6 Reasons to Visit the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon

The Spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda

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A visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar is a must for every tourist that plans to visit Myanmar.  Set aside the afternoon and ensure that you don’t leave before sunset as the evening becomes cooler and the sun’s rays shimmer on the Pagodas as it sets. (Latest update January 2018)

Where is Burma now known as Myanmar

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon

Map showing Myanmar (Burma)

Myanmar is located in South East Asia.  It borders China to the North, Thailand and Laos to the East and India and Bangladesh to the West.

 

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon

Map of Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon

There are four approaches to the Shwedagon Pagoda – South, West, North and East.  It is highly recommended to remember which entry you came through as this is where you are required to take your shoes off to store them in the cupboards provided, and, of course, you will need your shoes when you depart.  There are carpets and mats around the terraces for you to walk on as the tiles can become extremely hot during the day.

1.  The Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda at Sunset

Shwedagon Pagoda at Sunset

 

The story began over 2,500 years ago when two brothers Tapussa and Bhallika, merchants from Myanmar visited Prince Siddhartha in India and gave him a gift of honey cakes.  In return, the Buddha gave them 8 hairs from his head for the brothers to enshrine them in their native town which is now Yangon.  When the brothers arrived in Yangon they gave the Buddha’s hairs to the King who erected the pagoda and enshrined the hairs together with the relics of three previous Buddhas.  The Pagoda stands 100 metres tall.

 

2.  The Museum

The Museum at Shwedagon Pagoda

The Museum

 

The Museum is a three-storey building in the North West sector of the grounds.  The top floor is dedicated to religious items donated over the years.

3.  King Tharyarwady’s Bell

King Tharyarwady's Bell at Shwedagon Pagoda

King Tharyarwady’s Bell

The bell was cast and donated in 1841AD during the reign of King Tharyarwady and given the title of Maha Tithaddha Gandha.  It weighs 42,000 kilos with a height of 2.6 metres and a diameter of 3.34 metres.

4.  Visit the Reclining Buddha

Reclining Buddha at Shwedagon Pagoda

Reclining Buddha

 

The Reclining Buddha indicates the end of life and the approach of nirvana.

5.  Watch the Washing of the Buddha

Washing the Buddha Statues at the Tuesday Corner at Shwedagon Pagoda

Washing the Buddha Statues at the Tuesday Corner

We visited the complex on a Tuesday and we witnessed the bathing of the Buddha. Around the stupa, you will come across corners of the days of the week.  It is considered good luck and good karma if you wash the Buddha at the corner of your day of birth.

6.  Enjoy wandering around the grounds

Buddha Image Inside one of the many Pagodas at the Shwedagon Pagoda

Buddha Image Inside one of the many Pagodas

Pagodas at sunset at Shwedagon Pagoda

Pagodas at sunset

Stupa within the grounds at Shwedagon Pagoda

Stupa within the grounds

Inside the many pagodas that surround Shewedagon Pagoda

Inside the many pagodas that surround Shwedagon Pagoda

Gathering for prayer time at Shwedagon Pagoda

Gathering for prayer time

Buddha Image in Pagoda at Shwedagon Pagoda

Buddha Image in Pagodas, there are many scattered around the grounds

 

To Travel Too Tips.

The entrance fee for foreigners is US$8, (2018)  and there are many guides in the area who will tell you more of the pagoda’s history. For more information, go to the official website. The easiest way to get to the Shwedagon Pagoda from downtown is by taxi (K2500), although buses (K200) also serve the area, allow 45 minutes for the trip.

Dress code to be observed by visitors when visiting Shwedagon Pagoda, visitors should dress appropriately and modestly and follow the dress code – wear trousers at least knee-length shorts or skirt; t-shirts with elbow length sleeves are also expected and you are expected to be barefooted when entering Shwedagon Pagoda. If you are unsure as to the correct dress code, just err on the side of conservative dress and no-one will be offended.

Myanmar Points of Interest

We spent a month in Myanmar, it was not long enough.  Our recommendations for when you visit Myanmar are:

Visit Temples of Bagan by Horse and Cart

Bagan Hot Air Balloon Ride

Irrawaddy River and its Amazing Buddha Sculptures

A Day in Mandalay, Myanmar

Travel Full Circle in Yangon on the Train for USD1

Bagan to Mandalay by Riverboat

For accommodation, we would recommend staying centrally in Yangon as many of the sites are within walking distance.

Where We Stayed in Myanmar

Yangon, Myanmar

Budget Accommodation at the Ocean Pearl.

Click here for latest prices and availability.

Pyay, Myanmar

Lucky Dragon Hotel Pyay

Click here for latest prices and availability.

Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan Umbra Hotel, Bagan

Click here for latest prices and availability

Mandalay, Myanmar

Smart Hotel Mandalay

Click here for latest prices and availability.

Inle Lake, Myanmar

Paradise Hotel Inle Lake (our hotel that we stayed in is now closed)

Click here for latest prices and availability of other hotels in and around Inle Lake.

Myanmar Weather

The best time to visit Myanmar is from November to February when it is winter time.

The hottest time of the year when temperatures reach over 40 degrees is between March and June.

July through to October is the wet season, although prices are lower it can be difficult to travel around the country.

Myanmar Travel

Myanmar Tourism is on the rise.  Transport and local infrastructure are improving yearly.  We highly recommend that you do some research before you travel, and what better way than travel guides.  We list below some of our favourites:

 

 


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Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon

 

 

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