Myanmar 2013: Shwedagon Pagoda

On our layover to Bagan, we had a few hours to kill in Yangon. The must see in Yangon is the Shwedagon Pagoda. According to legend, the Shwedagon Pagoda has existed for more than 2,600 years, making it the oldest historical pagoda in Burma and the world. Note: Men and women need to wear longies (yes, that is what they call them) or long pants. We hadn't packed any for the boys, so we were able to borrow from the check in area when we arrived. Matt and Pat modeling below. Ladies- no bare shoulders either (T-shirts are OK). It was so hot but I had to wear my jean jacket as my spaghetti strap dress wouldn't fly here.

Burning up in our long sleeves!

It is gorgeous and is really something you need to see in person. So much gold! The crown or umbrella is tipped with 5,448 diamonds and 2,317 rubies. The very top, the diamond bud is tipped with a 76 carat diamond. Yowza!

Buddhas were every where. There was not a lot of English translations for most of the shrines and Buddhas, so I can see how it would be helpful to go with a guide.

Several ATM's can be found on the grounds.

Wish I knew what all these water dispensers said.

Quite a few bells. We rang this one for what we think was for good luck.

This was supposed to be Buddha's tooth if I remember correctly.

Liked this guy on the gate.

These puppies were hanging out at the exit. I didn't pet them but I was so tempted. So friggin cute.

These Buddhas were for sale in the shop near where we entered. To me, it looked like they were taking old ones and just painting them black? I like the way the old, original ones look better!

Getting there: We took a cab from the airport. Took about 40 minutes to get there and it cost US$7 each way. The cab waited for us outside to take us back to the airport. We had checked our bags at the airport before coming here, but if you got in a bind, I think you could leave your bags safely in the car. The country needs tourism so bad and is so reliant on it, any stealing has severe consequences. We can happily report no bad instances on our trip.

Gillian said she could have spent all day here. I was happy with the time we had, but I was also burning up in my jean jacket as noted above. I think a guide would be helpful, but you can definitely squeeze it in if you have a layover or your flight is delayed.


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