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A visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda – Yangon

January 9, 2012

What better place to start my series of posts about my trip to Myanmar than my visit to the Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon. Or rather visits – we visited twice, once at the beginning of the trip and once more at the end. The Shwedagon pagoda can only be described as aw-inspiring gorgeous.  It is quite overwhelming and you can spend a lot of time just absorbing these stunning surroundings, never mind photographing them. The original site has existed for over 2500 years, but has undergone many modifications during this period. It was built to house 8 strands of hair of the Gautama Buddha and is therefore the most sacred buddhist site in Myanmar. But I will not go into detail about the history and all the architectural features, you can read up on that (and other useful information) here.

Our second visit coincided with the evening of the full moon. Worshipers light candles all around the pagoda. An incredible sight.  One of my traveling companions and I were sitting on the floor absorbing the atmosphere, when we heard chanting. A group of young nuns had sat down next to us. Their voices were just beautiful. Goosebumps!

If you should ever go – plan on spending a lot of time there! It is a rather large complex and you definitely want some time to just sit down and watch as people walk by, pray, present their offerings. Despite the amount of people there, the atmosphere is quite calming. Everything is kept immaculately clean by groups of sweepers that seem to almost constantly walk around the pagoda, which is good since you have to be barefoot (like in any other temple in Myanmar).

Click on any thumbnail for a larger version of the image.

You can find more images from my trip on my website at Beate Dalbec Photography

Just a little side note for other travellers: On our first visit I ended up getting quite sick – I guess something I ate for lunch did not  agree with me (this was the ONLY time and the food everywhere was delicious!!!). Fortunately I had some Pepto-Bismol in my camera bag which I took right away. I felt absolutely miserable for about half an hour but then was well enough to continue.  I am only mentioning this, because several people commented afterward that they never would have thought about having it along in the camera bag.   It won’t do you much good in the hotel room. If I would not have had it with me I would have spent the evening in a much less attractive place than the pagoda 🙂

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 10, 2012 12:07 am

    Must have been a great trip Beata. Certainly got many very beautiful pictures.

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