Gold, Gold, and Gold ! In fact, most tourist will definitely visit Shwedagon Pagoda or Golden Pagoda when it comes to Yangon. It is the biggest and the most impressive attraction to visit in Myanmar. There is a saying :” If you never visit Swedagon Pagoda, you have never come to Myanmar”.
Shwedagon is the symbol of Yangon, Myanmar. It has an amazing history and is located at center of Yangon. Emerge yourself in a historical day tour and don’t be stingy to spend USDS10/person for a tour guide. It is going to be well worth as no written description display in the pagoda. The Pagoda has 4 entrances (North, South, East, and West). Each entrance has it’s own Pagoda and supporting shrines that you pass through before you approach the main area to worship.
The Shwedagon Pagoda is more than a place of worship. It is a custodian for Myanmar art, history and architecture. As a mark of reverence when visiting Shewdagon Pagoda, be sure to dress modestly in long pants, trousers, t-shirts and not skin-expose as it may offend the religion. You are also asked to take off your shoes before entering the holy place. Don’t rush yourself but spend longer time in this huge place and learn as much as you can of this historical place.
There are also many donation boxes located around Shwedagon Pagoda to spontaneously attract cash and coins from the locals and foreigners. These donation boxes are labeled for specific purposes such as for gold plating, construction, electricity, water and maintenance, among others.
Buddhism is far too complicated for me to understand as I am a Christian. However, I don’t think that stops me from enjoying one of the true wonders of the world and getting a friendly insight into the culture.
It was not a good day for me while I had my tour in Shwedagon as it is rainy season in Myanmar. The sky was full with dark clouds and the floor was so slippery. I have to carry an umbrella everywhere I go to avoid falling sick during the trip. It is best not to visit Myanmar during the monsoon season between June to August unless you are afraid of the sun. Sometimes, walking on the tile barefoot under the hot sun can be burning too. But for most of us, the best time to visit Myanmar is September all the way to February. The best time to visit the pagoda is in late afternoon – best view and less crowded. You will also get to see the sunset and the glowing Shwedagon in dark!
One last Tips! Before going there, remember to find out which day of the week you were born on and at what time. It will save your time as you will be guided to the shrine commemorating your day of birth. Good Luck and enjoy the trip! 😀