36 hours in Yangon: Sunrise at Shwedagon Pagoda

This post is about our second day in Myanmar. Previously we visited mainly the Downtown area in Yangon. Now, we just woke up, it’s 4:30 am. We are trying to make eyes and get ready to explore Yangon. Our stop: Shwedagon Pagoda at sunrise.

36 hours in Yangon – Part II

Most of the recommendations I’ve read for Yangon before coming to Myanmar were to go visit the Shwedagon Pagoda, as it’s one of the must see of this country’s patrimony! Most of them indicated two best moments to visit this magnificent pagoda: at sunrise or during sunset.

Shwe means gold or golden in Myanmar language. Most of the golden pagodas of Myanmar contain Shwe in their name, like Shwemawdaw Pagoda in Bago, or Shwezigon Pagoda in Nyaung U (in Bagan area).

Sunrise at Shwedagon Pagoda

It’s 5 am. The taxi driver drops us in front of this impressive golden pagoda with many other golden smaller payas. We pay the entrance fee, take off our shoes and pass the hallway.

And our view is this:

We are in the middle of a religious luxury, that only the Buddhists are capable of. The atmosphere is serene and peaceful, people are walking around, some praying, some taking pictures. They are not necessarily tourists. A group of children monks are singing prayers with their teacher.

We walk around, we take some pictures. The place is not crowded. I have time to set up my tripod.

A walk around Kandawgyi Park

On the side we fall on this small garden, where an imposing Bodhi Tree was making some shadow for us. It is said that Buddha was actually born from the Bodhi Tree, the tree of enlightenment.

By 10 am we’re out of the Shwedagon Pagoda and start exploring the city by foot, with a map on our hands. As we walk towards the Kandawgyi Park, we spot this mansion on the road.

Snap a picture here, another one there, as we arrive to Kandawgyi Park.

In our guide it was mentioned that the park has an entrance fee, but the price varies depending on which entrance you choose. We didn’t have to pay, as there was no one to claim the fee. Furthermore, we didn’t see any announce in English either.

We get to the park, and the first thing to notice is… ELEPHANTS!!! Oh, how I wish they were alive! But in the picture, these sculptures look like they are real.

Elephants in Kandawgyi Park in Yangon

The second remarkable thing in the park? This mofo of a restaurant! Too bad we have already eaten. Without a doubt, I would’ve definitely tried something in this luxury looking restaurant.

On another corner of the park, something else is luxurious: the vegetation!

This garden seemed like a private property of another restaurant that was found in Kandawgyi park. Anyhow, the visit here was definitely worth it!

Leaving Yangon

Finding our way back to Downtown, on the Yangon’s streets with many colonial buildings, we cannot not observe the clutter on this pole. How do they even troubleshoot this mess?!

We pack things up and head for another adventure, as our train is leaving for Bago.

 Don’t miss our next stop in Bago!
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