We left, happily speaking for myself, Bangkok to reach Yangon, city of The Pagoda in Myanmar. Once arrived it taken a while in order to have our visa (sticker on passport), remember to bring american dollars, it costs 50 and be sure that those dollars are recent and PERFECT otherwise they won’t accept them. Not just at the airport but everywhere they ask you or you have the chance to pay with dollars, and in Myanmar happens often.
Once at the hotel we checked-in and took a walk around just to take a look and eat something. The first impression was that this is the less developed country I’ve visited even if it’s among the ones developing faster, its Pil increases 8% a year. Anyway it has some characteristic areas but nothing “exotic” like we were expecting. Impression confirmed the day after during the morning walk during which we saw the center of the city the Independence Monument, a white obelisk in the center of Maha Bandula Park. Later we reached and walked through General Aung San Park before to stop for lunch there in a really cute hidden spot on the lake.
Then with a Grab we reached the amazing Shwedagon Pagoda. In the title I called Yangon city of “the” pagoda because after this one, among the zillion we saw, it was very very hard and difficult to find another one that could have been even just comparable to that.
Here is nice to have a tour guide that explains a bit of the history of the pagoda and some interesting curiosities. In Myanmar there’s a strong belief in astrology. Mahabote divides the week in eight days (Wednesday, when Buddha was born is divided in two) and the eight corners of the Pagoda are represented by eight animals , eight planets and eight cardinal points. I was born on Sunday so mine was the garuda, Obama’s was the guinea pig. The practice consists in pouring water on the symbol and on the Buddha’s statue.
The tour ended toward the sunset, the best moment, remember about light in south east asia?! Then once free I walk around the beautiful pagoda and the chances for nice pictures where multiple speaking about people and architecture. Close to 6pm operators prepared several oil candles for the evening celebration with thousands votive candles and people started to turn on incense and to pray.
We had to leave to be able to reach on time the bus to reach the most spiritual place in Burma.
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