Saturday, January 16, 2016

Myanmar/Vietnam Vacation: Yangon's Shwe Dagon Pagoda

Floyd and I enjoyed a wonderful vacation in Myanmar and Vietnam over Christmas break! Scroll to the bottom for links to blog posts about other parts of the trip.

Here are some of our memories from the Shwe Dagon Pagoda, which is definitely the number one thing to put on your list if you're picking sites to see in Yangon.

The front entrance. There's a lot more to the temple complex than you can see from here.
This man was our guide, which was really helpful since the pagoda complex is so big. He explained a lot about the history and purpose of the different buildings, as well as quite a bit about Buddhism in general.
Dress code is serious business in Myanmar! All the temples we saw around the country had signs about how to dress appropriately.
Since Floyd was in shorts (not considered "civilized dress"), he was required to buy and wear a "longyi" (wraparound skirt commonly worn by both men and women in Myanmar) before he could enter the temple complex. Everyone had to take off their shoes before going in.
Artwork by the eaves of one of the buildings.
There are lots of separate temples buildings in the Shwe Dagon Pagoda complex. There's no angle from which one picture could capture them all.

Everything that looks like gold in these pictures really is! Most of the temples were plated with gold leaf.
As you can imagine, idols were everywhere, both in and out of the temples. Many of the people we saw were actively worshipping them.
The sky that day was perfect for photography!
I was impressed by all the elaborate details in the decorations on the temples' roofs.
This temple is the actual, famous Shwe Dagon Pagoda itself.
There were lots of other tourists and locals there.

Every pagoda was topped with these dangling decorative "umbrellas" (yes, that's actually what they're called).

The floor in the whole complex was smooth, cool, and clean (marble, I think?), so it was no problem to go barefoot on it.

Beautiful Shwe Dagon!

Gold was in evidence everywhere, but other building materials added nice color contrasts on some of the roofs.
Some people were there to worship, others just to hang out.

After our experience at Shwe Dagon, on the evening of our first full day in Myanmar, we got on a bus (the "JJ Express") for the overnight trip to our next destination: the highland region of Inle Lake. We were pleasantly surprised when we saw what the bus was like!

Want to see more memories from our trip? Click on the links below!

1 comment:

grtlyblesd said...

Wow, gorgeous and fascinating! I've been to temples in China. There are similarities, of course, but it's also very different. What an amazing trip!