda has over 2600 years old history and also the biggest in Myanmar. The precious wonder of Myanmar is a 99 m gold stupa that dominates Yangon’s skyline.  Shwedagon Pagoda is a huge complex and you need at least 2 hours to explore.  Here are the top tips to look out when you are in Shwedagon Pagoda.

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

Four Entrance

There are four entrances (south, west, north and east). Elevators are available at the some of the entrance of the pagoda. Do remember which entrance you are coming from if you have hired a whole day taxi with you.

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

Bodhi Tree

The Bodhi Tree here is over 100 years old, it is super huge and many local visitors are sitting under the big Bodhi Tree. Bodhi Tree is where Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment while meditating underneath. The original Bodhi Tree is Bihar, India.

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

The meaning of Shwedagon

Shwe means gold, dagon means the ancient name of Yangon.  You see the whole temple is painted with gold-plated.  Myanmar’s tradition of purchasing gold leaf dates to the 15th century when the Mon Queen Shin Sawbu gave her weight in gold to Shwedagon. The contributions have been continuing ever since.

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

Praying Corners according to weekdays

The people are, for the most part, deeply engaged in spiritual practice.  You will see moments of prayers, meditation and “bathing of the Buddha” by day of the week. There are labels with the days of the week surround the stupa. There are Monday corner, Tuesday corner, Wednesday corner (split into am and pm) and so on for up to 7 days. Depending on which day you were born and you will be praying at that particular corner. I don’t know which day of the week I was born so I was not able to do the offering of “bathing of the Buddha”.  Every praying corner has a planet and an animal sign associated with it in accordance with astrology.

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

Bathing the Buddha

Bathing the Buddha at the corner of the day you were born will bring in good karma, so you see pilgrims queue to bathe the Buddha.  Just use the cup provided and pour the water down the head and body of the baby Buddha statue multiple times.

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

No Shoes Allowed

The temple is so huge to walk around but no shoes is allowed. The floor may get very hot during the day and some part of the floor may be a little wet if there is rainfall earlier. There are plastic mat for walking to prevent slippery but it is quite uncomfortable as it is quite painful to step on the mat. Please be prepared to walk on bare foot for few hours. 🙂

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

Each temple here has their own unique style

There are many temples surrounding the Shwedagon Pagoda. Each temple has their own unique design.

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

Some uses more gold and some adapt the Indian arts.

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

The pillar here uses jade.

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

Monk praying aloud in a small corner

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

Pavilions at the temple complex

Some of the roof was done by fine wood carving, hundred years ago.

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

Reclining Buddha in Shwedagon Pagoda

There is a Reclining Buddha in Shwedagon Pagoda but is quite small compare to Chaukhtatgyi Buddha.

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

Ringing the Bell

Ringing the bell three times with the wood stick after you have done the donation, such as flower or money to the Buddha.  It let the Buddha and people around you to know you have done good deeds and also bring in good karma and luck to them.

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

Attire 

Clothing should cover knees and elbows. Women usually wear long skirt/sarong.  Men too wear sarong. Strictly no shorts and tank tops.

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

Check out the72-Carat Diamond at the top!

People say this is the most expensive temple Pagoda in the world.  It has the 72 carat diamond at the tip of the stupa!  You can’t see it with your naked eyes and you may need to use a binocular to see it.

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

This is how it looks like, a giant 72 carat diamond accompanying with thousands of smaller diamonds.

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

Historical Singu Min Bell

At one glance the bell look pretty old and the bottom of the bell look chipped off.  This giant bell weighs 25 tones and the British attempted to take it from the pagoda during the Anglo-Burmese War but it was too heavy and sank in Yangon River. After several years, Burmese people successfully raised the bell from the riverbed and restored to it original position at the pagoda. At the top of the bell, there are several hand painted pictures showing the history of the bell. Remeber to look up at these pictures.

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

Best time to visit 

For me the best time to visit is early morning as people are lesser and easier for photography.  But in the evening it would be very interesting as you get to see changes of lights but fill with people.  It is up to you.

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

Final thoughts :

There are too many things to see in Shwedagon Pagoda.  I have hired a tour guide which cost Myanmar Kyat 5000 per person, about USD3.5 (SGD 5).  There are many tour guides at the entrance and I am pretty sure they will come to you in no time.  Burmese people speak good English as it was used to be colonised by the British.

Shwedagon Pagoda is the number one top attractions in Myanmar!

Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!

You may like :

47 Replies to “Myanmar Pride : Finding Treasure in Oldest Buddhist Stupa in the World – Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Things to know before you go!”

  1. I am pretty sure this temple is one of the best one in Myanmar. Even my friend said the same thing when he has gone for Myanmar. But I am not much into temples and all, but I am pretty sure, I can suggest this anyone who is going for Myanmar.

    1. Dear Khris,

      Myanmar is formally known as Burma which have over 100 ethnic groups, bordering India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand. It has strong influence from the neighboring countries.

    1. Dear Sarah,

      The magnificent-looking Shwedagon Pagoda which is also known as the Golden Pagoda is painted in gold color. The gold seen on the stupa is made of genuine gold plates that came from the donations of Myanmar people from all over the country and from monarchs in its history.

  2. Another historical place in Asia. Already added to our bucket list. We love to visit spiritual places. We are curious to see 72-Carat Diamond at the top! Thanks for the review

    1. Dear Delhi,
      There is a museum in the Shwedagon Pagoda complex where you can see all the pictures of the diamonds and gems stones used at the top f the stupa. You can’t see them with naked eyes as it is too far from the ground.

    1. Dear Sigrid,

      Myanmar is so affordable to go as compared to Hong Kong. Eating and traveling with “Grab” taxi or taxi is so cheap. I would say is 1/3 to 1/4 of Hong Kong price. Eg, eating in a decent restaurant is quite reasonable, about USD 3-5 dollar for a dish. If you choose to eat on the street, I think is less than a dollar (USD). I have a weak stomach so I usually eat at the restaurant. We have 3 adults and our meals usually cost USD 15-25 dollars which include 3-4 dishes, vegetables, 2 type of meats, rice and drinks & dessert.

  3. I started my six month trip across America and I’m already planning my next trip. Mynmar has now made the top of my travel list thanks to you. Great article and photos!

    1. Dear Ruth,
      Since you are in Asia, this is one of the places you may want to consider visiting. You get to see the temples and pagoda and also budget friendly. Still quite different from Thailand.

    1. Dear Lavnda,

      Thank you for your comment. It is pretty hard to shoot the picture with the huge stupa and furthermore people are everywhere. Come early in the morning before crowds started to fill in this temple complex. However, evening before sunset would be interesting to see as the colors changes and light up but just too crowded. I still opt for morning.

    1. Dear Flyingkids,

      Thank you for commenting. Myanmar is also one of the cheapest place to travel. Things are fairly cheap compared to other part of Asia. W hire the whole day taxi for 10 hours only rougly cost USD 35.00 using “Klook” to book. Sit up to 4 pax.

    1. Dear Jesusa,

      I did have a great time enjoying the beautiful architecture of the Stupas and temples complex in Shewedagon Pagoda. The only challenge I am facing is walking on barefoot, not even with socks for 2 hours. If you choose to walk on the mat provided which can be quite painful and if you choose to walk on the ground, it can be quite hot and slippery when there is water. I lost my balance few times and almost fell down but luckily didn’t.

    1. Dear Susan,

      I actually thought of that too. Lol, I guess to be able to reach high up there is one challenge and the second challenge could be it can be too heavy. 🙂 Or may be Burmese wont steal as they are religious people and wont want bad thing happen to them so they wont steal the diamonds or things from the temple complex.

    1. Dear Nafisah,

      Myanmar is about Pagodas and there are so many pagodas everywhere. However Shwedagon Pagoda is the biggest and also the most expensive in the whole country. This is one of the “star” pagoda that you cannot miss while touring in Myanmar.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.