One of Yangon's icons and perhaps his masterpiece is Shwedagon Paya, a colossal golden stupa considered the most sacred place in the country, Myanmar, which every Burmese must visit at least once in a lifetime. If you travel to Myanmar and you have to make a stop in Yangon You have no excuse not to spend at least one day in the streets of this chaotic city. Almost from anywhere in the city it is possible to see the splendor of this monument of more than 2,500 years old.
It is curious to say that a city is chaotic when it is impossible to see motorcycles circulating through her. It's strange not to see them and I don't think they'll be back soon. Not long ago they were banned by those absurd laws of countries with limited democracy. The fact is that a soldier in his lavish official car was hit by a motorcycle. Such an outburst had the officer who decided to ban the circulation of two-wheelers. It's funny, but in other big cities of the country, like Mandalay, have helped decongest traffic in the city center.
A little history
The story tells that two merchants received eight buddha hair to be preserved in Myanmar, where today is the great stupa. For several centuries it was semi-abandoned and it was not until the fourth century when it resurfaced from the ashes again. Already in the fifteenth century the stupa continued to grow and reached the current height of more than 71m.
During the following centuries several earthquakes almost completely ended the stupa, in addition Shwedagon Paya suffered one of his greatest robberies. A Portuguese adventurer took the big bell to melt it and make cannons with it, but this one ended up at the bottom of the Bago river, where it is believed remains today.
With the arrival of the British and the strategic position of the hill they installed their command post. Today it is a famous pilgrimage site and one of the most famous monuments in Myanmar.
The great stupa is west of the city, not far from the Kandawgyi Lake. It is easily accessed from the center of the city, to the south, and is visible from many corners, especially at night, since the brightness and lighting makes it become a true symbol of the city.
It measures no less than 71 m high and is attributed 2,500 years of history, although some archaeologists place it in the sixth century. Around it there are many tourists, small temples and monks praying or others sightseeing. It is strange to see how technology is changing our lives, dressing in red and being a monk does not take away from being up to date.
The stupa is covered by a gold bath, between 5 and 90 tons, and more than 5,000 diamonds and 2,317 rubies at the tip, something that makes it a real outdoor gem.
It is advisable to go to sunset, to see the last rays of sun on the golden dome and to contemplate the photogenic view that creates lighting. It is accessed from several doors, some of them through some walkways to access the small hill where the great stupa is located.
Around it there are many new ATMs or ATMs, because where there is a tourist now in Myanmar there are ATMs. By the way, many credit cards are not accepted in the country, eye.
The price is currently around $ 8, but as prices rise every year, always add 15% to what the guides say, especially the Lonely planet, which in the 2013 edition did not hit any price.
Maha Wizaya Paya
A little more sheltered and especially more intimate is the stupa of Maha Wizaya Paya, near the southern entrance of Shwedagon Paya, and that deserves a special mention, especially since it hardly receives visitors due to the proximity of the jewel of the city.
When to go?
They say that the summer and the rainy season must be avoided, it is true, since it was raining the two days we were in Yangon.
How to get?
The best way to get there is in airplane, since it has the main airport of entry of the country. Companies like Emirates, Singapore Airlines or low cost from Bangkok or Singapore are usually the best options.
Locally there are companies such as Air Bagan, Air Mandalay or Yangon Airways. They all have more or less the same price when they belong mainly to the state.
In order to move from the airport the best option is the cab, very cheap. For just about 8,000 kats they take you to the city center and you can also pay in dollars, if you want.
Where to eat / dine?
For lunch or dinner, we recommend two places we liked in Yangon:
- Sakura Tower Dine on the 20th floor overlooking the entire city.
- Japan, Japan A Japanese to leave traditional Myanmar food.
Where to sleep?
We can only talk about a hotel, where we stayed, nothing from the other world and very outdated, but it meets correctly for one or two days of stay, the Ocean Pearl Inn
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