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Thread: Shewadagon Pagoda - Burma's Jewel

  1. #1
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    Shewadagon Pagoda - Burma's Jewel

    It's a spectacular place for sure, Shewadagon, and the Burmese people adore the place. Personally, I'm always conflicted when I see such glittering opulence in a poor country.

    The main stupa is topped by a 76 carat diamond, the last one of those to be sold (the Archduke Joseph August of Austria) went for $21.5million in 2012. The same stupa is also covered in gold, 21841 gold bars according to the official website. They don't tell us what size gold bars but even at 1kg that would amount to close on a billion dollars. In South East Asia's poorest country, where 32% of the people are existing on or below the poverty line (CIA World Factbook), that's a lot of wealth lying around.

    It dominates the skyline Shewadagon, you always know it's there:




    It is a beautiful place for sure though and I'm not sure that my pictures manage to do it justice:


    Last edited by Steve@thaib; 17th June 2013 at 05:39.
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    As with so many of these places though, the people there make the place special:

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    Everywhere we went in Yangon, but particularly at Shewadagon, the people were friendly and curious about us; they wanted us there.

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    Even the guys doing the dangerous jobs wanted us there, my favourite shot of the day:
    Last edited by Steve@thaib; 17th June 2013 at 06:06.
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    Nice pictures. I was there a few years ago and it seemed to me that the Burmese people are more devout Buddhists than are the Thais.
    My impression was that the people are generally wonderful.

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    A place I'd like to visit. Good pics, the Monk ones are cool. cheers.

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    One of the world's greatest religious buildings - on par with the Wailing Wall and St Peter's and for the people of Myanmar Shewdagon Pagoda represents the soul of the country at every level of society.

    Here's my first impression from 2010 when Bill and I first visited Yangon ...

    Shwe Dagon Pagoda – this is Myanmar’s most holy site and it truly is special. At its glittering best at sunrise and sunset the light and ambiance of this enormous (326’) pagoda I personally can only describe as spiritually majestic. 8 tonnes of gold and topping out the ‘umbrella’ adorned with 3154 gold bells, 79,569 diamonds and the sein bu 76 carat diamond bud tip.

    For me this is Asia’s greatest building – a living building far more captivating that the dead but spectacular ruins of Ankor. I’d place it on the level of St Peter’s Basilica or the Western (Wailing) Wall for the aura it emits.

    There are four entrances at the cardinal points – the southern entrance is most ‘western’ friendly and for $5 (foreigner entrance fee) you get an elevator ride to the upper platform. Note: shoes and socks have to removed in all temples, pagoda’s etc and its worth taking a plastic bag to carry your shoes (except at Shwe Dagon where this is not permitted and in any case there are girls to wash your feet after you come down for foreigners) so not to risk walking barefoot back to the hotel!
    Sadly the last trip there (Feb '13) there was even an internet terminal for foreigner use only - this is one place technology does not belong. Every trip I visit Shwedagon and still the feeling of deep reverence I feel there is something I value.
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    Fabulous photos there Steve.
    It's one of my favourite places to visit and on each trip I normally go at least twice, once with 'my girl' and at least once on my own.
    Best time for me is during Thingyan when it's packed and spending time in the gardens below is also great fun, with various companies sponsoring (soft!) drinks for the masses.
    I'd advise to avoid using the foreigner only lift and walk up the stairways.
    As others have said truly one of the great religious buildings of the world and more so because it's still in constant use and is a real focus point for so many locals.
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    Quote Originally Posted by K2 View Post
    One of the world's greatest religious buildings - on par with the Wailing Wall and St Peter's and for the people of Myanmar Shewdagon Pagoda represents the soul of the country at every level of society.

    Sadly the last trip there (Feb '13) there was even an internet terminal for foreigner use only - this is one place technology does not belong. Every trip I visit Shwedagon and still the feeling of deep reverence I feel there is something I value.
    I didn't realise about the foreigner thing at all. I had no idea that the lift was only for us etc.

    It is quite a place, I will have to go back there for sure.

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    You mean you took the lift .... you foreigner, you
    My girl is always pissed of when I won't take the lift as it's included in the 'foreigner fee'.
    I like walking up the stairs, feels like a more dramatic entrance

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    Quote Originally Posted by t0rn View Post
    You mean you took the lift .... you foreigner, you
    My girl is always pissed of when I won't take the lift as it's included in the 'foreigner fee'.
    I like walking up the stairs, feels like a more dramatic entrance
    Guilty ( insert 'embarassed' smiley here ), I just went where I was pointed.

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    Burma 1_0374.jpgBurma 1_0191.jpgBurma 1_0195.jpgBurma 1_0274.jpgBurma 1_0301.jpg
    Just thought I would add a few pics to this thread. It is an amazing place and worth putting in a full day there. Coming out the east side at the end of the day was a treat.
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    That last shot is an absolute cracker.
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    and you have the absolute anti picture just the one above ;-)
    Sorry forgot. Got caught up in this new thread.

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