What to Expect at the Shwedagon Pagoda Yangon

Location: on Sanguttara Hill in Dagon Township, Yangon, Myanmar

The grand entrance
Lots of stairs to the complex

Height of hill: 190 feet above sea level

Height of pagoda: 326 feet approx,(about 100 meters)

At KS 10,000 AU$10/£5 to get in, it’s quite expensive by local standards. (Locals get in free.)

According to legend, the Shwedagon Pagoda was constructed more than 2,600 years ago in the 6th century and is the most famous landmark in Yangon. It’s a massive complex that can be seen for miles. There are 4 entrances: South, West, North and East. It’s important to remember which entrance you come in so you know where to exit.

They were replacing the gold leaf while we were there, a process that takes years to complete.

It’s built on a hill so is quite steep to climb with many steps. It is said to contain important relics from four previous Buddhas. It shimmers in the early morning sun and sparkles at night high above the city of Yangon.

People bring offerings of flower garlands, insence, food and brightly coloured baubles. There are many donation boxes around the complex and at the feet of the many replica Buddhas everywhere you look.

As always, appropriate clothing must be worn and shoes removed.

There are cafes and parks nearby which provided welcome relief from all the walking around.

We saw several buses making their way from the city. Bus drivers will understand ‘Shwedagon Pagoda’ even if you don’t speak Burmese. As usual we walked. It’s a long walk up the wide Shwe Dagon Pagoda Road, about 40 minutes walk from downtown. A taxi would have been cheap but we like to walk. (Even in 40 degree heat. It’s what we do!)

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