SHWEDAGON, THE WINKING WONDER
Explore what Rudyard Kipling described as, “A golden mystery that upheaved itself on the horizon – a beautiful winking wonder that blazed in the sun”. The 99-metre tall Shwedagon Pagoda is the country’s most famous landmark; one that looks extra impressive in the early hours of the morning or at sunset.
Early morning, afternoon or evening
- Explore Myanmar’s most sacred Buddhist monument.
- Brush shoulders with locals as the go about paying their respects.
- Learn about the pagodas fascinating history throughout the years.
- Admire thousands of pieces of Buddhist artwork.
- Locate your birthday corner and take an obligatory photograph.
ITINERARY IN DETAIL
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Transfer from your hotel (or a place of your choosing) to Shwedagon Pagoda’s east entrance. Here’s where you’ll also find the popular Bahan market and a large concentration of stalls selling Buddhist-related souvenirs and ceremonial items. As such, this area tends to attract a large number of visitors ranging from Yangon residents carrying out their daily shop, to devout Buddhists who may have travelled thousands of miles just to pay their respects.
The 99-metre tall pagoda is the country’s most famous landmark; one that looks extra impressive in the early hours of the morning or at sunset. Believed to be have operated as a place of worship in this spot for somewhere in the region of 2,500 years, it’s no wonder many regard it as one of the most important and sacred Buddhist sites in the world. The current hti (a golden umbrella that adorns the top of pagodas) is decorated with approximately 85,000 jewels, with the centrepiece being a 76-carat diamond. Enshired inside the pagoda itself is said to be the relics of the four previous Buddhas of the present kalpa (aeon).
Once you’ve climbed the steep staircase (or taken the elevator) up to the top platform, it won’t take long until you’re staring up in awe at the sheer size and architectural brilliance of this majestic monument. After catching your breath, walk clockwise (as is customary) around the pagoda exploring the numerous walkways, smaller shrines and plethora ancient Buddhist artefacts. Although it’s not marked, you will also walk past the spot where Daw Aung San Suu Kyi carried out her first ever public speech in 1988.
History and opulence aside, for us the highlight of any trip here is the chance to brush shoulders naturally with the locals as they go about paying their respects. There’s also plenty of opportunity to strike up conversation with practicing monks, many of whom will be delighted to tell you more about Buddhism, the pagoda and life in general.
Once you have finished taking it all in, you will be transferred back to your hotel (or a place of your choosing) by car.
- Transportation to/from hotel in an air-conditioned vehicle
- Entrance fees
- English speaking tour guide (for other languages, please enquire)
- Drinking water and hand towel
- Any meals
- You will be expected to remove your shoes. Entering without doing so is strictly prohibited.
- Avoid showing too much skin – if your attire is deemed inappropriate you will be turned away.
- A supplementary fee may apply on certain days – Tour Mandalay will inform you of this beforehand.