Tuesday, January 6, 2015


Myanmar and naturally Yangon as well has many temples and pagodas. They are everywhere and the easiest landmark to spot from the plane or taxi. When walking the streets of Yangon one will get a real feel of the amount of temples and realize the beauty of them. I am a temple enthusiast and I never get "templed-out". Once you dive into them deeper you will see that each one of them is different and when you get involved with the locals and the monks in the temples each one of them will have a personal touch for you. 

I see Shwedagon Pagoda as a place to worship, meditate and pray, unlike most other tourists. So, I purposely decided to walk from my hotel to the pagoda to get a full feeling of the importance and size of it. I passed many temples and pagodas along the way, entered some of them and realized that unlike other countries, shoes stay "outside" of the temple grounds. Now, this creates certain logistic problems for tourists. Some of us were hiking boots, while others wear expensive footwear and we are never easily leaving them out there on the street. So, I do bring a backpack and a separate shoe bag with me in order to carry my shoes with me. They are still supposed to stay outside of the prayer halls though!

Approaching the Maha Wizaya Zedi Pagoda just before Shwedagon Pagoda, I was not yet aware of the "shoe code of conduct" and since I entered through a side entrance I was hit by some loud shouts from guards to leave my shoes outside. The stone floor was incredibly hot in the heat of the day which seems to be no problem for local feet, but those soft and pink toes of tourists are really suffering!

However, I loved the Maha Wizaya Pagoda, which stands for the unification of Theravada Buddhism in Myanmar and is a special place to visit at different times of the day.

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