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Visiting the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon

Find out what you'll see on a visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon in this Howcast travel video.

Transcript

Yangon’s Shwedagon Pagoda is undoubtedly the most sacred Buddhist site in Burma. It’s said to have been around in one form or another for over two thousand years, being rebuilt on the same site over and over, making it the world’s oldest pagoda. Today, it’s one of the most impressive sights you’ll see anywhere. Situated on top of Singuttara Hill, the pagoda itself stands hundreds of feet tall, with a number of other shrines and statues on the grounds. The stupa is said to contain important holy Buddhist relics, including eight strands of Gautama Buddha’s hair. In tribute to the valuables it houses, the pagoda is plated with gold bars, and the very top of the spire is set with thousands of precious gemstones and golden bells. There are four entrances leading up to the pagoda, one for each of the cardinal directions, all guarded by giant lion sculptures. The best way to take in the stunning view is by walking up the stairs of the Eastern walkway and watching the pagoda slowly grow larger in your field of vision, while vendors all around you sell flowers, incense, candles, and other items for pilgrims and tourists. Remember that visitors are asked to wear clothing covering at least to the knees and elbows, and shoes are not allowed inside the complex–leave them outside the entrance or carry them with you in a bag. As long as you respect those rules, you can take in the Shwedagon Pagoda’s beauty and history.

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